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At Work Today for Education – Lottery's New Executive Director Takes the Lead - Paula Harper Bethea Chosen
9/23/2009 3:27:04 PM

COLUMBIA, SC (September 23, 2009) – A new leader is taking the reins at the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL). Paula Harper Bethea accepted the offer to direct the Lottery following the unanimous recommendation by the Board of Commissioners.
“Mrs. Bethea is exactly the leader South Carolina needs to continue our lottery's success. She has the experience, focused enthusiasm, ability to motivate, presence in the business community, diplomatic style, and untarnished integrity to serve in this important position of public trust. All South Carolina stakeholders should share our excitement in Mrs. Bethea's willingness to serve,” remarked Board Chairman Tim Madden.
“I’m honored, thrilled and, quite frankly, humbled to lead this organization,” said Mrs. Bethea. “I cannot imagine a more inspiring and fulfilling role than to take part in an endeavor that quite literally shapes young peoples’ lives. Because of the lottery’s success, 708,000 scholarships have been awarded with more than $2.2 billion appropriated for education in our state. I will devote full energy to the continued success of this rewarding undertaking. One item has become evident to me, we have the right team in place at SCEL, and I am thrilled to be associated with all the employees who work here,” Mrs. Bethea added.
SCEL’s new chief is no stranger to the business of running a lottery. Mrs. Bethea was an inaugural Board member chosen to establish the Lottery in 2001 and an instrumental part of its start-up. Upon the departure of SCEL’s former Executive Director earlier this year, Mrs. Bethea was tapped to take over as the Interim Executive Director.
Paula Harper Bethea brings an exemplary record of business savvy to SCEL. Most recently, she was the External Relations Director for the McNair Law Firm, P.A. Among her many professional achievements, Mrs. Bethea serves as Chair Emeritus of the United Way of America’s Board of Governors. She is Vice-Chairman of the Board of First Financial Holdings and is a Founding Board Member of the Palmetto Institute where she serves as Secretary. Mrs. Bethea is Vice Chairman of the Board of Presbyterian College and a former member of the S.C. State Ethics Commission. Mrs. Bethea is also an active member of many volunteer organizations and received such distinguished honors as Zonta Club’s Woman of the Year, Hilton Head Island’s Citizen of the Year, and the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest award for volunteer services to the State.
Mrs. Bethea was born in Hampton County and graduated from the University of South Carolina with honors. She and her husband, Bill, are lifelong South Carolinians and in 2006 were named South Carolina’s Business Leaders of the Year.
SCEL is governed by a nine-member commission with three appointments by the Governor, three appointments by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and three by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
To schedule an interview with Mrs. Bethea, please call 803-737-2399.


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