How I can help you

Sam Tolbert brings to SCORE clients 42 years of business experience which include 26 years as a health care administrator/executive and 16 years as an full-time business professor and consultant. He is a hands-on strategist with expertise in small business planning, start-up, and development. As the owner of several small businesses he understands the day-to-day challenges entrepreneurs face Additionally, he has extensive experience working with not-for-profit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, governance, and fund-raising.

Sam s an honor graduate of Clemson University and holds a Master of Science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. His professional career began in 1975 at the Mayo Clinic where he was a member of the Administrative Staff. His other positions include serving as a manager for an international consulting firm, a corporate division director for a major multi-hospital system, and a medical administration consultant.

In 1985, Tolbert returned to his home of Greenwood, South Carolina, where he served for fifteen years as vice president and administrative director of planning and marketing at Self Memorial Hospital, a 421-bed referral center. In August 2000, Tolbert joined Lander University as a professor in Health Care Management. The opportunity afforded by Lander allowed him to pursue a life-long desire to teach and gave Tolbert the opportunity to share his decades of work experience with business leaders of the future. He was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2006, and in 2013 was selected as Lander’s Distinguished Professor and was one of five finalists for the South Carolina Professor of the Year. In 2015, he became the Director of the School of Management. Tolbert retired from full-time academia and was awarded lifetime Professor Emeritus status in August 2016.

When Tolbert became an academic, he formed Strategic Directions, Inc., (SDI) a consulting firm that provides services to the healthcare industry focusing on healthcare strategic planning, project management, facility/construction planning, marketing market research, and healthcare regulation, particularly relating to SC Certificate of Need. Following relocation to the Blue Ridge Mountain in 2017, he formed Peak Management Institute, LLC to provide organizational development consulting and assistance primarily to non-profit organizations. He remains associated with SDI as its founder and senior principal.

He is a published author and speaker on a variety of topics ranging from inventory control to nurse staffing to experiential education. Also, Tolbert is a Life Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), which is the highest designation in his field and is held by less than 9,200 persons worldwide.

He is very active in community service and has served as chair or president of the boards of the following organizations: The Greenwood County Community Foundation, Greenwood Area Chamber of Commerce, The Greenwood County Economic Alliance, the Partnership for a Greater Greenwood County, the Kiwanis Club of Greenwood, The Arts Council of Greenwood County, and the Greenwood Community Theatre. Because of his efforts in economic and community development, he was selected by the Governor of South Carolina as one of the State’s Economic Ambassadors for 1999. In January 2007, he became the 40th inductee into the Greenwood County Hall of Fame (est. 1979) for his work in economic and cultural development and overall service to the community.

He is married to the former Margo Watson of Claude, Texas and has three adult children -- Luke, Jonathan, and Allison -- and four grandchildren.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Plan
  • Management & Operations
  • Marketing

Industry Experience

  • Professional Services
  • Wellness, Healthcare, & Home Health

Sam Tolbert

Communication Methods

  • Email
  • In Person
  • Phone
  • Video