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Marguerite Willis Selected for Midlands Diversity Leaders Initiative

February 6, 2020

Nexsen Pruet's Marguerite Willis, an award winning antitrust and unfair competition attorney, has been selected for The Riley Institute's Midlands Diversity Leadership Initiative Class of 2020.

"Marguerite exemplifies what it means to be a socially conscious leader," says Leighton Lord, Chairman of Nexsen Pruet. "She has spent her legal career paving the way for women lawyers across the country and is dedicated to using her political knowledge to advocate for others. We are thrilled she is being recognized for her endeavors and look forward to watching her further develop in this program. "

The Riley Institute is a subsidiary of Furman University that broadens student and community perspective about issues critical to South Carolina's progress. It builds and engages present and future leaders, creates and shares data-supported information about the state's core challenges, and links the leadership body to those solutions to drive sustainable solutions. Launched in 1999, the institute is named for former South Carolina governor and former United States Secretary of Education Richard W. (Dick) Riley. It is committed to non-partisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. 

From the Diversity Leadership Initiative:

Carefully selected, established leaders from all sectors of South Carolina society, nominated by DLI alumni and invited to apply, take part in the Riley Institute at Furman's Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) a unique, highly interactive, multi-award winning program. Participants learn to understand their diversity and inclusion "blind spots" and how to suspend assumptions. They come away with focused decision-making skills and deep knowledge of how to effectively manage and lead increasingly diverse workers, clients and constituents. 

DLI participants are selected for their capacity to impact their organizations and communities. Numbering more than 2,100 in summer of 2019, the DLI alumni roster reads like a Who's Who in South Carolina leadership. It includes CEOs of corporations, mayors, city and county council members, legislators, school superintendents, pastors and rabbis, non-profit heads, chamber of commerce directors, and community leaders. 

Designed and skillfully facilitated by Juan Johnson of Diversity Leadership in Action, DLI brings participants together one day a month for five months. Learning opportunities in the highly interactive curriculum include case studies, scenarios analyses and other experimental learning tools to maximize interaction and discussion among participants and facilitate productive relationships. 

As part of the program, participants work in small groups to identify and develop real solutions for real issues facing their communities. These community action projects bond participants together and help build stronger communities throughout South Carolina. 

Read more here.


Nexsen Pruet is an AM Law 200 Firm with more than 200 professionals in eight offices providing regional capabilities with international strengths. 

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