Order of the Palmetto

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster awarded Greenville businesswoman Velda Hughes the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor, during a surprise presentation Dec. 15 at the TD SYNNEX Share the Magic event in Greenville.

Hughes, the owner and CEO of the Hughes Agency, a public relations firm, was recognized for her accomplishments spanning South Carolina’s business and non-profit sectors, and her passion for children and families, diversity, and the underserved.


Recently, Hughes has raised nearly $20 million in private dollars to help build the 60-acre Unity Park in downtown Greenville.

She helped Clemson University launch its Men of Color National Summit, an annual event that illuminates pathways to higher education for African American and Latino high school young men, and she has helped drive its continued success. Hughes is also a champion for the YMCA of Greenville, helping to ensure the organization has the resources it needs to serve families and individuals across Greenville County.


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