Home2022 Leading Women Dinner Honorees

The Leading Women Dinner honors women who have blazed trails in civic leadership. This year’s honorees have demonstrated in their unique ways how much can be accomplished when people work together. We hope you and others will be inspired to follow their examples and step into future leadership roles.

Leading Woman Honoree

S.C. State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman

As State Superintendent, Spearman is the highest female elected official currently in office in the state. Throughout her career as a public school music teacher, assistant principal, member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Deputy Superintendent of the South Carolina Department of Education, Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, and South Carolina State Superintendent of Education, she has worked across party lines and embodied the principles of cooperation and collaboration that SC WIL promotes.

Leadership Legacy Honorees

S.C. State Representative Rita Allison

Representative Rita Allison has served a total of 28 years in the S.C. House of Representatives and founded the General Assembly’s Women’s Caucus. She was a member of the Spartanburg District Five School Board of Trustees, ran for Lt. Governor, and served as an education advisor, and later as the Legislative Director to Governor Mark Sanford.

S.C. State Senator Mia McLeod

A trailblazing leader, Mia S. McLeod was the first woman to represent House District 79 and Senate District 22 and the first black woman ever to run for Governor of South Carolina. Senator McLeod is known for her bipartisan work in and through state government.

Up-and-Coming Honoree

Nocola Hemphill

Nocola Hemphill was the first woman and Black candidate to run for Mayor of the Town of Winnsboro. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Southern Women Philanthropy Conference working to strengthen and educate rural communities.