Entrepreneur, CEO Velda Hughes presented with Order of the Palmetto

Velda Hughes has spent her career promoting and marketing, getting the word out about her clients and her company.  

She has used her time and connections to raise tens of millions of dollars for numerous projects and organizations in Greenville and the Upstate.  


Most recently, she and her company, the Hughes Agency, spearheaded the private fundraising for Unity Park and for the 125-foot-tall Honor Tower that will be its centerpiece, raising more than $20 million.

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 Thursday afternoon, she and about 200 guests were attending the annual TD SYNNEX Share the Magic check presentation event at Avenue in downtown Greenville. As TD SYNNEX’s philanthropy arm presented more than $1.6 million in grants to local charities, Hughes got a presentation of her own.

Gov. Henry McMaster reads the proclamation as he presents Velda Hughes with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor. Dec. 15, 2022 in Greenville.

 Gov. Henry McMaster gave her the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.  

“Velda pours her heart into things that help others,” McMaster said. “She has impacted the lives of thousands of people throughout South Carolina by creating programs, championing organizations and elevating others.” 

Hughes is owner and CEO of the Hughes Agency, the Greenville public relations, marketing and advertising agency she founded in 2001.

Spreading the word and serving the community are in Hughes’ DNA. She is the daughter of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper publisher and a journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina.  

Velda Hughes

She began her career in the newspaper business with The Greenville News, before making the move to work as a partner at one Greenville agency and then starting her own.  

Through the Hughes Agency’s work with Clemson University, she has been a key leader in the establishment and growth of the Men of Color National Summit. The annual event at the university, first held in 2018, focuses on showing African American and Latino high school-age young men a path to higher education. Hughes’ work as a champion for the YMCA of Greenville helps provide the organization with resources to serve families and individuals across Greenville County. 

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Entrepreneur, CEO Velda Hughes presented with Order of the Palmetto


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