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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

December 23rd

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe Christmas is upon us. We are certainly finding what we call our “new normal.” The kids love having family time and being off from school.

Rena still loves music and dances all around the house. She’s 12 – I love spending “girl time” with her. Nalin, 9, loves sports — especially playing basketball on his church team. We love to watch him play, except when he throws the football in the house and interferes with Rena’s dancing!

We are all nervously getting ready for the move to our new home. The kids’ only request is that our dog, Simba, and the basketball goal make it there.

We are blessed once again to have both sets of parents and families together for Christmas.

Michael and I want to thank you for being a special part of our family and allowing us to serve yours. We wish your family health, love, and happiness this holiday season.

God bless.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

The Haley Family
Michael, Nikki, Rena, and Nalin

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Gov.-elect Haley taps William R. Byars, Jr., for Corrections, Margaret Barber for DJJ

December 16th

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor-elect Nikki Haley today announced two more Cabinet appointments.

William R. Byars, Jr., currently the Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), was appointed to be the next Director of the Department of Corrections. DJJ chief of staff Margaret H. Barber was appointed to be the next DJJ Director.

“What Judge Byars and Margaret Barber have done at DJJ is one of the biggest success stories in the country,” said Gov.-elect Haley. “They are innovative leaders who work hard and know that government must understand the value of a dollar, and they are committed to improving lives by strengthening both of these critical state agencies.”

Governor Mark Sanford appointed former Family Court Judge William R. Byars, Jr., a Vietnam Veteran and University of South Carolina School of Law graduate, as the Director of DJJ in January 2003. Judge Byars has overseen a staff of over 1,300 that serves approximately 20,000 juveniles annually.

“I want to thank Gov.-elect Haley for the opportunity to serve, and I have been delighted to hear her vision,” said Judge Byars.

A Winthrop graduate, Margaret Barber has served as DJJ chief of staff since 2007. Prior to that, she was DJJ Upstate Regional Administrator from 1999 – 2007 and DJJ York County Director from 1993 – 1999.

“Judge Byars and I have shared the passion for children and their families in South Carolina for a number of years,” said Ms. Barber. “We have run DJJ very much like a family. We’re positive about what we’ve been doing and I want to continue that. I thank the governor-elect for giving me that opportunity.”

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Gov.-elect Nikki Haley announces senior staff

December 14th

Transition Executive Director Tim Pearson to serve as Chief of Staff

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor-elect Nikki Haley today announced senior staff appointments for the Office of the Governor. Gubernatorial transition executive director Tim Pearson will serve as Chief of Staff. Gov.-elect Haley will be sworn in on Wednesday, January 12, 2011.

Three deputy chiefs of staff will serve in the governor’s office: Katherine Haltiwanger (Operations), Ted Pitts (Policy and Cabinet Affairs) and Trey Walker (Legislative Affairs and Communications).

Senior staff appointments include:

Tim Pearson, Chief of Staff. Pearson is Executive Director of Governor-elect Haley’s transition team. Prior to joining the transition team, Pearson served as Campaign Manager for Haley for Governor. Previously, he served as Senior Communications Advisor to Governor Mark Sanford, Director of Rapid Response for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential Campaign, and as speechwriter for U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.

Katherine Haltiwanger, Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations). Haltiwanger was a critical member of the Republican Governors Association fundraising team during the historic and highly successful 2010 election cycle. Before joining the RGA team, Haltiwanger was a state finance director for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign. Haltiwanger also worked for Governor Mark Sanford and First Lady Jenny Sanford.

Ted Pitts, Deputy Chief of Staff (Policy and Cabinet Affairs). Pitts was elected to the State House of Representatives from Lexington County in 2002. He was deployed with his South Carolina Army National Guard Unit to Afghanistan as a Captain in 2010 and did not seek re-election. While in Afghanistan, Pitts served as the Officer in Charge over Camp Dubs located in Darulaman, Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star for service. Pitts has worked as a commercial real estate broker with Grubb & Ellis | Wilson Kibler in Columbia since 1999.

Trey Walker, Deputy Chief of Staff (Legislative Affairs and Communications). Walker has served as Attorney General Henry McMaster’s top staff member since 2003, and was directly responsible for the successful passage of McMaster’s high profile legislative initiatives on securities reform, Internet predators, domestic violence, white-collar crime, drug trafficking and animal fighting. The former state GOP executive director ran Senator John McCain’s successful state primary campaign and served on the national campaign senior staff.

Swati Patel, Chief Legal Counsel. Patel was Chief Legal Counsel and Deputy Counsel to Governor Mark Sanford for seven years. Before that she was Assistant Legal Counsel to the State House Judiciary Committee, State House Ethics Committee and the Judicial Screening Commission. She was also Staff Counsel to the South Carolina Legislative Council.

Rob Godfrey, Press Secretary. Godfrey is spokesman for Gov.-elect Haley’s transition team and served as communications director for Haley for Governor. Prior to joining the Haley campaign, Godfrey was campaign spokesman for Attorney General McMaster. He has also worked at the State House Republican Caucus and the South Carolina Republican Party.

Taylor Hall, Cabinet Liaison. Hall is Personnel Director of Gov.-elect Haley’s transition team. Prior to joining the transition team, Hall was Haley for Governor’s Deputy Campaign Manager and Director of Field Operations for South Carolina Republican Party Victory 2010. Hall also worked at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, where he dealt with Transatlantic and European security issues.

Rebecca Schimsa, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. A Charleston School of Law graduate who was recently admitted to the South Carolina Bar, Schimsa is Gov.-elect Haley’s transition scheduler and served as Director of Operations for Haley for Governor.

Jamie Shuster, Director of Budget and Policy. Shuster is Director of External Affairs at the South Carolina Policy Council. Since joining the Policy Council staff in 2008, Shuster has dealt extensively with budget and legislative issues and was a research analyst before working in external affairs. She has a master’s degree in health policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Katherine Veldran, Legislative Liaison. Veldran is Director of Operations for ResortQuest Hilton Head Island. A University of South Carolina graduate, Veldran has a strong background in hospitality and tourism management.

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Gov.-elect Nikki Haley appoints Catherine Templeton to lead Labor, Licensing and Regulation

December 8th

Lowcountry attorney previously served as LLR law clerk

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov.-elect Nikki Haley today announced the appointment of Catherine Templeton to be the next Director of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR). Mrs. Templeton, who lives in Mount Pleasant, is an attorney at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C., where she has worked since 2000.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Catherine Templeton on our team,” said Gov.-elect Haley. “Catherine understands that LLR’s mission should be to serve the businesses and taxpayers of our state. She’s taken on unions and knows our state’s right-to-work status makes us more competitive. She’s strong, she’s a fighter, she’s a mother, and she’s a wife. She’s a professional who hasn’t just been good at everything she’s touched, she’s been great at it.”

Gov.-elect Haley continued, “When I was looking at LLR, there were three things that were important. First, we need to protect the people. Second, time is money. Third, we need to stop burdening businesses with too much regulation and red tape. We have real challenges at LLR: morale issues, inefficiency and regulatory issues. So, we need someone who is going to go in there and clean things up, and Catherine is the person to do that.”

Prior to joining Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C., Mrs. Templeton was an attorney at Ellzey and Brooks, L.L.C., from 1998 to 2000 and a law clerk to the Director of LLR from 1995 to 1998. She was also a Human Resources Manager for Milliken & Company and worked at the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

“I am humbled and honored to be a part of Gov.-elect Haley’s team,” said Mrs. Templeton. “I worked at LLR right after reorganization, and I’ve seen how LLR can be run properly and efficiently to both protect the citizens of South Carolina and to help the business community.”

The mission of LLR is to promote the health, safety and economic well-being of the public through regulation, licensing, enforcement, training and education.

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Gov.-elect Nikki Haley announces appointment of Robert (Bobby) M. Hitt III to lead Commerce

December 6th

BMW Manufacturing executive and business leader boasts broad economic development experience

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gov.-elect Nikki Haley today announced the appointment of Robert (Bobby) M. Hitt to be the next Secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. Mr. Hitt, who lives in Simpsonville, has managed corporate affairs at BMW Manufacturing Company since 1993.

“During the course of the campaign, we said that jobs and the economy are top priorities and that we need a Commerce Secretary who knows that ‘can’t’ is not an option,” said Gov.-elect Haley. “No one has more economic development experience over the last two decades than Bobby Hitt. A businessman who has been at the negotiating table with commerce officials and business leaders many times, Bobby Hitt’s involvement in every aspect of economic development in our state means he’ll have no learning curve. He’ll hit the ground running in January.”

A native of Charleston and University of South Carolina graduate, Mr. Hitt has also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, Vice Chairman of Southeast Region for the National Association of Manufacturers and on the executive committees of AdvanceSC and the Upstate Alliance.

“I couldn’t be more excited about taking on this mission,” said Mr. Hitt. “I can’t imagine a greater opportunity than to represent Gov.-elect Haley and the state of South Carolina in bringing more jobs and businesses to our state.”

The South Carolina Department of Commerce works to promote economic opportunity for individuals and businesses. As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow.

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