Coker alumnus Danny Johnson and his wife, Brandy Timmons Johnson, are a Coker success story. Danny graduated in 2004, after completing his degree with a double major in business and history. During his time at Coker, he also took part in a number of activities, including running cross-country and serving on the Vice President’s Leadership Council with Dr. Steve Terry.
“Coker prepared me to be a good administrator,” says Danny. Today, he and Brandy are successful business-owners three times over. Danny serves as vice president and member of the board of directors for three family-owned companies: North Industrial Machine, Precision Components and Services, and Sun Superior. Brandy is also involved with all three businesses, working on their boards of directors and managing marketing, advertising, and philanthropy efforts. Both Danny and Brandy are also partners at Chafin, Johnson, and Associates.
“Hartsville needs Coker, and Coker needs Hartsville.”
Although they make it look easy, all of that success was hard-won. As a student, Danny struggled to focus on his studies while simultaneously building a company with Brandy. Some of the more difficult days saw him driving 200 miles to meet with clients before an 8:00 AM class. “I was happy when he graduated,” Brandy says, half-jokingly. Still, they always found the Coker experience valuable.
Even now, Danny enjoys how easily he can hit it off with current and former Coker students. He credits the college’s round-table style of teaching with helping him develop these relationships. “Having that round-table discussion makes it a little more like a family atmosphere,” he says, noting that the quality of the courses and faculty also made a huge impact. “Back when I started, business applications was kind of a new thing…I’d say that Professor Melinda Norris’s class was very helpful.”
The Johnsons’ devotion to Coker College didn’t end with Danny’s graduation. Both of them stay involved. Danny is a member of the Leadership Entrepreneurship Advisory Council, and Brandy is one of the Ladies of Coker. They are also proud members of the Coker Society, and have funded the Danny E. and Debby A. Johnson Endowed Scholarship in honor of Danny’s parents. In addition to their work with Coker, they also lend support to the Women’s League of Hartsville, Main Street Hartsville, the Darlington County Humane Society, the Darlington County Education Foundation, the Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society.
For them, being good neighbors in Hartsville and good stewards of Coker College go hand-in-hand. “Coker is a vital part of the community,” Danny explains. “Hartsville needs Coker, and Coker needs Hartsville.”