Up Close with Eliza

May 09, 2019

Up Close with Eliza image

My path to Sumter is circuitous to say the least. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. I went to college at Princeton in New Jersey. After that, I lived in Princeton, London, San Francisco, Richmond, DC, Columbia (SC), Paris and Charleston.  You may think calling Sumter home might not work for a world traveler, but I’d say you’re wrong.  Working in the Economic Development office here keeps me plugged in around the globe as our office reaches out to multi-national companies to recruit industry and create jobs and wealth for all the citizens of Sumter and the Lee/Sumter region represented by TheLINK.  But I don’t have to look outside of Sumter for an international perspective.  As the home to Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter is blessed to have service men and women with experience around the globe calling Sumter home.

Before working in Economic Development, I worked in appraising antiques and fine art when I lived in San Francisco.  In the world of appraising, the quality of any object has a direct impact on its value.

Quality and more specifically Quality of Life is the ultimate value proposition I have found in Sumter.  The community welcomes newcomers with open arms.  Sumter offers a myriad of activities for all ages from festivals, museums and galleries, specialized boutiques and minimal traffic compared to a large metropolitan area.  Fine dining options like Hamptons rival those found in any of the places I’ve lived.  Fun dining options that are kid-friendly are plentiful and more are popping up all over town

Sumter is an ideal place to raise my family.  My kids not only play sports at school but also with Sumter Parks and Recreation and the YMCA.  We enjoy  tennis at the world-class tennis facility, and our family has easy access to hikes in the Poinsett State Park.  We also enjoy one of the most beautiful parks in South Carolina – Swan Lake Iris Gardens which offers lovely gardens and walking paths, irises and, of course, swans of every species.

The cost of living here is lower than other places in the State, but that doesn’t mean that the quality of what you can find in Sumter is any less.  And Sumter is an exciting place to be right now with downtown redevelopment underway at a brisk pace.  It shows that the Team Sumter approach to and vision of making Sumter even better is working.  The leadership here is invested, and I’ve found that there is a seat at the table for anyone with an interest in improving their community.

Looking in from the outside and reading reviews online may be misleading, and I’ve found that once someone is here, they are blown away by the assets and atmosphere Sumter offers.  Quality of Experience here adds another layer to the value of calling Sumter home.

I never in a million years thought I would be living and raising a family in Sumter, South Carolina.  One of our Board members said to me shortly after we moved here that his philosophy was to “Bloom where you are Planted.”  The quality of life and quality of experience that I’ve found in Sumter provides me with all the elements I need to do just that.


Hometown – Richmond, VA

Hobbies – Travel, antiquing, cooking, reading and watching any kind of basketball.

Favorite Place to Eat – Upstairs outside at Rafters on a beautiful evening.

Favorite Place to Shop – Sumter Lighting and Home – my happy place.

Most Rewarding About my Job – seeing the impact of my work on improving our community.

Why is this Region Simply a Great Place – I think I addressed that above.

Pets and People –Married to the charming Bill Buxton, a family, probate and real estate attorney (voted best family attorney in Sumter 2 years in a row I might add).  As we come close to celebrating 20 years of marital bliss this year, he’d be the first to tell you that “Every day is a victory!”  We adore our 12-year old variety pack (boy girl twins) Knox and Lucy who keep us hopping.  Pets include and have included at one time or another two dogs, 5 rabbits, 4 chickens, 3 fish, a hermet crab, a miniature lobster and more turtles than we can count.  We’re down to one dog, Molly and one fish, Salt, but all the pets we have ever had are named in prays every night.