Doggette retiring from board, center

by | June 22, 2018 5:00 pm

Last Updated: June 20, 2018 at 9:49 am

Gale Doggette is making some changes in her public and professional life in the coming months.
Doggette, during the Colleton County School Board’s special meeting on June 12, submitted her resignation from District Three’s seat. Her fellow board members accepted the resignation of the post she has held for approximately one-and-one-half years.
Doggette explained that she will move out of District Three soon.
Her resignation will be effective Nov. 6.
She submitted her resignation early, Doggette said, to give potential candidates a chance to “think about it and see if they wanted to put their names in the hat.”
Those interested in replacing Doggette on the school board will serve the remaining two years of her term.
She said that the school board post had been “the hardest job I ever had.” It is hard, she said because board members tend to be blamed for everything, even things they have no control over.
But, she added, “in the last year and a half, we have had some small victories and even some larger victories.”
One of those victories came at the special meeting where she submitted her resignation, Doggette said. That victory was based “on our desire to insure the safety of our children.”

Artisans Center
Around the same time Doggette leaves the school board, she will also be leaving as director of the South Carolina Artisans Center.
This October will make her 10th year as head of the artisans center.
It is time for the artisans center to be led by a set of fresh eyes, she said. “I don’t feel like anybody has original ideas forever.”
Doggette said she will leave the artisans center sometime between October and December, the timing contingent on having the new front entrance to the center completed and the new café that is being added up and running.
When those improvements are completed, she said, “I have done all I can do to move us forward.”
She said the improvements, the implementation of a comprehensive master plan for the center and the addition of a marketing person who will lead the artisan center’s enhanced web presence that includes on-line shopping “will be my legacy. Then it will be time for someone else to do it.”
She envisions holding an open house to show off the improvements to the artisans center serving a double duty. “That will be my retirement party as well.”
Doggette said, “When I took over 10 years, we were in terrible financial situation. The board and I worked hard on correcting that and we have corrected that. We have been stable for many years now.”
The work to firm up the financial foundation of the artisans center “was grand fun.”
Then came what she called the boring period, when the recession hit Colleton County. Her role as director focused on “paying the bills, keeping the lights on and riding it out.” Money for new projects dried up.
With the work going on around the artisans center once again, she said, the fun is back.
Through it all, Doggette said, the board has been supportive. “I was really pleased with how much involvement and how little involvement they had.”
She explained that the board “was always here to help — they are a good, hard working board.” While involved, she added, they never attempted to micromanage the artisans center operations. “I am appreciative of that.”
In addition to seeing through the physical improvements to the artisan center, Doggette said she will work with her as-yet unnamed replacement, so “they can learn the nuts and bolts from me.”
When she retires from the artisans center, Doggette said, “I don’t think I am going to do a lot of anything for a year, maybe do a little traveling.”
After that, she added, “I may do some consulting work. My forte is stabilizing businesses, and maybe I will do some grant writing.
“I like the idea of not being responsible for anything for a while,” Doggette said. Heading the artisans center, she said, “was a lot of joy, but it was a burden as well.” With a staff of six and representing the 300 artists showcased at the center, largest tourist draw in Walterboro, “was a responsibility that sometimes weighs heavily on my shoulders. Don’t want that responsibility of that any longer. I don’t need to be the boss.”

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