Palmetto Place Board of Directors adds to the leadership team with six new members


Palmetto Place Board of Directors adds to the leadership team with six new members

The Palmetto Place Children & Youth Services Board of Directors has a new president, vice-president and six new Midlands leaders.

Columbia, S.C. – Palmetto Place Children & Youth Services, a shelter, program and services facility for pregnant and parenting teens as well as foster care and youth in transition, is adding several Midlands business and civic-focused leaders to its Board of Directors.

New members include:

• Charnita Mack – Rhodes Branding
• Julia Beaty – Carolina Family Engagement Center
• Ram’on Wideman – Anointed Business Solutions, LLC
• Haylee Mercado – University of South Carolina
• Dawn Dukes – Patterson Fan Company
• Lisa Mathew – BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

In addition, the board voted to elect Shawn Skillman as board president and Lisa Campbell, Dominion Energy, to serve as vice-president. Allyson DeHart Henderson, The Hobbs Group, returns as treasurer and Heather Johnson, BlueChoice HealthPlan, continues as secretary. Past president Katie Moydell, Colonial Life, will serve in an advisory role.

“One of the strongest assets of Palmetto Place is the passion of our Board of Directors,” says Jill McHugh, executive director. “They offer oversight, critical thinking and strategic vision, but also heart, compassion and resolve for the issues facing our youth. The existing board members have cooked meals, taught classes and helped to secure jobs for our residents. They have donated suits, furniture and cars – yes, even cars. These new members will add fresh ideas and amplify awareness in their communities about our mission. I am confident that this group of leaders is going to be part of the positive for many of our residents.”

The volunteer governing Board of Directors of Palmetto Place consists of up to 16 members from the community and four appointees from the Junior Woman’s Club of Columbia (JWC). The members serve three-year terms while the JWC appointees serve one-year terms based on their JWC office.

In 2020, Palmetto Place provided housing and wraparound services to 62 homeless youth ages 16-20. It also received international accreditation by Council on Accreditation.

The organization offers a unique twist on its annual Sweet and Savory event Monday, April 19, at 701 Whaley. Ten chefs will compete for top honors and guests can attend in-person or virtually. To learn about tickets, scheduling or sponsorship opportunities, visit

About Palmetto Place
Since April of 1977, Palmetto Place has been a home for children and teens who are experiencing crisis. We provide a safe, loving environment where children and youth who have been abused or neglected can heal from the wounds of their trauma. We prepare teens to live independently and help them reach self-sufficiency. In 2016, we expanded our shelter from one house with 20 beds to two houses with more than 50 beds and expanded again in 2019 with a Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program. Here, the state’s most vulnerable children and teens are home.

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