Sign-Up for Weekly

Sign-up for Fig Datebook and receive weekly content that includes new blogs and features, local events, and happenings in Columbia delivered directly to your inbox.

To subscribe to Fig Columbia in print, please click here.

Get the Print Magazine

Get your own fresh Fig Columbia delivered to your doorstep 4x a year. Be inspired by the latest trends, happenings and thoughts about a Columbia lifestyle.

Sign Up

Suggest an Event

The online Fig calendar is a curated list of community and advertiser events happening in Columbia.

  • Contact Us

  • Search

    Authentic: Daniel Rickenmann

    As the son of Swiss immigrants, Daniel Rickenmann was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In ‘87, he found himself at the University of South Carolina to attend the only program in the Southeast for students with dyslexia. He fell in love with the Capital City and decided he never wanted to leave. “The people make up Columbia,” Daniel says. “We are a creative community and that’s what drives people here. We’re an incredible city with so much to offer,” he continues. 


    A former small business person himself, his passion for voicing concerns on behalf of the community eventually landed him in a multitude of public service roles. As the 71st Mayor of the City of Columbia, Daniel’s passion for the city is self-evident, and so is his passion for young people. While Columbia rekindles opportunities for young adults to remain here rather than move away, Rickenmann knows how crucial it is to feel at home. “It’s important to foster a sense of community where people can raise families, launch businesses, and preserve that local vibe. Columbia is continually improving the environment for residents to thrive and grow,” he says.


    A family man, Daniel and his wife raised their two daughters here. Daniel’s dream is for his daughters to come back to the Midlands to grow their own families. “Columbia is getting back to opportunities. While it’s an asset to be conveniently located just a few hours from the mountains and the ocean, that isn’t all we have to offer,” he says. Rickenmann is passionate about Columbia’s unique identity as more than just a university town­—the capital city of South Carolina, a land of winding rivers, and of distinct personality.


    Hitting the ground running while in office, Rickenmann dives into a few upcoming initiatives. “We’ve teamed up with a marketing team to help us market Columbia. We’re coming up with a comprehensive solution to homelessness, and we’re continuing to invest in keeping talent in Columbia,” he says. With the public’s concern for environmental health becoming increasingly important, Daniel’s background and passion for a healthy planet is rooted in his experience as former CEO of W2E, a waste-to-energy facility. “One thing I’m very proud of is that we are the only city in South Carolina to be Gold LEED Certified,” he says. A rigorous certification process designed to help buildings, communities, and cities thrive in key areas of human and environmental health, this prestigious distinction ensures that Columbia is actively implementing solutions that aim to improve sustainability and the standard of living.


    So, where might you find the Mayor on an ideal spring day in Columbia? He’ll tell you. “I could be walking through Soda City, talking with the locals, and learning about our communities. I’d fill up on delicious food, then head off to a baseball game, or even walk along the river,” he says. For Daniel, it’s all about immersing yourself in the place you call home. He reminds us, “Visit where people eat and where they live. Absorb yourself in the atmosphere.”