JA of Upstate South Carolina Team
Connie Lanzl – President
Connie Lanzl joined Junior Achievement as President in 2010. She is responsible for the overall leadership and management of JA programs serving five counties in the Upstate. She spends much of her time on building relationships with individuals in business and education, securing sponsorships, recruiting volunteers to teach in the classroom, and elevating awareness.
Connie believes that the purpose of JA is very relevant to the needs of the Upstate –developing a qualified and quality workforce that can achieve economic stability – and that from that purpose and method of implementation, young people can develop the competence, confidence and character needed for success in school, work and life.
Prior to JA, Connie served as the Development Director at Christ Church Episcopal School for twelve years. Her roles in the community include chair of the Endowment Committee of Greenville Women Giving, member of the Non Profit Alliance Steering Committee, and member of the Rotary Club of Greenville.
Susan Spencer – Director of Education and Volunteers
After several years of volunteering with Junior Achievement Susan took the position of Events and Marketing Director in 2000. Susan is currently Director of Education and Volunteers. Responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Junior Achievement programs in the Upstate in grades K-12, Susan works with educators and volunteers.
Susan has a passion for changing the lives of students by preparing them for the real world and giving them the tools they need to be successful. She enjoys training and preparing volunteer role models to teach in the classrooms.
Susan is affiliated with several other non-profits and has been heavily involved with the PTA and the SIC at the schools where her three children attended. She currently serves on the RECAB Board, Crime Stoppers Board and has served on the Moonlight and Magnolias Committee for The American Cancer Society for seven years. In addition, she is the Current President for The Pleasantburg Rotary Club. Susan holds a degree in Theatre and Communications from The University of Toledo.
Sonia McAbee – Development Manager
Sonia McAbee joined Junior Achievement in 2017 as the Development Manager. She is responsible for establishing relationships with businesses and individuals that will advance the organization by generating needed resources of revenue and volunteers. Sonia volunteered at Junior Achievement in the classroom for ten plus years before becoming a member of the staff. She is an enthusiastic and innovative professional with extensive experience in leadership and customer relations, is passionate about doing meaningful work, and believes in giving back to the community.
Prior to JA, Sonia was in finance for over 20 years as a successful banker. Her experience in leadership and sales has been instrumental in the development manager position. A native of Greenville, Sonia has been married to her high school sweetheart Andy for 23 years. She has one son, Owen who keeps her on her toes and is the apple of her eye.
Deborah Guion – Executive Assistant
Deborah has been with JA for two years and enjoys providing behind the scenes support for the JA staff. With a background in education, Deborah understands the value of making sure students see the opportunities available to them and the importance of students knowing how to pursue their desired future paths. She considers it a privilege to help provide the Junior Achievement resources and curriculum to students in the upstate of South Carolina.
"Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."
"Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."
"I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."
"I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."