Five Local Women to be Honored as Women of Distinction by Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands

March 5, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC – March 5, 2012 – The Girl Scouts of South Carolina -Mountains to Midlands will honor five Columbia-area women at its 19thAnnual Women of Distinction Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 22, 2012,at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center at 6:00 p.m.  This eventpays tribute to women who exemplify excellence in service, leadership,community, visibility and professionalism.  The five women who will behonored this year are Carolyn Cason Matthews, Patricia Moore-Pastides,Kay Thigpen, JoAnn M. Turnquist and Genevieve N. Waller.

A Columbia native, Carolyn Cason Matthews (pictured right) was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly to AdministrativeLaw Court Seat No. 3 in 1999 and continues to serve in that position.  She graduated from Furman University and received a J.D. Degree from theUniversity of South Carolina Law School.  After serving as a StaffAttorney and Law Clerk to S. C. Supreme Court Justice George T. Gregory,Jr., she was an Assistant Attorney General and Counsel to the House ofRepresentatives Judiciary Committee.  She practiced law in the privatesector for 10 years, with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough andWoodward Cothran & Herndon.  She currently serves as President ofthe South Carolina Women Lawyers Association. 

Patricia Moore-Pastides (pictured left) isthe First Lady of the University of South Carolina and an accomplishedcook, writer, and public-health professional.  She graduated with a B.A.from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and received aMaster in Public Health from Yale University School of Medicine. Withthe publication of her first book, Greek Revival: Cooking for Life, Ms.Moore-Pastides embarked on a campaign to introduce Americans to thehealth benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.  She currently serves on the boards of the Sisters of Charity Foundation,SC Ovarian Cancer Prevention – Riverbanks Region, and Trustus Theatre.  She is also active on several University of South Carolina boardsincluding USC Dance, McKissick Museum, the ExLibrus Society, the USCColon Cancer Research Center and the SC Archeology Research Trust.

Born and raised in New York City, Kay Thigpen (pictured left) isthe Co-Founder/Managing Director of the Trustus Theatre.  She receivedher undergraduate degrees from Columbia College and a Master in LibraryScience from the University of South Carolina.  She and her husband,Jim, took a second mortgage on their home in 1985 and started Trustusthat same year in a walk-up space on Assembly Street. From then to thepresent, she has served Trustus as its Managing Director.  Her boardmemberships have included work with the South Carolina Arts Commission’sAdvisory Board and the South Carolina Theatre Association.  She alsoserved as an adjudicator for the Theatre Division of Piccolo Spoleto. 

JoAnn Turnquist (pictured left) isPresident & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation, anonprofit, charitable organization that connects donors in the Midlandswith the charitable and nonprofit organizations in their communities.  She began her college education at Northwestern University and received aB.A. in City Planning at The Ohio State University.  Prior to joiningthe Foundation in 2009, she held a number of sales leadershipassignments with Fortune 500 companies including Procter & Gambleand The Clorox Company.  She is actively involved in many communityorganizations.  She serves on the board of the Richland County PublicLibrary, United Way of the Midlands, Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR)and the New Morning Foundation.  She is a member of the Columbia RotaryClub and a Paul Harris Fellow.  

Genevieve N. Waller (pictured left) hasbeen the Executive Director of Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlandssince October 2008 and a volunteer with the organization since 2004.  She graduated from USC Law School after serving as President of Women inLaw, as a member of the Pro Bono Board, and as the Associate Justice ofAdministration for USC Law School Moot Court Bar.  In 2008 the SouthCarolina Bar Young Lawyers Division chose her as their Young Lawyer ofthe Year for her commitment to public service and the profession.  Twoyears ago The State named her as one of the Top 20 Under 40 in theMidlands.  Among many of her community involvement activities, she is amember of Women in Philanthropy, Southeastern Institute for Women inPolitics, Junior League of Columbia and USC Women and Gender StudiesPartnership Council, Vice-Chair.

The evening’s keynote speaker will be Marva Smalls, Executive VicePresident of Public Affairs, Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon NetworksGroup and Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy, Viacom.

States Kim Hutzell, President & CEO, Girl Scouts of South Carolina -Mountains to Midlands, “It is never easy to narrow the list ofhonorees.  But, this year we had to actually expand the honors to fivewomen because of the extraordinary accomplishments of all of them.  And,never a requirement for selection, it is interesting to note they areall former Girl Scouts.  They are excellent examples of the positivedifference women leaders can make in a community.”

For ticket information to this annual fundraising event, please contactCyndi Massey, Fund Development Manager, 864-710-6960,[email protected] or visit

For 100 years, Girl Scouting has helped girls develop positive valuesand become active, responsible leaders in their communities. Withemphasis on personal growth and leadership development through serviceto others, Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, andcharacter, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of SouthCarolina-Mountains to Midlands serves more than 12,600 girls, gradesK5-12, and 5,000 adults in 22 counties of central and western SouthCarolina, including Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester,Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Lancaster,Laurens, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland,Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, and Union.