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FLORENCE – South Carolina State University graduate Nicole Echols has been named executive director for Harvest Hope Food Bank of the Pee Dee.

Echols has been a donor development manager with the organization for a total of more than five years. In her new role, she has overall responsibility for the operation and day-to-day management of the Harvest Hope Pee Dee Branch located in the Pee Dee State Farmers Market in Florence.

Her professional and personal achievements reveal a visionary leader with a commitment to practical community-led change. She was recognized as the 2019 recipient of the Fred R. Sheheen award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership.

Echols earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from South Carolina State University and has experience with the American Red Cross and HopeHealth.

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For nearly 20 years, she has built a strong reputation in the community as an innovator in the nonprofit arena. In her previous roles, she cultivated and solicited support from corporations and foundations to meet annual fundraising goals, as well as developed ongoing relationships with major donors.

She chairs several boards, including MINGLE of the Pee Dee (which she co-founded), Pee Dee First Steps and Together SC People of Color Nonprofit Leaders Advisory Committee.

“My past experiences and community involvement have imbued me with a passion to fight hunger and improve the Pee Dee," Echols said.

Her other accolades and awards include: Pee Dee Woman in Philanthropy Board of Directors, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Friends of the Florence Library Board, Junior League of Florence, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce ambassador, Leadership Florence graduate, Florence Young Professional of the Year 2014-15, Black Pages Top 40 Under 40 in 2015 and Mary C. Brewer Woman of distinction honoree.

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