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#NEWberry: Newberry Empowering Women Mar-Apr 2019

Newberry Downtown Development Association (NDDA) celebrates Newberry’s abundance of successful women leaders: Newberry Empowers Women. Join us as we highlight these amazing ladies who make a difference in our community! 

Vanessa Jackson

​Downtown Newberry

As a teen going into college, I could not wait to leave Newberry and explore a larger city. While gone, I realized I missed the familiarnesss and friendly faces of our little town. So, I came home and have stayed in Newberry ever since. There’s no where else I’d rather be in the world. Newberry is my home. It is where my friends and family are. Everything I need is right here in our beautiful sleepy town. My husband and I look

forward to watching our two young sons grow up in Newberry.

My vision for Newberry is a Downtown Newberry full of life with a bustling Main Street. Store owners that work together to ensure each shop carries a variety of unique items that fits their store's personality. And patrons that choose to shop locally rather traveling to larger cities or corporate stores to shop.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to slow down! Enjoy what you have right now in this moment. Don’t rush! Don’t think you are blooming faster or slower than you should be. God has a plan for you and it will all be in his time, not yours.

I admire moms! Those that work full time at their job and go home to their second job of cooking, cleaning, laundry and raising your little ones. As well as those moms that work oh so hard 24/7 at home maintaining a house and raising their children. Mamas Rock!

Buffy Glover

Certified Financial Planner, Henry Summer and Company, Inc.,

FASTTRAC participant, 2008

Downtown Newberry

Henry B. Summer & Company began in 1954 when my grandfather, C. Walter Summer, started preparing tax returns for people in the area.  My dad, Henry, took over the company in 1973 when his father passed away, and I started there in 2004. ​

Newberry has always been my home.  I never went far. I lived briefly in Columbia while I was in college and then right after.  I never even changed my dentist from Dr. Williams. ​I chose Newberry for the same reason many people chose to live anywhere – it’s the place that afforded me the best job opportunity.  I have about the best job I could imagine. I can have an impact on people’s lives. And I get Fridays off when it’s not tax season. My vision for Newberry is that I would love to see Newberry become strong enough economically so that people who grow up here, people who graduate from college here don’t have to move away or commute to find their dream job.  That Newberry has the economic strength to support new businesses and more jobs. The advice I would give my 20-year old self is  --I don’t know if I would have listened, to be honest.  I’ve had wonderful parents and mentors through my whole life, people who pulled for me, who were on my team.  I think my life was steeped with good advice and advocates. If there were one thing, though, it might be to remember that amazing experiences can be rare, so enjoy them. Seek them out and enjoy them. That, and floss. I admire the women that have come before. The women who fought the good fight. Who made it possible for me to have no idea how lucky and blessed my life is, that so many choices are open to me.  Thank you.

Harriet Rucker

Councilwoman District 5,

I am honored to represent District Five on Newberry County Council. Our seven member council and county administrator work diligently to provide sound government for our citizens making sure that tax dollars are spent wisely. I am happy to hear from our citizens with any input they would like to share with me. I was born in Union, SC, however, being the daughter of a United Methodist minister, moved about the state every four or five years. My father was assigned to Epting UMC in 1962 and I met my husband, John, a Newberrian. In 1971, we returned to Newberry where he practiced law and I taught in the Newberry County Public Schools, later working in district administration. Our sons graduated from our local public schools.

My vision for Newberry isto to create a progressive community that provides opportunities for all our citizens to lead happy, productive lives.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to overcome reluctance to try new adventures.

You would be surprised to know that I was a leading scorer on my high school basketball team and lettered five years.

Barbara Chapman

​Downtown Newberry

I was born and raised in Newberry, SC.

My vision for Newberry isto build a skating rink business. A fun and safe place to gather with friends and families. Roller skating rinks are popular among teenagers who are looking for a more entertaining option than being dropped off at the mall for a few hours with friends. Over the last few years skating rinks have recaptured the hearts of adults and children, offering a safe and entertaining environment for everyone. Newberry County would prosper in this business.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to first give myself a “vision statement” regarding life choices. Success can be obtained, but not all at once. Work hard to be successful with a plan to give you directions of where you want to go. 

However, be flexible because the path you plan for your life may change.  To reach my purpose in life I would tell myself to be prepared to try many different things and don’t feel like it’s a waste of time.​

I admire Jane Addmas and Marian Wright Edelman.

Linda Renwick Owner, Linda Renwick Realty

​Downtown Newberry

I was born and raised just over the river and through the woods in Saluda.​I really didn’t make a choice for Newberry, in a way it chose me. I say that because it was always my husband’s intent to return home after college. I always knew that is where we would be going to live as soon as education was completed and desirable employment became available.

My vision for NewberryCounty would include a steady and continuing growth throughout the county. I hope for a diversification of employment opportunities that would attract people who would bring us additional talented and gifted people. Additionally I also hope we could maintain our small town friendly atmosphere while embracing new and exciting change to reflect progress.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is don’t set your sights on one goal or one career. Be open to every opportunity that comes your way. Always be willing to adapt and to work harder and longer than anyone else. Your job will change. Your life will change. Your world will change. Your ethics won’t.

You would be surprised to know that I am a big Red Sox fan! I caught the fever on a trip to Boston.

Kayla Sansom

​Downtown Newberry

My vision for Newberry is for it to continue on its path in becoming a culturally rich community that offers its residents and visitors a vibrant environment that delights in fellowship, food, spirits, sports, and entertainment with a deep appreciation of artisan cottage industries!

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to to OWN your mistakes, FORGIVE yourself and LEARN from them! You would be surprised to knowthat I am an devoted kayaker!

Rebekah Clevenger

FASTTRAC participant, 2008

Downtown Newberry

I was born in Laurens, and shortly after we moved to Florida. My younger years I grew up in the Florida Keys, so I've always been a mermaid at heart growing up in the islands. I moved here with my family because my siblings live close by. I've been here quite a while now, going on 16 years! I've loved each unique part of Newberry county I've been involved in, and I'm excited to see our new hometown takes the lead in showing other SC cities how to Love all the Earth and all people on it!

My vision for Newberry isfor our town to really come alive and begin caring for the world around us. I think we are finally coming together to stack hands in making our city beautiful, which is so exciting! I can't wait to see that extend to caring for the environment in Newberry and even just pursuing little things like recycling and composting. You'd be so suprised how much those things help! I also want to see that love extending to people outside of our country, where many of our products are imported. That's what I love about our business is seeing faces of people that matter just as much as you and I, and using small purchases we would normally make, really matter and help people! I try my hardest to make everything I buy really count somehow as best as I can.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self isjust always believe the best in people. That if people have an understanding of a need, humans are inherently good, and want to care and help. When I began researching some of these big problems in the world like modern slavery and the overuse of plastic, I was overwhelmed, and felt like no one cared, no one would listen, and no one wanted to help. But, when you believe in the best part of a person, it can call out and inspire people to use that part of themselves, even when they forgot it was there. There IS good in everyone! high.

Shannon Smith

Finance Director, City of Newberry

I am from Pomaria, South Carolina. I chose Newberry because it’s home.  I graduated from Newberry College in 1997 and have always felt close to Newberry.​

My vision for Newberry The City of Newberry recently implemented a prepay system where utility customers can prepay for their utilities.  This helps them to better manage their

money since they can pay when they want instead of having a due date.  This system also allows the customer to see their utility usage online, and, therefore, manage their usage better by cutting down on energy consumption.  My vision is for this prepay system to help citizens become more financially responsible.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to invest in your retirement early.  If you are able, put money in a Deferred Compensation plan-the earlier the better. And don’t sweat the small stuff!

You would be surprised to know that my family and I still butcher hogs every January.  The comradery that this brings to my extended family is irreplaceable, and I enjoy it very much.

Tami Folk

​Downtown Newberry

was born and raised in Newberry so the people of Newberry are like family to me.   I purchased Pet Styles On Main 10 years ago after being a stay at home Mom. I've always loved dogs and this business has brought me more joy than I could have ever thought.  The best feeling is when I get a rescue dog in the shop, they are scared and lonely and sometimes sick, we get them back to health and place them with great homes. I look forward to many more years of taking care of the furbabies of Newberry.​

My vision for Newberry I think Newberry has done a wonderful job with tourism with the Opera House and the many festivals we host. There  are a lot of new people moving to the area and I would like to see something for the children of Newberry. When I was growing up we had the movie theater, skating rink, public pool, a mini golf course and arcades...Except for sports (which we have wonderful programs for that) there is not really a lot for children to do and not all children are interested in sports....And of course being who I am, I'd love to see a dog park.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to set your goals high, but make them flexible because what is important to you now will change through the years.   Life is going to knock you down and you're going to make mistakes...pick yourself up, forgive yourself and keep moving forward and  always God and family first

You would be surprised to know that without my husband I would not have the businesses I have today.   He encourages and supports me through everything I do or want to do. He is my rock. 

Rhonda Fulmer

​Downtown Newberry

My vision for Newberry isto see positive growth downtown. I would love to see the people of Newberry County support the downtown area more.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is don’t stress the small stuff and don’t be so hard on yourself. Be you! We put too much emphasis on stuff!

I admire Mother Teresa. I read her biography in middle school and continued to follow her works through my adult life. Her way and her mindset – the way she saw the world was so Christ-like.  She changed the way I wanted to see people.

Catherine Johnson,

​Director, Lifebridge,

Downtown Newberry

Please share with us if you know a woman who is empowering Newberry.  We would love to add her to our growing list. Email us at:

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