Press Room

View All News

Pamela Lackey named 2019 Humanitarian of the Year by United Way of the Midlands

Columbia, S.C. (November 11, 2019) – United Way of the Midlands has selected Pamela Lackey as the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year, the organization’s highest award and the highest single honor of philanthropic achievement in the Midlands.

The Humanitarian of the Year Award is given each year to individuals who clearly demonstrate extraordinary leadership in philanthropic and human services.

“I have had the distinct honor and privilege to work alongside Pam on several initiatives to better our community,” said Tim Arnold, President and CEO of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company. “Whether it be in business, health issues, or education, Pam uses her skills and knowledge to make positive changes that last. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor and recognition.”

Ms. Lackey retired as President of AT&T South Carolina, where she brought a diverse background to the position. In her more than 20 years in the telecommunications industry, she was instrumental in establishing the state’s first broadband network to provide high-speed internet service to all schools and libraries and worked directly with members of the S.C. General Assembly on public policy matters as AT&T’s Director of Government Relations.

Prior to her leadership at AT&T, Ms. Lackey was a professional educator beginning her career as a school library media specialist. Serving in the role of Senior Executive Assistant to the South Carolina State Superintendent of Education, she directed a division responsible for technology, curriculum standards, testing and professional development for teachers and administrators.

Ms. Lackey has held various leadership roles with local and state organizations to include the role of co-chair of Transform SC; past chair of the South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce; and was nominated by Governor Nikki Haley and appointed by the Senate to chair the S.C. Ports Authority Board. She was the first woman chair of the Palmetto Business Forum and the S.C. Ports Authority Board.

Ms. Lackey has served United Way of the Midlands in multiple leadership positions including her role on the Board of Directors, Community Impact Committee and Executive Committee. From 2009-2011, she led the role of co-chair for United Way’s Campaign Committee when she and her counterpart raised over $20 million. While co-chairing the Campaign Committee she contributed over 140 hours of volunteer leadership that involved recruiting, building and energizing a team of more than 200 volunteers to call upon over 600 businesses.

“Pamela has been instrumental in establishing public policy and legislation aligned with United Way’s goals to improve the life of every person in the Midlands by fighting to make sure every child succeeds in school, that uninsured adults and children have access to healthcare, that people experiencing financial crises receive help, and that all individuals and families have the ability to reach their full potential in a thriving community,” said Sara Fawcett, United Way of the Midlands President and CEO. “Pamela has received countless honors and awards, and we’re looking forward to honoring all of her accomplishments and service that continue to improve the Midlands.”

Ms. Lackey has been extensively engaged in civic and community organizations serving in voluntary leadership positions for the Junior League of Columbia and Greenville, the South Carolina ETV Midlands Citizens Advisory Committee, the Palmetto Center for Women’s Business Advisory Committee and more. In 2011, she was named the Business Leader of the Year by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the highest award bestowed by the state’s largest business and industry association representing over 18,000 businesses and more than one million employees.

Ms. Lackey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education, a Master of Library Science degree and an education specialist degree, all from the University of Alabama.

Ms. Lackey will be honored at United Way’s annual Humanitarian of the Year Dinner and Award Ceremony on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center. Ticket information will be available online at a later date at  


About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands is the most collaborative, efficient and accountable model for investing in the improvement of the Midlands community. With nearly 65 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations and are directed to fight for causes including childhood literacy, economic mobility and dental and eye care for those without resources. For more information, please visit

View All News