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Commissioner, Newberry County Joint Planning Commission; Project Manager/Subject Matter Expert, SC Department of Health and Human Services, Co-Chair, Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) for City of Columbia
I am passionate about fostering a culture of walking, biking, and active living in Newberry. I have been active in efforts to partner with the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority to restore commuter bus services between Newberry and Columbia, and I shared the concept of Open Streets in Columbia from my experience on its Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee with the City of Newberry Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department to encourage bringing this initiative to Newberry. I also serve on the Newberry County Joint Planning Commission. I am a Downtown resident and enjoy biking, running, playing tennis, and meeting new neighbors at Newberry's many community events.
I grew up in Lexington, SC. I am also an alumna of both USC and UNC, so I am a "Carolina girl" twice over!
My husband James and I moved here shortly after getting married in the summer of 2017 to be close to the Summer Memorial Lutheran Church community he is serving as a pastor. We have been warmly welcomed, and I have already enjoyed the events and activities Newberry has to offer by volunteering at the Opera House, taking pottery classes at the Newberry Arts Center, participating in the Newberry Young Professionals, and playing tennis at the Oakland Tennis Center.
My vision for Newberry is that when we can provide residents the opportunity to move freely without a car to reach the resources they need easily for all ages and abilities, we see a stronger, more cohesive community. It's also important to reinforce connections between places with connections between people, through open dialogue and participation across social, economic, and demographic groups so we can work together toward everyone's values and priorities.
The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to go with your gut and don't look back once you make a decision. Be humble about your accomplishments and don't take yourself too seriously. Seize the day and cherish it. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want and stretch for what you think you can't reach.
You would be surprised to know that after graduating from USC, I lived in a different "South" - I completed a Fulbright grant teaching English in South Korea. I wrote a blog during my experience - check out my tales about learning a traditional Korean instrument, traveling to UNESCO World Heritage sites, and more. travelinggrits.wordpress.com
I admire: Ruth Bader Ginsberg (now popularly known as RBG). She has received a wave of admiration from many, including myself. She has demonstrated drive and perseverance that is a model for female leaders today. Online sources suggest that my Myers-Briggs personality type matches hers (although this has not been validated by Justice Ginsberg), and I am sure a dinner table conversation with Justice Ginsberg would be an inspiring and memorable connection.