JIM HODGES was born in Lancaster, South Carolina. He attended Davidson College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina in 1979 and a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1982. He served as general counsel to the Springs Company and was a member of the board of directors of a number of businesses. He also represented Lancaster in the state legislature for eleven years prior to being elected governor. Education was a top priority for Hodges, and during his first year as governor he won approval for a referendum on a state lottery, provided $1 billion for school construction without raising taxes, and launched the First Steps to School Readiness early children education initiative. He also signed legislation approving removal of the confederate flag from atop the state house in the face of an economic boycott against the state by the NAACP. In 2002, Hodges was defeated for reelection to a second gubernatorial term. He is now Chief Executive Officer of the Hodges Consulting Group and a partner in the law firm of Kennedy, Covington, Lobdell & Hickman.