Penelope Swinson
Penelope Swinson

Who are you?
Penelope Hinson. I live in Little River, S.C., with my spoiled-rotten dog, a miniature schnauzer mix named Daisy. I’m Horry Electric Cooperative’s Manager of Public Relations, Marketing, and Energy Management (plus Government Relations).

What is your history with cooperatives?
EMCs are definitely part of my DNA. I’m the third generation in my family to work with co-ops. My grandfather was a minuteman for Horry Electric Cooperative, my father worked his entire career with multiple electric membership cooperatives, and he had an aunt who was a bookkeeper at Black River Electric and then Horry Electric. I’ve been with Horry Electric for 29 years.

Describe your role.
I wear a lot of different hats, but communications is my passion. I am editor of our six local pages in our statewide magazine (South Carolina Living) and have a reporter who helps with content. The most challenging part of my job is serving as a legislative liaison. Government relations can be a real roller coaster. Working on marketing programs and services is an extension of my role as a communicator and it has been exciting to work with sister cooperatives on a recent statewide campaign, “Beat the Peak.”

Anything new going on in your department?
Exciting stuff! We are fully engaged in social media and, with the recent addition of a communicator who has video experience and reporting skills, we are going to expand our channels to include YouTube and Vimeo.

What’s your favorite thing about working with cooperatives?
Cooperation among cooperatives or, as we like to call it – admire and acquire. There is a lot of talent out there among cooperative communicators and it’s nice to be able to collaborate.

When did you join CCA? Why?
I have been a member in the past, but unfortunately let it drop due to time and budget constraints. I rejoined last year. I wanted to be a part of a group that is completely engaged in the cooperative business model and advocates the value of membership.

What are your hobbies and interests?
I love the beach, so my current location is perfect for me. I love to go shelling and have a growing collection of baby’s ears, olives and a variety of welks.

I’m a big North Carolina State University fan, I love the Chicago Cubs, and pull for the Buffalo Bills.

I read a lot and love learning new technologies. I’m a bit of a “geek” according to my IT friend at work, and that is the BIGGEST compliment I think I’ve ever gotten!

Do you have a “bucket list”?
Yes! A trip to Norway would be incredible. Riding every roller coaster in the United States is on my bucket list, and I’d love to some day have a VW Van. I already have a VW Beetle. I need the van for traveling.

Tell us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
Two things really: I have my Concealed Weapons Permit and I am a self-diagnosed extroverted introvert.

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