Pat Walker, the State Manager for South Carolina, has a special connection to the Palmetto State. He has spent his entire life living, learning and working in South Carolina. “I was born in Greer, grew up in Spartanburg, went to Clemson University, and worked for 35 years for the state of South Carolina,” he said. Being able to serve his fellow South Carolinians had always been Pat’s dream, and through SERCAP, he’s able to do just that.
Pat has a long history working for the state, as an employee for environmental regulatory agencies for 32 years prior to joining SERCAP. In that position, he traveled all across the state. “I saw many wonderful communities and hard working folks, but also saw rural areas that were very much underserved and distressed economically, environmentally, and socially.”
After all that South Carolina had done for Pat, he wanted to give back to his home state, and found such an opportunity through SERCAP. For the past 5.5 years--four of which he’s served as South Carolina State Manager--Pat has been able to assist those communities. “South Carolina is a relatively poor state, especially in some of our rural communities,” Pat explained. “To me, it is sad to see any community in this day & age that doesn’t have safe, clean drinking water; properly working septic tanks; appropriate waste management and recycling collection centers; and...internet and broadband.”
As a State Manager, Pat sets the goals, schedules, and work requirements for all of the South Carolinian projects. “I’m not very spontaneous, so I spend a lot of time planning things out,” he said. After he plans, his team executes. “I have always been fortunate to have very strong, capable, knowledgeable and well-trained workers around me. Most folks will be productive and excel in their position if given the opportunity.” While he may be a little impatient, he hopes that they “understand my love of South Carolina and desire to assist where we can.”
Part of his role is travelling to those rural South Carolinian towns to either check on progress or begin a new project. Getting out of the office and engaging with the community makes for a good day for Pat. “I always like to meet with the mayor, Town Council members, and town workers,” he said. His favorite part of the job is watching the difference SERCAP can make in these rural towns, both for the community at large and for individuals. “Letting someone know about our low-interest private well loan program and hearing the ‘hope’ in their voice is really satisfying.”
When he’s not in the office or checking in on projects, Pat enjoys spending time with his four grandchildren. He has four children himself, the youngest a rising senior in high school. “I love just talking with her and watching her grow up,” he said. As a member, he volunteers at the S.C. Railroad Museum on Saturdays to run their “working” train rides. His dedication to the community is pervasive: he has also served as a Cub Scout & Boy Scout leader, ball coach, and a Deacon & Sunday School Director at his church.
We thank Pat for his commitment to helping our neighbors in South Carolina. We appreciate all that he does!