Melvin Bannister joined the Downtown Optimist Club of Columbia, SC in November 1978. He then served as Governor of South Carolina District, 87-88, 99-00, 12-13 (Distinguished). He also served as Optimist International Vice President 2009-10. Melvin was a candidate for President-Elect of Optimist International in 2014. Melvin graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1972 and then went on to graduate from the University of South Carolina Law School in May 1975. Melvin has been a trial lawyer since November 1975 and was then admitted to all State Courts, Federal District (SC) Court, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the US Supreme Court bar in 2007. Melvin has a brilliant and beautiful 11 year old granddaughter that he loves spending his time with.