Meet Columbia’s 2023 Ambassadors

Plus, check out your 2023 insiders guide to Columbia, SC

John and Mattison Columbia Ambassadors

John Sherrer (left) and Mattison Heatherly (right) are 2023 ambassadors for Experience Columbia, SC. | Photos courtesy of Lucas Brown

Experience Columbia SC released the list of its 2023 Columbia Ambassadorsa.k.a. the local insiders picked to represent our city — along with the 2023 Insiders Guide featuring the best of what the Soda City has to offer.

Backstory: Now in its fifth year, the ambassador program aims to expand the reach + impact of Cola’s regional marketing efforts by telling our stories through the eyes of Soda Citizens who champion our city. Each ambassador helps create content for Experience Columbia SC in their areas of expertise (history, music, dining, etc.).

This year’s ambassadors join the group of 16 “alumni” ambassadors.

Drumroll, please. 🥁

Meet your Columbia SC Ambassadors for 2023:

Mattison Heatherly

Founder of City Social Co — Social Media and Public Relations Agency

If you’re looking for Soda City dining inspo, look no further than Mattison’s Instagram. From Alodias Cucina Italiana in Lexington to Home Team BBQ in Five Points, if there’s a delicious bite to be had, she’s tried it.

Columbia ambassadors 2023

Bianca Crawford Shelton (left) and Morihiko Nakahara (right) photographed in their element. | Photos courtesy of Lucas Brown

Morihiko Nakahara

Music Director of the South Carolina Philharmonic

A native of Kagoshima, Japan, Morihiko is now in his 15th season as Music Director at the Philarmonic where he’s known for his charisma on and off the podium. In 2021, he was the recipient of One Columbia’s Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award, an annual recognition of a Columbian who supports the growth and vitality of the city.

Bianca Crawford Shelton

President + CEO of The Crawford Austin Agency

With a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from USC and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia College, Bianca is a shining example of establishing roots in the Soda City after studying here. She also teaches the next generation as an instructor at Claflin University and hosts the annual Diner en Blanc event.

John Sherrer

Director of Preservation at Historic Columbia

If you’ve been on one of Historic Columbia’s tours, John’s likely was your guide sharing Cola’s rich history about the many people and places that have shaped the place we call home.