Posted tagged ‘South Carolina’

Meet a Member: Karen Rhodes

July 24, 2018

One of the outstanding members of the Media Women of South Carolina affiliate is  Karen Rhodes. She helped organize the wonderful 2014 NFPW conference in South Carolina. She currently does a great job as the director of the MWSC professional communications contest. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member and I hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better. 

Name: Karen Brower Rhodes

City and State: Spartanburg, S.C.

Karen Rhodes

Karen Rhodes

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Media Women of South Carolina. Currently serve as treasurer and state Communications Contest director. Served on planning committee for 2014 NFPW Conference in Greenville, S.C. and named MWSC’s 2005 Communicator of Achievement.

Years a member of NFPW: 16 (since 2002)

Tell us a little about you.

As director of public relations at Sherman College of Chiropractic, I handle public relations, media relations, marketing, advertising, social media and communications for one of the nation’s 18 chiropractic colleges. It’s a fun job with quite a bit of variety. One day I might be writing feature stories or news releases, and the next day I might be designing the alumni magazine or drafting an email to prospective students. I recently joined the Office of Institutional Advancement, so I’ve learned quite a bit about fundraising, donor relations and more.

Locally, I am involved with our NFPW state affiliate, Media Women of South Carolina. I serve as vice chair of the board for Safe Homes / Rape Crisis Coalition, and I am on the board of directors of the College News Association of the Carolinas. I’m active with the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce and serve on one of its #OneSpartanburg Action Teams.

I graduated twice from Gardner-Webb University, the first time in 1998 with a B.A. majoring in communication studies with a minor in English, and the second time in 2005 with an M.B.A. and a concentration in health care management. My husband, Zach, and I have one daughter, Laney, who is 12 and keeps us entertained daily. We love to watch movies together. For fun, I take a tap class at a local dance studio.

Karen Rhodes, right, with other Media Women of South Carolina members at the 2014 conference the group hosted.

Karen Rhodes with other Media Women of South Carolina members at the 2014 conference the group hosted.

Any career advice you would give?

Always look for ways to learn. Professional development is a great way to build your skills and show your value to an organization. Even if you can’t attend many formal programs, simply having lunch with colleagues can be a great way to share ideas, learn something new and make powerful connections.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to have an inherent sense for cooking. I love to bake (I actually enjoy the precision and all the measuring), but I just don’t have the ability to put a dish together with “a little of this” or “until it tastes right.”

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I have to say, I really love Spartanburg and its energy these days. The downtown expansion, the arts and educational communities, and the dedication to making it the best possible place to live really keep me inspired here. If I had to leave, I would go all out and move to Italy.

What book are you reading?

I love a good thriller. I just finished The Secret Room by Sandra Block and I’m now reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I don’t read much nonfiction, but I have to say, the best book I read last year was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a recovering “crazy couponer” and love to chase down a good deal! I once wrote a regular couponing/money-saving column in our local newspaper. Along with two friends and partners, I co-owned Saving in Spartanburg, an organization aimed at helping shoppers save money. We taught couponing classes, maintained a blog and shared tips on budgeting. We still have an active Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SavingInSpartanburg).

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Media Women of South Carolina is a small but powerful group of women in a variety of professions with a shared passion for communications and First Amendment rights. I always learn something when we get together. They are inspiring women, and I am honored to call them colleagues and friends. NFPW provides wonderful programs, an opportunity to have your work recognized through the national Communications Contest and, most importantly, a network of women who share similar passions and professional values.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenrhodes/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayranr3/

Facebook: Karen Brower Rhodes (send me a friend request)

Varied career allows Meg Hunt to excel both as a journalist and NFPW leader

July 21, 2014

She is a great friend who always goes out of her way to do something for others. On my first trip to South Carolina, she drove many miles to Columbia to meet me and have dinner, show me the town and catch up with great conversation. This year she has put in hundreds of hours helping to organize a fabulous NFPW conference in South Carolina. She is one of the reasons this year’s conference will be outstanding. Meg and her team will show us Southern hospitality at its finest.  Read all about this unique and unbelievable woman and you will know why you don’t want to miss this year’s conference.

Name: Meg Hunt

Meg Hunt on a camel in Morocco.

Meg Hunt on a camel in Morocco.

City and State: Taylors, S.C.

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Member of NFPW for 25 years

Media Women of South Carolina (MWSC): President, Vice President, Secretary

NFPW: President (2005-2007), First Vice President, Second Vice President, Hospitality Director, and Director of Publications

Tell us a little about you:

I’m Meg Hunt, and, yes, I told my high school newspaper advisor that the last job I ever wanted was one in journalism. Thirty-four years later, I can’t imagine having lived my life doing anything else!

From the 21-year newspaper career with the New York Times Company to establishing my own company, C2 Solutions, to now also serving as special projects liaison in University Communications at the University of South Carolina Upstate, the skills and lessons learned as a journalist have made it possible and opened doors to experiences and adventures too numerous to count.

In addition to the professional elements, I’ve been blessed to use these talents in work around the globe with Teleios Ministry. Teleios is a Greek word that means “to bring to completion” or “to bridge a gap.” That’s really what Teleios is all about…we help turn God-given visions into present-day realities. Whether it’s working with nearly 300 children in a space for 30 during Vacation Bible School in Kenya, finding resources to build an orphanage and secondary school and drilling a water well in Tanzania, replacing a sewer system in Romania, or coordinating the many partners and various projects in all three countries, being able to tell the story of how lives have been changed has been more than rewarding; it’s been life changing.

 Any career advice I’d give:

Never say, “That’s not my job.” Be willing to listen; don’t think you know it all. Respect your co-workers and their experience. Be considerate of what you say and how you say it.

Which talent would I most like to have:

While I can play the piano, I’ve always wanted to play the guitar. I’m confident that enough spare time’s in my future to learn…conference planning can’t last forever, can it? J

Where else would I live?

I have been tremendously blessed to visit most of the United States and much of the world, yet I’m always content to return to my “neck of the woods.”

Books I’m reading:

Reading for me is like eating Lay’s potato chips…I can’t have just one. Currently I’m reading “The Iguana Tree” by Michel Stone (upcoming NFPW conference speaker), “Sum It Up” by legendary University of Tennessee basketball coach emeritus Pat Summitt, and “The Light in the Ruins” by Chris Bohjalian.

Meg_at_WoCo_Fball_game

Meg Hunt

What people would be surprised to learn about me:

As difficult as it may seem, I’m actually rather shy. My comfort zone is somewhat narrow when it comes my extrovert side. It doesn’t mean that I can’t “rise to the occasion” (my Mama taught me well), but given a choice, I can be just as happy in my known world.

Also, I was the first female athlete to receive an athletic scholarship at Wofford College, and the first woman inducted into the Wofford College Athletic Hall of Fame. (women’s basketball)

 Why MWSC and NFPW are important to me:

They say the friendships you make in college are the ones that last a lifetime, and I believe that’s true. However, I can honestly say that some of my most endearing friendships have come from my 25 years of involvement in MWSC and NFPW.

Certainly the professional development/networking connections have been invaluable – after all, there’s something to be said for having direct contacts across the country. But for me, it’s the sincere willingness of fellow members to help, regardless of whether it’s a professional question or the “I’m in town, would you like to get together?” or even “I’m stranded at the airport, can I trouble you for a lift or a place to stay?” kinds of questions.

Beyond those tangibles, being a member of MWSC and NFPW has surrounded me with peers and dear friends who truly understand the communications realm in which we’ve chosen to devote ourselves to and the trials and tribulations that come with the job, as well as the joys and rewards that can only be appreciated and understood by those who’ve experienced this crazy world of deadlines, breaking news, technology advancements, presses and printers, the people’s right to know, and trying to maintain a code of ethics and integrity in an environment that has seen adherence to those traits dwindle.

Despite the attitude of many today toward joining organizations, being a member of NFPW reinforces my belief in the need we all have to belong; to be able to connect because of shared experiences without necessarily having to always explain the in’s and out’s of the business.

Inasmuch as I can’t imagine my life not having been a journalist, likewise, I can’t imagine my life had I not been a member of NFPW and MWSC.

Ways to follow me:

While I can appreciate all the ways to “stay in touch” today, I’m not really one to be too connected. You can reach me through e-mail, Facebook, and, yes, I will even answer an old-fashioned phone call!