Commission Members

Chairman, General William Grimsley (Ret.)

Chairman Will Grimsley, a 33-year U.S. Army veteran, held command and leadership positions at every level from platoon through corps while serving stateside and overseas. During that time, he earned numerous awards and medals as well as the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. Upon retiring from active duty, Grimsley consulted in the private sector for several major multinational corporations. He served as the President and CEO of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation, and most recently served as the first S.C. Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs. He is an Eagle Scout, a certified S.C. Low Country Master Naturalist and a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, S.C.’s highest civilian service award.

The Late Chairman Charles B. Baxley

The late former chairman Charles B. Baxley was a veteran attorney at Baxley, Wells and Benson, which operates out of Lugoff, South Carolina. While also having served as a magistrate judge for the City of Camden, South Carolina and Adjunct Professor of Law, Chairman Baxley was the editor and publisher of a respected online historical journal, Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution. Among many other awards and recognitions, Chairman Baxley was a recipient of South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto.

Vice Chairman Bill Davies

Mr. Davies' background stretches across all walks of South Carolina history as Chairman of the Board of Managers for the South Carolina Historical Society and as President of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History Foundation. Along with his numerous accomplishments otherwise, his experience as President of the Palmetto State Military History Foundation will provide invaluable historical perspectives and talents to the Commission.

Secretary Duane Parrish

Mr. Parrish, the current Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SC-PRT) is a highly valued member of the commission. With an extensive background in tourism and hospitality, Mr. Parrish has a fresh perspective and provides unrivaled skills and tactics that propels the Commission towards its goal of shedding light on South Carolina’s role American Revolution through tourism.

Chaplain Dianne T. Culbertson

Mrs. Culbertson’s background as both a former primary school educator and Vice President General of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution make her an ideal choice to serve on the Commission. Her dedication to historic preservation and natural resources in South Carolina will provide an important perspective to the Commission’s efforts to commemorate the American Revolution through physical history and education.

Laurie Slade Funderburk

Ms. Funderburk has a decorated background having served as the Chairwoman of the General Assembly’s Women’s Caucus and on the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Funderburk  will provide important talents and unique perspectives to the Commission to help it along its way to highlighting South Carolina’s importance in the American Revolution.

State Representative Neal Collins

State Representative Neal Collins is an attorney in Easley and member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. His background serving on the House Education Committee and in the South Carolina government will provide worthwhile knowledge and talents to the Commission’s efforts towards shining a light on South Carolina’s rich history during the American Revolution.

Treasurer J. Brett Bennett

Mr. Bennett’s professional background as the Chief Operating Officer for HealthScape Data, LLC, and his intense knowledge in the areas of general management, strategic planning, operations, and economic development will provide important and necessary skills and talents to the Commission. He is also an amateur Revolutionary Era historian and first-person interpreter.

Dr. A. V. Huff, Jr.

Dr. Huff is the former President of the South Carolina Historical Association and current chair of the South Carolina Commission on Archives and History. His role as Professor of History and Dean at Furman University will also provide irreplaceable skills and talents to the Commission in all facets.

Pam Melton Cazel

Mrs. Cazel’s extensive background in marketing and sales for major Fortune 500 companies coupled with her service to Cherokee County as the Executive Director of their History and Art Museum will provide irreplaceable skills and talents to the Commission. With strong roots in upstate, Mrs. Cazel is poised to be a necessary fixture for the Commission.

Senator Darrell Jackson

In addition to 30 years in public office, Senator Darrell Jackson is the Senior Pastor at Bible Way Church of Atlas Road. He has served on many boards around the state, including for Benedict College, Big Brothers Big Sisters and United Way of the Midlands. 

Luther Lyle

Luther Lyle, a former U.S. Army Combat Engineer, spent 35 years as a teacher before joining the Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina as its director and curator. Lyle also serves on the boards of directors for Oconee Forever and the Walhalla Diversity and Inclusion Committee. A past chairman of the Oconee Arts and Historical Commission, Lyle previously served on the boards of directors for the Oconee Scenic Highway Committee, Oconee Heritage Center, SAVE STUMPHOUSE Committee and the Gen. John A. Wagener Interchange Committee.

Ken Scarlett

Kenneth Scarlett is the author of Victory Day — Winning American Independence, The Defeat of the British Southern Strategy, which received the 2023 Fraunces Tavern Museum Honorable Mention Award, along with the Pulitzer Prize book “The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams” by Stacy Schiff. Victory Day is an in-depth account of the last 31-months of the Revolutionary War centered in Charleston; and the forced British Army evacuation which liberated Charleston, and resulted in American Independence. 

Ken is the President of Revolutionary Charleston 250 ( He is the former president of Scarlett Surveys International and the Nathanael Greene Freedom Monument Foundation that produced the life-size statue of General Greene in Greenville, SC located at the Upcountry Museum. He has a Master’s Degree in Intelligence and Security from The Citadel, and a Business Management degree from USC’s Darla School of Business.

Updated May 20, 2024

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