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The Honorable Daniel J. Rickenmann


Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.

Daniel Rickenmann is the 71st Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. He is an innovative entrepreneur and a dedicated public servant with a passion for improving the quality of
life for all in the Palmetto State’s Capital City.
Since becoming Mayor in 2022, Rickenmann has worked tirelessly to expand housing options, increase community cleanliness and pride, and improve the City’s customer
service operations. Rickenmann has prioritized public safety, implementing new programs to reduce crime and improve emergency response times. He strongly
advocates for the city’s parks and green spaces, creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation and promoting environmental sustainability – especially on the city’s
riverfront. Under his leadership, Columbia has continued to experience economic growth, with new businesses opening and job opportunities expanding.
Rickenmann’s political career began in 2002 when he was elected to the Columbia City Council. During his 14-year tenure on the council, he was a vocal advocate for fiscal responsibility, public safety, and infrastructure improvements. He was crucial in revitalizing downtown Columbia, promoting affordable housing, and supporting local small businesses.
As Mayor, Rickenmann represents the City of Columbia as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he serves as Chair of the Energy Committee and participates as a member of the Public-Private Partnerships Task Force. He is also a member of the Climate Mayors network, the Smart Surfaces Coalition, and the Mayor’s Alliance to End Childhood Hunger.
Rickenmann ranked number two in the Post and Courier Power List 2023, was named one of Columbia’s 50 Most Influential 2023 by Columbia Business Monthly, and was selected for The State Newspapers top 20 under 40. Fortune Magazine named him one of six Green Leaders in a red state, and he was and-picked by the American Swiss Foundation to attend the Young Leaders Conference in Zurich, Switzerland. He was also chosen twice by the American Council of Young Political Leaders for exchange programs in Egypt and China. As Mayor, he was selected to participate in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in 2022 alongside 40 other mayors from across the globe.
Outside of politics, Rickenmann’s entrepreneurial successes in the restaurant industry, renewable energy development, and spirit production familiarized him with Columbia’s challenges. Shortly after graduating college, he opened his first restaurant in the city – Birds on a Wire. Then, in 2009, he founded a renewable energy company focused on creative solutions for powering local communities. Now, Rickenmann is making a splash in the spirits industry, co-founding Forbidden Bourbon, a Kentucky-based company with the first female master distiller.

Raised in Spartanburg, Rickenmann is a first-generation American citizen raised by a single mother. He moved to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1992. Rickenmann is focused on making Columbia a place his fellow citizens and family proudly call home. He is married to Laura Rickenmann, a local pediatrician. Together, they have two daughters, Carlyle and Ellie, and two dogs, Lulu and Quila.

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