Founder/ CEO

Tia N Williams

Tia N Williams

Founder & CEO

Tia is the founder/owner of Midlands Anchor, a local media publication that connects engaged citizens through regionally relevant stories. With a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech, Tia’s capstone research focused on the evolution of state and local economic development policy trends in Upstate South Carolina. In the community, Tia serves as Co-Organizer of One Million Cups Columbia, appointed member of the Midlands Regional Educational Center Advisory Board and alumnus of Leadership Lexington County. She launched The Anchor Institute out of a desire and need for comprehensive study and better conversations about midsize cities worldwide.

Research and Creative Media Intern

Emily Haney

Emily Haney

Research and Creative Media Intern

Emily has been living and working in Columbia since graduating from College of Charleston in 2015. Her studies in Communications and English have instilled in her a passion for decoding the messages hidden in our everyday language. After spending her college years writing about music and arts in the Charleston scene, Emily’s focus has shifted to community affairs. She’s eager to contribute her talents to the development of the Institute and, by extension, the community she lives in.

 

AnIn Community Advisory Board

The Anchor Institute got its start as a citizen-led, collaborative effort to study and promote community development in Columbia, South Carolina through a local media publication called Midlands Anchor.
 
Midlands Anchor, a once volunteer-run blog focused primarily on coverage of the Town of Lexington vision plan, eventually grew into a predominant voice among passionate citizens. In 2016, the publication added a community advisory board that tackled and discussed modern events from a community development perspective. Through years of in-depth conversations and active civic engagement, a need to study our historic city from a national lens became an interest and eventually a reality. Thus, the Anchor Institute and the How to Make a City podcast were launched in early 2018 to explore best practices and inspiring stories of midsize cities worldwide.