With a unique combination of its historic past and progressive future, Hampton County is redefining rural living. Located within driving distance of Charleston, Columbia, Hilton Head and Savannah, Hampton County has become a growing residential and business community – known for its caring county government that values and respects cultural, ethnical and economic diversities which define the region, as well as for its vibrant economy, rural quality of life and sense of community pride.
As Hampton County continues to blend rural living with a thriving economic and cultural environment, the region is poised for even more great things ahead – thanks, in great part, to a core group of women throughout Hampton County that have played key roles in all aspects of the county’s growth. With more than 32 women holding important leadership positions as elected officials and department heads throughout the county, these “movers and shakers” of Hampton County serve as leaders not only within the community, but as role models to other women throughout the state.
One of Hampton County’s most established and well-known leaders is Rose Dobson-Elliott, Hampton County Administrator. In this critical role serving as chief administrative officer of the county, Dobson-Elliott oversees daily operations of Hampton County Government and executes the policies and directives of County Council (Hampton County operates within the "Council-Administrator" form of Government, appointing a professional public administrator to be the administrative head of county government.)
“Out of all the places I have worked, I truly enjoy working for Hampton County and our people,” says Dobson-Elliott, who is an active member of the community and has served as a founding member of the Winn the Fight Foundation (a group founded to create a foundation to support cancer research), treasurer of the Community Animal Shelter of Hampton County and a past member of the Rotary International. “In a small county like this you can really see the difference that you are able to make."
Not only are the women leaders of Hampton County able to make a difference for others, but living and working in Hampton County has also helped to empower many women to enable them to grow as leaders, as well.
"I’m an African American woman who didn’t have a clue about health and wellness two and a half years ago but found opportunity and empowerment in Hampton County,” says LaToya Robinson, vice-chair of the Hampton County Planning Commission and owner of The Healthier Liz. “Today, I serve on the Planning Commission and represent other small businesses as a gym owner and wellness coach here in Hampton County."
For Hampton County native Susanne Peeples, who serves as Hampton County Emergency Management Division Director and is the President of the Hampton County Chamber of Commerce, being a woman holding a leadership position in Hampton holds even more meaning – and makes her role as a leader in Hampton County even more valuable to those who live here.
“I was born and raised in Hampton County, and working with the citizens here has given me an opportunity to give to them the comfort of knowing someone familiar is there in a crisis, to help them in any way that I can,” says Peeples, who in 2020 was named South Carolina Emergency Management Association Director of the Year (the first woman to receive the award). “I take my job personally. I care about our future and our citizens of Hampton County."
With so much recent growth – and so many more exciting things on the horizon (including a strong focus on the arts and the news that the Hampton County Arts Council has just been awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan) Hampton County is poised to continue to be a truly great place to live, work and play. In addition, with these amazing women leading the way, Hampton County is sure to not only continue its role as a leader in rural living, but is positioned to lead the county to even more accomplishments in the months and years to come.
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