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I admire my mother and father. Mom was always a pillar of strength and exuberance in our house and Dad was the light and joy. Mom is strong-willed and a powerful career-woman. She taught us to stand up for what we believe in and expected nothing less than our best in anything and everything. She taught us how to present ourselves and how to take action. Dad taught us kindness and respect for those around us, even when we didn’t agree. He taught us how to take pleasure in the simple and be in awe of creation by God or man. My parents gave me a great childhood and continue to lead and teach our family every day about what it means to be action-seekers and salt and light.

Mary Alex Kopp

Tourism and Events Manager, City of Newberry

My vision for Newberry is for the town to continue to grow and flourish as a thriving community for all her citizens. Newberry is brimming with potential. Some industries and small businesses have taken advantage of Newberry’s prime location between the mountains and the beach, and short drive to the state’s capital. Now our local community and arts culture is rising to the occasion, working to foster the “City of Friendly Folks” to be a lively hub of tourism while maintaining our “small-town-charm.”​

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is don’t fear that you can’t do it. The only way work effectively is to learn how to do it! In college I fretted over what my career path would be because I was afraid I wouldn’t be adequate or that I lacked the knowledge to effectively hold a position. Over the last ten years I’ve had to learn to leave that fear behind so I could learn the tricks and tools of my trade. I’ve had to become comfortable with the fact that I won’t always know every answer and I now relish in the excitement to educate myself when new challenges arise.

You would be surprised to know that I’m from Newberry! I grew up in our local public school system and am a graduate of Newberry High. I participated in the high school marching band and played clarinet, played high school soccer (with more heart than skill), was a part of our local Young Life program, genuinely loved most of my classes, and sang in church choir (and still do). I was your average reluctant Newberry adolescent, however when I went to college I was amazed at how well Newberry had prepared me for higher education and the world outside of our town. I never expected to return home, but I’m so glad home called me back! Newberry continues to surprise me each day with all she has to offer.