A Gadsdenite Inducted–SC Black Hall of Fame

A native of Gadsden, Heyward Bannister serves as director of Fannie Mae’s South Carolina Partnership office, which helps increase affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for low‑to‑middle income families and first‑time home buyers. He manages a five‑year, $6 billion investment plan to increase affordable housing for 65,000 South Carolinians . Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Mr. Bannister worked with the Clinton Administration and was appointed White House Liaison for the Department of Veteran Affairs, where he served a personal adviser and consultant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Throughout his professional career, he has been active in many community organizations, including the Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and the South Carolina Educational Television Endowment. Bannister was instrumental in revitalizing the Stone of Hope project at Martin Luther King Park through his fund raising efforts. He provides strong leadership for the East Central City Consortium, which is an effort to revitalize twelve inner city neighborhoods in Columbia . As an advocate for the SC Conference of Black Mayors, he serves as a connector and advisor for black elected officials across the state. In his role as a board member for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, he is working to fight for the rights of abused and neglected children in Richland County . He also takes pride in being a life member of the NAACP . He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina . In 1986, he became a co-founder of Sunrise Enterprises of Columbia, the first African-American owned statewide public relations firm in South Carolina . Sunrise handled some of the most highly visible marketing and public relations campaigns in the state. Eventually, Bannister would divest his interests in Sunrise to become the sole owner and President of BANCO/Bannister Company of Columbia . In this capacity, he continued to manage statewide public relations, political and marketing campaigns for high profile clients. As a past resident of public housing, Mr. Bannister was honored by being inducted into the Columbia Housing Authority’s Wall of Fame for his work in public service.