Mamie Nicholson Named President of The Self Family Foundation

Mamie Nicholson

Mamie Nicholson

Mamie Nicholson Named President of The Self Family Foundation
Nicholson joins an elite number of Southeast foundations led by African American females.

Greenwood, S.C. – The Self Family Foundation announced that Mamie Nicholson, its former program director, has been named president of the Foundation. Nicholson assumed the role on July 1, 2020, following the retirement of former president Frank Wideman III. Nicholson joins an elite number of African American, female-led foundations in the Southeast. This appointment is both a testament to the Self Family Foundation and Nicholson as they both blaze a path for others in their fields.

Nicholson began working with the Self family in 1977, first joining Greenwood Mills as an administrative assistant in the human resources department. In 1980, she transitioned to the legal department and began providing assistance to the Self Family Foundation. She officially joined the Foundation in 1996 as its program officer.

“Naming Mamie the president of the Self Family Foundation was an easy decision because, frankly, she’s the best person for the job,” said J. C. (Jay) Self III, chairman and trustee of the Foundation. “She knows our organization inside and out, and has been with our family for a long time. She is well-respected in the Greenwood community, has mentored many of our local nonprofit leaders and is highly connected to many of the organizations we support. We are confident she will continue to engage others in the community to effectively put our dollars where they will do the most good.”

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve our community in a new capacity,” said Nicholson. “I’d like to thank the Self family, the Foundation board and trustees, and the community for the trust they’ve placed in me.”

Nicholson says the Foundation is always open to hearing from community members about their concerns and solutions to issues facing the city and state. She is also dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Self family, the Foundation and the organizations it supports.

“My goal is that the Foundation will continue to honor the legacy of Mr. Self and his family members, and also honor the legacy of the organizations for which it has been the initial funder, sustainer and supporter over the long haul,” she added.

Nicholson is a Greenwood native and a graduate of Greenwood High School, Piedmont Technical College, Limestone College and the Council on Foundations Institute for New Staff. She is also a graduate of Leadership Greenwood, Leadership South Carolina, the SC Diversity Leaders Initiative at Furman University and Rotary Leadership Institute.

Nicholson earned certification in advanced proposal analysis from The Grantmaking School at Grand Valley State University and nonprofit management from Winthrop University.

She is a founding member of the Greenwood Women’s Leadership Council, Greenwood’s Nonprofit Council, Greenwood County Community Foundation and Greenwood Women Care. Nicholson was named a 2010 Small Business Champion for Women in Business by the Small Business Administration, receiving recognition from the SC Senate and the SC House of Representatives, and was named the WLC Woman of Excellence in 2014. She is a member of the Greenwood Rotary Club, where she serves as Leadership Chair and is a Paul Harris Fellow. She is also a Trustee Emerita of Lander University and a member of Self Regional Healthcare’s board of trustees.

Organized in 1942, the Self Family Foundation has been part of the Greenwood community for five generations. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $70 million in grants to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Greenwood and the state of South Carolina. The Foundation’s primary areas of emphasis are education, community wellness, arts, culture and history. For more information, including grant application guidelines and procedures, visit

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