Six Community Leaders Who Have Impacted Their Community and the Qualities They Possess

For the past three years, Eat Smart Move More South Carolina has honored individuals with the Community Leader Award to showcase those who go above and beyond to make their communities healthier places to live, learn, work, play, and pray. Being a community leader doesn’t require a master’s degree, an executive-level title, or a position of high visibility and public service. A true community leader can be found in the field getting their hands dirty and ensuring positive changes happen within the scope of work.

This year, six individuals, who were nominated by their peers, have been chosen to receive the Community Leader Award. Each person has characteristics deserving of the award, including vision, confidence, integrity, adaptability, and courage. ESMMSC is proud to honor the following six individuals and honor them at the Leadership Summit for Healthy Communities on October 29th at the Florence Center.

Jessica Cody, Eat Smart Move More York County, Fort Mill, SC
In York County, Jessica Cody is working to create a lasting impact on the lives of children and families in Fort Mill through Atrium Health’s Healthy Together 5210 program, which supports a culture of health through engagement, consistent messaging, collaboration, education, and policy changes within schools and childcare centers. She was Eat Smart Move More York County’s Coalition Coach during their three-year Let’s Go South Carolina grant, and played a large role at the Catawba Fresh Market.

Danielle Parker, Northeastern Rural Health Network, Bennettsville, SC
Danielle Parker serves as a Community Health Worker servicing Dillon, Marlboro, and Chesterfield Counties. Her time is spent traveling throughout the service area providing nutrition education to communities of faith and assisting with policy, systems, and environmental changes.

Janet Wojcik, Ph.D., FACSM, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC
Janet R. Wojcik makes substantive contributions to the York County community through her professional, volunteer and personal efforts. At Winthrop University, she is Associate Professor and Program Director in the Exercise Science program in the Department of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance. She’s also active on the Eat Smart Move More South Carolina coalition.

Kerry McKenzie, MS, Bradshaw Institute, Greenville, SC
Kerry McKenzie is a Special Project Coordinator at the Prisma Health-Upstate Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health & Advocacy in Greenville, SC. Her focus is on childhood obesity prevention in the early childhood sector, specifically Head Start Centers in Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee counties. She’s also a Choosy Kids National Trainer for the Head Start initiative I Am Moving, I Am Learning, as well as a special projects consultant and contributor. Kerry is also the creator of Grow to Greatness, a health and wellness program for young children and their families.

Nancy Myers, Hartsville Community Garden, Hartsville, SC
Hartsville gardening enthusiast Nancy Myers has done many things in the community but her role as founder and director of the Hartsville Community Garden has made her a community leader. Nancy’s efforts have far exceeded the primary health issue of increasing access to healthy food. Her work includes engaging the community, connecting neighbors, and educating youth.

Pastor Lou Esther Brown, Northeastern Rural Health Network, Cheraw, SC
Pastor Lou Esther Brown is a faith leader in Cheraw and has been critical with connecting the Northeastern Rural Health Network to the faith community using the Faithful Families Thriving Communities Program in Chesterfield County, SC. She has been a champion for the organization and serves on the Healthy People Healthy Carolinas workgroup that addresses obesity prevention.

The Community Leaders Awards will be presented during a luncheon at the Leadership Summit for Healthy Communities on October 29th at the Florence Center. Register today for the Leadership Summit!

The Community Leader Awards are presented by HopeHealth, a patient-centered medical home with a focus on preventing and detecting illness and the early onset of disease, providing routine physical examinations, and promoting overall healthy lifestyles.

The Community Leader Awards Luncheon is sponsored by the City of Florence.