About Us

Henry and Emily Clay

Publishers and Founders

With the dust still on their boots from farm life in Georgia, Emily and Henry moved to Columbia in March 1990 to launch Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. Working with their partners at Augusta Magazine, they premiered the first issue in June of the same year. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Henry graduated from Washington & Lee University. He met Emily in Virginia while she received her BA in English from Hollins University. They have three daughters, Margaret, Mary and Helen, who have all taken turns in working for Columbia Metropolitan.





Shawn Coward

Director of Advertising 

In the summer of 1995, Shawn Coward decided to leave her world of acting (Alan Alda was her boss at one point!) and try her hand in business. Savvy in style and with a genteel demeanor, Shawn Coward has added great depth in the advertising sales for Columbia Metropolitan. She loves her advertisers and the support they have given the magazine over the years. She was born and raised in Columbia and graduated from Boston University. She has two children, Gabrielle who will attend Erskine in the fall, and Kyle a passionate wrestler. 




Dennis Craighead

Editorial and Advertising Art Director

Dennis added another male presence when he joined the Columbia Metropolitan team in 2002. Henry was most grateful! Dennis studied at Ringling School of Art & Design and has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from U.S.C. He implemented great flair to the editorial design for Columbia Metropolitan, and more recently, took over ad production. His company, Dennis Craighead Design, has a long history of designing business-to-business communications and print publications. He is married to Amy Craighead, and their son, Max, is a Clemson Tiger!




Margaret Clay

Editor / Associate Publisher

Margaret Clay is the daughter of Emily and Henry Clay and has grown up in Columbia and with Columbia MetropolitanMagazine. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a major in English and a minor in Spanish and also worked for two years in Colorado Springs for a division of Random House. She enjoys being in the outdoors with her dog, Brontë, reading, dark chocolate and playing tennis.







Nancy Lambert

Advertising Production Manager

In December 2010, Nancy came on board in our advertising production department. Nancy manages the collection and design coordination that keeps our production schedule flowing smoothly. Nancy received her degree in elementary education from U.S.C.  She is married to Lanny Lambert, and they have three children. Grayson, their oldest son, is a lawyer and is married to Mary Beth Lambert. Bryant, their middle son, works for an advertising agency, and Caroline, their daughter, recently graduated from Furman University.





Sandra Zimmerman

Accounting Manager

With a long, established career in banking, we were delighted when Sandra joined our Columbia Metropolitan family in June of 2012 to oversee our accounting department. Sandra keeps the numbers flowing with great ease, and to date, we've not been able to stump or fluster her with our accounts receivables. She spent many years working for Bank of America, beginning with its predessor C & S Bank. Meeting her sweetheart at C&S, Sandra was married to the late Neil Zimmerman, and she has two grown children, Lindsay and Lee. Lindsay is a vet's assistant in Columbia, and Lee does franchise sales development in Atlanta.





Kirstie Boone

Editorial / Publishing Associate 

Originally from Saluda, South Carolina, Kirstie moved to Columbia in 2012 to attend the University of South Carolina. She quickly fell in love with the city of Columbia and began interning for Columbia Metropolitan in September 2015. After graduating from USC magna cum laude with a degree in advertising from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, she came on full-time at the magazine in May 2016. Kirstie enjoys fashion, decorating, spending time with her family and learning to cook.  





Abigail Thielke

Public Relations / Editorial Associate

Born and raised in Augusta, Ga., Abigail moved to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina in August of 2010. Throughout college Abigail loved learning everything she could about public relations, English writing and the correct use of AP style. She came on board as an intern in late November of 2013 until she joined the team full-time in May 2014 as public relations and editorial associate. Abigail is engaged to her wonderful fiancé, Alex, and is planning to marry in December 2016. She enjoys tearing pages out of fashion magazines, cooking elaborate meals, traveling and playing with her toy poodle Sophie and Bengal kitten Miller. 





Jeff Amberg


Jeff began his career as a photojournalist in 1980, which is the foundation and look of the work he currently pursues. Since 1990, his ability to anticipate and capture his subjects in candid moments brings sparkle to his images in editorial, corporate and advertising assignments. In addition to his excellent portrayal of people in the workplace and the details associated with it, he appreciates the culinary arts and truly enjoys the challenges of food photography that make the presentation both beautiful and appetizing. What makes Jeff’s photographs stand-out are how he sees and uses light, composition and his ability to easily connect with the folks he works with. 






Robert Clark


Robert Clark’s photography has appeared in National Geographic books, Newsweek, Smithsonian and photographic awards annuals such as Print and Communication Arts. Robert’s specialties include architectural/interior photography, editorial, advertising and fine art photography. Robert has photographed six coffee-table books on South Carolina with the latest book — Reflections of South Carolina: Volume Two, being released in June 2014. Robert enjoys gardening, bird watching and cooking.