On Saturday night, concerned family members called the Columbia, S.C., police department to report that Tom Sponseller, President of the South Carolina Hospitality Association, was missing.
They found it unusual that the typically-responsive Sponseller could not be reached by phone. Days later, Columbia police are still on the case. There is no word on the whereabouts of the influential hospitality industry lobbyist.
Sponseller began his career by working at fast food restaurants in his native Greenville, S.C. Today, he is regarded as the top champion and lobbyist for state's hospitality industry. He is best known for his hand in the 1992 merger that formed the South Carolina Hospitality Association, over which he now presides.
Sponseller also spearheaded a project to provide hospitality management education to high school students, and that opportunity is now available to teenagers in 74 schools across the state.
He was last seen at his offices in downtown Columbia around noon last Saturday.
Sponseller is married with three adult children. His family is waiting on a resolution to the case; meanwhile, the police remain open to information from the public. Sponseller has gray hair and hazel eyes. He is 6' 1 and weighs 160 pounds. Anyone who has seen him is encouraged to call the Columbia Police Department at (803) 545-3500.