Courtney Hampson

Big changes are afoot for one of Bluffton’s largest community champions.

Bluffton Self Help’s board of directors announced Monday that Courtney Hampson has been named the organization’s new Chief Executive Office. She will take over for Kimberly Hall, who is leaving the nonprofit after five years to move west with her family.

“It has been an honor to lead the organization that Mrs. Ida Martin founded 35 years ago. As our community evolves so have our programs to respond to the changing needs of our neighbors,” Hall said of the move. “

Hampson came to BSH in January after 16 years as vice president of marketing for Palmetto Bluff. She led the effort to put the resort on the international map as head of all marketing efforts, as well as relationship management and real estate sales operation leader for the 20,000-acre resident community and resort.

Hampson is also a long-time writer for various Lowcountry publications, and a public speaking instructor at USCB.

She began as a consultant to BSH before beginning full-time as Chief Operating Officer to start 2022. Hampson has led the behind-the-scenes efforts as the organization works to transform itself into a wide-spanning resource for education and training, workforce readiness and basic needs to stabilize families.

“We did a deep-dive study into our region and found that 60% of Beaufort County residents are living at or below a livable wage,” she said. “So our next steps are all about education. It’s educating the folks that are living in the gorgeous communities of the true needs of those around them and empowering them to help, and it’s providing education for those in crisis to boost themselves up.”

As sure as Hall was that she had her natural successor in-house, the board was equally impressed with Hampson’s immediate impact.

“The commitment to work tirelessly for the community, exemplified in Kim’s leadership, will continue through the talented staff she has recruited and mentored,” said BSH board of directors chair Doug Adamson. “I am confident that under Courtney’s leadership, our entire team will remain focused on advocating for and supporting our neighbors on their journey toward self-sufficiency.”

This is an interesting full-circle moment for Hampson. She served on BSH’s board 10 years ago when the organization moved from its tiny Old Town home to their larger Sheridan Park location. Back then, the group couldn’t hold a board meeting in the former town jail space without closing to the public.

Now, Hampson is set to lead a transformational period for the growing nonprofit that serves more than 200 English as a Second Language students with 12 different courses encompassing all facets of the literacy of everyday living.

“Ida’s daughter, Constance (Martin-Witter) is on our board and she tells us that her Mom was the mustard seed here,” Hampson said. “Ida planted the seed of an idea, and 35 years later, the roots are the same but we have different branches. We are simply evolving to meet the community need.”

For more information on Bluffton Self Help and to learn how to volunteer, visit blufftonselfhelp.org.

Tim Wood is a veteran journalist based in Bluffton. Contact him at timwood@blufftonsun.com.