The University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
is proud to announce its 2016 Distinguished Alumni and Friends of the College Award
recipients. The following individuals will be recognized at a formal ceremony held at USC on March 24:
2016 Award Recipients
Myles Boer Solomon ’99, Sport Administration
Myles B. Solomon is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. A 1999 alumnus
of the Department of Sport Administration, Solomon is the Principal at Element Sports
Group and the President of Solomon Sports Management, LLC. He earned his law degree
from USC in 2003. Based in Atlanta, he is currently a member of the Georgia Bar and
specializes in sports law and contracts, including agent representation for NCAA Division
I athletic directors, football and basketball coaches, as well as NFL coaches. He
has served as an adjunct professor in the SPTE department and previously worked as
an attorney for Bassi, Edlin, Huie & Blum LLP in San Francisco, an attorney for Coca-Cola
in Atlanta, and as a law clerk for the Law Offices of Craig Kelly in Columbia.
Nirjary Mukesh Desai ’03, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
Nirjary Desai is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Nirjary
Desai, recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Young Alumni Award, is a 2003 alumna of
the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. She is the founder, owner
and principal project manager of KIS (cubed), an exclusive destination event management
and special event planning company. Born in Ndola, Zambia, she grew up in South Carolina
and later moved to London to pursue her MBA in International Marketing and Management.
Her distinctive vision and business acumen have garnered features on Bravo TV, the
Wedding Channel, Harpers Bazaar Bride India, Huffington Post and Glambitious Magazine.
She can be seen making a guest appearance in the film “Meet The Patels.” Conde Naste
Brides Magazine has voted Nirjary as one of the Top 50 destination wedding planners
in the world.
Thomas M. Jackson, Sr.
Tom Jackson is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award. Jackson is a
1958 graduate of USC where he studied business and retailing. He began his career
working with Pet Mile Company for eight years in St. Louis. Following that, Jackson
returned to South Carolina where he opened the first Icee franchise in the state and
served as general manager for the next 31 years. In 1998, he bought Palmetto Candy
and Tobacco in the Vista and ran it until retiring in 2010. He has served as president
of the Columbia Sales and Marketing Association, is a member of the Columbia Rotary
Club and is an adamant supporter of the Gamecocks and higher education. He is the
College of HRSM’s longest standing board member and is also an active member of My
Carolina and the Gamecock Club. He is married to B Jackson and together they have
The Ragsdale family is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Friend of the College
Award. Proud supporters of USC with a family full of Gamecocks, the Ragsdales recently
left an estate gift to benefit the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
and the Office of Student Affairs, where both Charles and Emily serve on the Parents
Advisory Council. Charles is a 1987 alumnus of the college, with a BAIS degree, while
Emily earned her associate degree in retailing in 1976. One of their daughters, Schall,
graduated in August 2015 with a HRTM degree from HRSM, while their younger daughter,
Emily, graduated from USC in May with a minor in HRTM.
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