Home2024 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

Former Supreme Court Justice Kaye Hearn

Justice Kaye Hearn retired from the bench in 2023, the longest serving member of the South Carolina state court judiciary. Her judicial career, which spanned 37 years, included 13 years on the South Carolina Supreme Court, 15 years on the South Carolina Court of Appeals, and nine years on the family court bench. She was the second woman to sit on this state’s highest court and the only former law clerk to return to the court as a justice.  During her 15 years on the Court of Appeals, she was the chief judge for 10 years and also served as president of the National Association of Chief Judges.  While a family court judge, she served as president of the Family Court Judges’ Association. She now practices law with the Wyche Firm in Greenville and Columbia, concentrating on litigation and appellate matters.  

Justice Hearn graduated cum laude from Bethany College and cum laude from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She clerked for Justice J.B. “Bubba” Ness on the South Carolina Supreme Court before moving to Horry County. She was a trial lawyer with the firm of Stevens, Stevens, Thomas, Hearn & Hearn from 1979 until her election to the family court bench. During her years of practice, she was a member of the South Carolina Board of Bar Examiners. After going on the appellate bench, Justice Hearn earned an L.L.M. From the University of Virginia School of Law.  

Justice Hearn has been the recipient of numerous honors, including four honorary degrees, a portrait from the South Carolina Association for Justice, the Jean Galloway Bissell Award from the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, and the American Board of Trial Advocates Jurist of the Year Award. She is married to Conway attorney George Hearn, and they have one daughter, Kathleen Hearn, who is also a Conway attorney. Justice Hearn enjoys singing in her church choir, community theater, and cooking.  

Leadership Legacy Honoree

To be announced July 17, 2024

Rising Star Honoree

Nominations July 24 – August 16, 2024

To be announced August 28, 2024