Category Archives: In the news 1

Envision Williamston awarded $10,000 State Farm Grant

Local State Farm agent, Cristina Ortiz, Williamston has a long history of demonstrating what it means to be a Good Neighbor by stepping up to help her community. On Friday, June 3, Ortiz presented Envision Williamston with a $10,000 grant from State Farm as part of their Outstanding Community Engagement Program.
Envision Williamston was selected by Ortiz to receive the grant as part of State Farm’s recognition of her for being 1 of 100 agents nationwide who were nominated and selected for their outstanding community engagement.

Roberta Hamby to serve as Envision Williamston Executive Director

Roberta Barrs Hamby has recently agreed to serve as Envision Williamston’s new part time Executive Director.
Envision Williamston has seen some substantial changes in the past few years. With Covid bringing everything, everywhere to a standstill, the program also stalled.
Then with the budget for the program being cut in half, the position of Executive Director was eliminated and made the future of the program very uncertain.
Roberta Hamby, who was the Vice Chair of the Envision Williamston Board of Directors, stepped up and volunteered to make sure the program could continue.
Roberta has been with the program since it began in 2014 as the Main Street program. She has been quoted several times as saying that she believes in the program and all the benefits that it offers the Town of Williamston.
Roberta volunteered countless hours to the program to ensure that it would survive.
She spearheaded the largest undertaking that Envision Williamston has ever attempted with the Williamston’s Winter Wonderland Event in November. The event was a huge success and the Board met and decided that they wanted to ask Hamby if she would consider staying on, as a paid Part Time Executive Director.
Roberta and her husband Mike moved to the Williamston area in 1994 to get their two daughters in the award-winning District one schools. Roberta, who has been a Realtor since 1992, opened her own real estate company, Palmetto Properties Real Estate, Inc. in Williamston in 2002. Roberta agreed to accept the Executive Director position with the understanding that it will only be part time because she will continue her real estate career full time.
On December 1, Hamby resigned her position as Vice Chair on the Envision Williamston Board of Directors and stepped into the role as Executive Director for Envision Williamston.
“I love this town and the people here and I look very forward to helping the town grown and be the very best that it can be,” Hamby said. “And since many people have asked what exactly is Envision Williamston, I though now would be a great time to tell you a little ab out who we are and what we do.”
What is Envision Williamston?

From the new Executive Director

I am thrilled to have been chosen as the Executive Director of Envision Williamston. I’ve been working with nonprofit organizations for the past 30 years in volunteer, board member, board executive, outreach employee, and CEO roles. I’m ever grateful for the experience I’ve gained in each aspect of this field and for the mentors I’ve had over those years. There is always more to learn and strategy to share and I believe that while we’re living we need to be learning. As a nonprofit leader, fund management is important to me and in 2014 the nonprofit organization I was leading was the recipient of the Angel Award from SC Secretary of State Mark Hammond. This is an annual award given to 10 nonprofit organizations in SC for responsible fund management. I bring that same diligence and sense of responsibility to Envision Williamston and look forward to standing alongside others to bring opportunity, vitality, and engagement to Williamston and her residents.

I was raised in rural WV and am grateful for my roots. I was taught early to work hard and learned to garden, cook, butcher, and preserve foods. I still have a passion for cooking and baking, as well as small town and locally owned business. My husband and I make an effort to support small businesses and love to see them thrive. My hope for Williamston is the same as the hope I have for my own hometown and others like it; to experience growth, prosperity, community engagement, small-town values, safety, and peace.

The challenges we currently face are like none we have experienced before but I know we can take this time to make ourselves better and stronger than ever. I look forward to the end of the pandemic and a return to events and gatherings. May we have a celebration like no one has seen when this is over!

​Lisa Cope
Executive Director, Envision Williamston
12 West Main Street
Williamston, SC 29697

Lisa Cope named Executive Director

Envision Williamston has named Lisa Cope the new Executive Director of the organization.
Cope is a resident of Liberty. She brings over thirty years of experience in working with non-profit organizations to her new role at Envision Williamston.

Heart & Home Designs and Boutique named Main Street Challenge Winners

Heart & Home Designs and Boutique recently held a ribbon cutting for their new businesses located in Williamston.
Owners are Debbie Alexander and Paula Phillips.

Alexander and Phillips have been long time friends for almost 20 years and both are residents of the Williamston and Pelzer area.

After doing several area craft festivals including Westy’s Vintage Market in West Pelzer and the Spring Water Festival in Williamston, they decided to open in Williamston. Their business idea was chosen as one of the winners of the Envision Williamston Main Street Challenge, which provides grant money to help a new local small business open. “We are so proud of this award,” Phillips said.

Home & Heart Designs and Boutique offer unique quality handmade items including farmhouse decor as well as repurposing vintage items into one-of-a-kind home decor.
They have jewelry including earrings, bracelets and necklaces and offer a variety of women’s apparel and accessories.
They have candles and wax melts and even face masks.

Home & Heart Designs and Boutique is located at 1110 Anderson Drive in Williamston.
Store Hours are: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm

For more information, visit us on Facebook @ Heart & Home Designs and Boutique

Envision Williamston announces Main Street Challenge winners

Envision Williamston recently announced winners of the Main Street Challenge grant program for 2019. The winners are Travis McCurly “Brew N Q” and Kristy Johnston “Phoenix: Born Again Retail”. Brew N Q  is currently a BBQ catering company, competition BBQ cook team and soon to be restaurant to locate in Williamston. In addition to low and slow smoked BBQ, homemade sides and desserts, they plan to use SC certified products and offer local craft beer from the Upstate. Phoenix will be a gift, consignment and resale shop. They plan to offer quality clothing, children’s items, accessories and gifts at affordable prices. The winners are eligible for up to $10,000 in incentives offered through the Envision Williamston Main Street Challenge. Congratulations to Travis and Kristy!

New mural “Unbroken Chain of Mineral Spring Water” now up

The latest Envision Williamston mural is now up. The fifth mural placed in Williamston over the last year or so, is on the side of the building located across from Calvary Church and near the new Anderson Drive “Gateway Welcome Sign”, also an Envision Williamston project.  Thomas Addison’s mural design of “Unbroken Chain of Mineral Spring Water”, was brought to life by Palmetto High Art students Kerrigan Campbell and Rebecca Stephen. Art Teacher Gregg Davis led the students over the past several months to complete the project.

Pictured are Roxanne Hall, Envision Williamston Board Chair Roxanne Hall and Palmetto High art students Kerrigan Campbell and Rebecca Stephen with Teacher Gregg Davis.

Williamston Downtown Acceleration Program (WDAP) Puts Williamston on the National Map!

Leadership from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) visited the Town of Williamston last Wednesday, May 1st. Their purpose was to view firsthand some of the ARC-sponsored streetscaping improvements accomplished over the past year and a half.  Representatives from the Washington, DC area included Tim Thomas, the federal ARC Co-Chair; Scott Hamilton, ARC Executive Director; and Guy Land, ARC Chief of Staff. From the state level, the team included Michael McInerney, ARC State Alternate and Caroline Griffin, ARC SC Program Manager. Steve Pelissier, Executive Director of the Appalachian Council of Governments (ACOG) and Arlene Young, ACOG Grants Services Director coordinated the visit at ARC’s request.
Mayor Mack Durham, Roxanne Hall, Chair of Envision Williamston, and Sonya Crandall, Executive Director of Envision Williamston, hosted the site visit along with several other leadership members of the Williamston community. They showed the site visit team members several of the results from the Williamston Downtown Acceleration Program (WDAP), as part of a walking tour of the downtown area. The tour included several artistic murals, aspirational decals, decorative banners, facade improvements, adopt a rest stop sites, and one of our greenway landscaped areas. They also pointed out several potential redevelopment sites for economic revitalization. The strong local showing underscores the active engagement of community members in various facets of the recent revitalization and that the accomplishments made are a team effort. The local project exceeded many of its original goals, and leaders are now ready to move on to the next phase of redevelopment.
For more information, go to Want to be involved? Community members may sign up to become an EW Ambassador. Forms are available online and at Town Hall.

Envision Williamston hosts Main Street Directors

Approximately 20 Main Street Program Directors from across the upstate were in Williamston Thursday, April 11 for the Second Quarter Training meeting of the State Main Street organization. Envision Williamston hosted the event which was held at the Williamston Municipal Center. The group participated in a walking tour spotlighting Envision Williamston projects throughout the downtown and park area of Williamston. Beautification projects on the tour included façade grant improvements at three local businesses, decal projects, street banners, two murals, walking trail, four “rest stop” locations featuring two with shade sails, greenways, a “wayfinding sign” and other projects.
Highlight “Rest Stop” project
Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall talks with other Main Street Directors about beautification projects the local group has recently completed including the “Adopt A Rest Stop” locations throughout the town.
The group participated in a walking tour spotlighting Envision Williamston projects throughout the downtown and park area of Williamston.

Envision Williamston Facade Grants improving looks of area businesses

Envision Williamston has awarded 28 facade grants through The EW Façade Improvement Grant Program, which is designed to stimulate additional improvements to the exterior of commercial buildings within the Town of Williamston. The funding of this program is provided through the Palmetto Business Association in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and Envision Williamston. A number of Williamston area businesses have recently completed upgrades and several more will over the next week. For more information or contact Sonya Crandall at