One of South Carolina’s most influential lobbyists has gone missing.

Tom Sponseller, 61, has served for the past two decades as president and CEO of the S.C. Hospitality Association – which represents leaders of the state’s tourism industry. While we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with Sponseller on matters of policy, we’ve found him to be an honest broker as well as one of the few genuinely likeable people at the S.C. State House.

A graduate of The Citadel and retired Air Force officer, Sponseller was last seen working at his downtown Columbia, S.C. office around noon on Saturday. According to his family, he has failed to return their phone calls – which they say is highly unusual for him.

Sponseller’s car was discovered by police near his office on Lady Street (two blocks away from the State House). His wallet and cell phone have not been found.

Sponseller’s family has set up a Facebook page that includes the following poster …

(Click to enlarge)

As the poster indicates, anyone with information regarding Sponseller’s whereabouts is urged to contact Midlands Crime Stoppers at (888) CRIME-SC or the Columbia Police Department at (803) 545-3500.

Anonymous tips can also be emailed to Crimestoppers’ official website, or you can text “TIPSC” to “CRIMES” (274637) with any information you may have regarding Sponseller or any other missing persons case.

Obviously we’re keeping Tom and his family in our thoughts and prayers …