Timothy R. McConnell was an influential businessman who overcame poverty and racial barriers to achieve many firsts in South Carolina, including founding the first African American-owned and operated certified public accounting firm in South Carolina, T.R. McConnell and Co. As managing partner in the firm from 1976-1988, McConnell was awarded numerous contracts from the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish minority business development centers in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston.
Born in Fairfield County, he attended segregated McCrory-Liston School before entering newly desegregated Winnsboro High, where he graduated in the top five percent of his class. He received the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Accountancy degrees from the University of South Carolina. While at USC, he became the first African American elected to serve as Vice President of the student body at the university. His interest in public service piqued, he served as a legislative aide to former Governor John C. West. He also worked at Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in Charlotte, N.C. before forming his own company.
McConnell was actively engaged in several community organizations and on various community boards. His honors and recognition include an appointment as Tax Commissioner and recipient of the Order of the Palmetto by former Governor Carroll Campbell. Tim also served as President and CEO of Victory Savings Bank.
His many accomplishments and accolades not only made him an astute businessman but a driving force in improving race relations in the state. For example, he is credited with spearheading the integration of private country and business clubs in Columbia. Also, in another effort to give back to the community and support future generations, he established a scholarship at USC for African-Americans majoring in business. His wife, Claudette, and their children survive McConnell.