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Powell retires after 32 years of service


By JAKe McElveen


Deputy Executive Director Kathy Elliott Powell has retired after serving the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Government for 32 years. A beloved member of the community, Powell now reflects on her time with Santee-Lynches as she enters retirement.


Powell grew up in Rimini,  and recently moved back there. She is married and has a daughter, Starr, as well as two stepdaughters, April and Andrea. She went to high school at Clarendon Hall. She began her job at Santee-Lynches in 1986 as the Director of Finance. Over the years, Powell would be promoted to Deputy Executive Director. She initially came into the job with very little experience in the financial field. 

“It was truly on-the-job training,” said Powell. “I went in with no major financial background, but I had worked for Jim Darby for a small company in Manning. I had no intention of entering the financial field, but I had learned about bookkeeping with Jim, and then worked with him again at Santee-Lynches.” 

Powell would find a life-long career at Santee-Lynches doing everything she could to help from the beginning. In her time there, she experienced some of her proudest moments, and helped shape the financial department. 

“When I went to Santee-Lynches in 1987, they were literally dead broke,” said Powell. “Being able to go in with Jim Darby and turn that agency around is one of the things I’m most proud of.” She is also very grateful for all of the knowledge she received, and the ability to share it with those on the same path as hers. “It’s an honor,” she said. 

However, Santee-Lynches wasn’t all work and no play. According to Powell, there were some troublemakers. “There were a lot of funny moments,” Powell laughed, “There were a few boys who worked for us that were forever getting in some kind of trouble, and watching other people react and correct them was hilarious.” All in all, Powell says that working with Santee-Lynches was an “absolute privilege”, and she couldn’t be more proud with how everything worked out.

So now that the goodbyes are said and she has her future in front of her, what will Powell do? 

“I’m really excited to be able to spend more time with my family. With the girls and their family, with my mother.” When asked about any trips she had coming up she said that she was on one right now. “I’m headed to the beach right this moment. My mother and I have a trip planned for Israel in the near future.”


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