In the summer of 1994, local leaders asked Mike Dawson, then a serving Colonel of Infantry in the U.S. Army, to create an organization that could unlock the potential of Columbia South Carolina’s 90 miles of rivers. This resulting structure, based on citizen participation and close relationships with local governments, is an effective catalyst for change.
Mike grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Later, he earned a Master of Science in Systems Technology from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and Master of Arts in Strategy and Policy from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. In his free time, Mike runs, paddles, and works on an old Tudor house in Five Points in downtown Columbia. He is a founding member of the Wales Garden Neighborhood Association, a member of the Five Points Rotary Club and a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Midlands Council of Governments Environmental Planning Advisory Committee, the Central Midlands Development Corp. and the Waterfront Center in Washington, DC.