top of page

Letter from incoming Chairman, John Hildreth

In addition to Hildreth, Preservation SC welcomes four board members

Letter from incoming Chairman, John Hildreth

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On behalf of Preservation South Carolina, I hope this letter finds you and your family well. It is with much enthusiasm that I write to you as the newly elected board chairman of Preservation South Carolina.

I’m excited and honored to take my place in a line of dedicated people that have built this organization.

We have a dynamic board and staff, several impactful projects that are coming to fruition, and great new opportunities ahead of us. Our mission to raise awareness and save historic sites that help to tell the full story of our state, is as important today as it’s ever been.

On behalf of our board and staff, I am honored to be a part of this organization.

With deep appreciation,

John Hildreth
Chairman of the Board
Timika Wilson of Union, is a retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army, where she was a project manager with the Corps of Engineers and a local activist and preservationist. Timika is a founder of the Union County Community Remembrance Project, which among other activities, marks sites of historical racial violence as part of building contemporary social cohesion. Timika is a former member of the SC African American Heritage Commission and currently serves on the board of United Way of the Piedmont. Timika will soon begin working for the WeGOJA Foundation as administrator of a major grant from the Mellon Foundation to prepare an online Preservation Toolkit.

Cecil Williams of Orangeburg, is an artist, photographer, and inventor, and is widely known as the most important visual chronicler of the civil rights movement in South Carolina. Cecil documented key events including the desegregation of Clemson University, the Orangeburg Massacre, and the Charleston Hospital Strike. In 2019, Cecil opened the Palmetto State’s first and only civil rights museum, which bears his name, and contains a vast collection of photographs and other artifacts commemorating the entirety of the movement in the state. Cecil is director of Historic Preservation at Claflin University, where he oversees one of the largest digital film transformation projects in the southeast. In May, Cecil received an honorary doctorate from Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas.

John Blythe of Abbeville, spent seven years as planner for the Upper Savannah Council of Governments in Greenwood, with a primary emphasis on historic preservation. As Cultural Resources Director for the Savannah Valley Authority, John championed the National Main Street Program of downtown revitalization in a 13-county region. In the 1990s, John was involved with the Confederation of South Carolina Local Historical Societies where he served on the executive council, and later as president. More recently, as an independent consultant, John worked on historical research and documentation. John is not new to Preservation SC. He served on the steering committee that led to the creation of our organization in 1990. In that same year, he served as our first secretary.

Shelby Henderson of Seneca, was the founding director of the Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum, which focuses on African American history in Oconee County, and has supervised a much larger remit as director of the City of Seneca's Department of Arts, History, and Culture since the department was created in 2021. Shelby is a former member of the SC African American Heritage Commission, which she served as secretary and then chairperson. Working with two other partner organizations, Shelby was recently awarded a $3.4 million grant by the Mellon Foundation for the development of a Black History Trail in Seneca and Clemson.

Please join us in welcoming Timika, Cecil, John, and Shelby to the board of Preservation SC!

bottom of page