COG Receives Award for "Pivoting in a Pandemic" Project

PRESS RELEASE: January 19, 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MEDIA CONTACT: Chris McKinney (803-774-1384)


COG Receives Award for “Pivoting in a Pandemic” Project

Santee-Lynches Regional COG received a 2020 Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for a regional project named “Pivoting in a Pandemic”.

SUMTER, SC – The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) awarded Santee-Lynches Council of Governments a national award for their “Pivoting in a Pandemic” Project at the 2020 Annual Training Conference.  Santee-Lynches Council of Governments stepped outside of the realm of operations for an entity such as Council of Governments to take on the task of protecting our communities from infectious disease.

As the nation experienced a shortage of PPE supplies, and the supply chain had minimal capability to rapidly surge production in this pandemic, our staff of diverse backgrounds came together and were able to pivot the task of entering a supply stream and created partnerships with importers and distributors to fulfill PPE needs to our region and state.  The team collaborated and established a direct relationship with a distributor to obtain supplies for our region.  Our staff negotiated reduced prices for supplies, in many cases 30-40% lower than pricing driven by current market demand.  Our goal was to get the cost as low as possible to help our region/state reopen safely. 

Santee-Lynches negotiated and provided logistical solutions for the direct import and shipment of PPE supplies from a global supply chain.  While working with material and distribution contacts, Santee-Lynches was able to create both short- and long-term purchasing forecast to maintain cost effectiveness while creating resiliency for our region and state partners throughout the duration of the health emergency.  Also, within five (5) weeks of pivoting to PPE supplies we created an online ordering tool and are in the process of securing an online credit card payment application to further streamline the process for our patrons.

Santee-Lynches was able to meet the needs of several local municipalities, COGs, non-profits, churches, and private businesses across the state.  Santee-Lynches’ ability to quickly procure these supplies allowed minimal interruptions in public transit, government, and private business operations.  The Pivoting in a Pandemic Project supported Santee-Lynches vision by enabling us to have ready access to supplies.  The response has continued to be steady as many non-profits and small businesses reach out for help.  To date, we have supplied 281,000 masks, 218 cases (5,232 16 oz. bottles) of hand sanitizer, 341 cases (4092 packages) of sanitizing wipes and 112 thermometers to 25 government entities, 30 non-profits, and 45 businesses, assisting them all to safely reopen and serve our communities.

 About National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)

NADO is a national network of 540 multi-jurisdictional regional planning and development organizations.  The 2020 class of award-winning projects were recognized during NADO’s virtual 2020 Annual Training Conference, held online October 20-22.  The 2020 class of award recipients consists of 79 projects from 48 organizations spanning 19 states.

The Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Awards program is an opportunity each year for NADO to publicly recognize the great work regional development organizations deliver to their local communities. 

About Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments

Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments is a premier organization committed to optimizing our region’s unique strengths for a better tomorrow. Our mission is to deliberately enhance the quality of life and provide opportunities for the advancement of our region.  Santee-Lynches serves the counties and cities of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter. To learn more, visit

Santee-Lynches COG is a member of the South Carolina Councils of Government (SC COGs). The SC COGs are a network of the 10 regional councils of governments working to positively affect quality of life and economic development in South Carolina. SC COGs serve as an extension of local and county governments to provide technical assistance, secure state and federal dollars to address critical issues, and advocate at a state and national level for economic and quality of life improvements for South Carolina. To learn more, visit or visit