Council Chair Joyce Dickerson is currently serving in her fourth term on County Council. She was elected to serve as chair by her fellow Councilmembers in January 2017 and previously served as vice chair in 2014. Ms. Dickerson is committed to fiscal responsibility and sustainable budgeting and has an open-door policy for not only her constituents but all Richland County residents. She supports economic development, job creation and transparency in government.
Ms. Dickerson is married to retired Air Force Sergeant Matthew Dickerson. Together, they have two children, Mark and MeMe. She earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration, graduating cum laude. She also earned an associate degree in psychology from Midlands Technical College. She is a native of Savannah, Ga., and moved to Columbia in 1975 with her husband and two children, following her husband’s retirement from the Air Force. She is a former independent business owner, retiring as a compliance auditor in 2006.
Ms. Dickerson has served her community for more than 30 years, starting her political career with the St. Andrews Little League Football Team Booster Club. She served as Kingswood Precinct president and secretary and as the executive committee leader more than 20 years. She vied unsuccessfully for S.C. House of Representatives Seat 71 in 1996.
Ms. Dickerson served as president of the Richland County Democratic Women, president of the S.C. Democratic Council, secretary of the local chapter of Business and Professional Women and president of the local chapter of Women’s Aglow International, Inc. She is an advocate for the Council on Women and Girls, which focuses on, among other pertinent items, teen dating and domestic violence. She is also a charter member of the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.
As former chairwoman of the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority, Council Chair Dickerson successfully championed a permanent funding source in the Richland Transportation Program to save public transportation, improve local roadways and build bikeways, greenways and sidewalks.
Ms. Dickerson fought for three years to receive authorization and funds to pave Wade Kelly Road, to install a traffic light at the intersection of Rimer Pond and Long Creek Road and for intersection improvements and turn lanes at Piney Grove Road and Piney Woods Road. She has worked diligently with the Sheriff's Department's Community Action Team to provide crime watch signs for more than 20 neighborhoods.
She has worked to improve the Richland County Business Service Center to provide a better quality of service for local business owners and residents alike. She has worked with the County's Neighborhood Improvement Program to enhance the quality of life in aging neighborhoods and to promote restoration and revitalization. She is an advocate for community planning and also supports the Conservation Commission in its mission to preserve the pristine lands and waterways of Richland County and foster preservation efforts for historic sites.
Ms. Dickerson is an advocate for the cultural arts, libraries, recreation and schools. Her service on the Parks and Recreation Ad Hoc Committee helped secure a community park and swimming pool in St. Andrews. She also supported the renovation and remodeling of the County-owned Township Auditorium, a renowned and historical event venue, and continues to support Capital City/Lake Murray Country Tourism to attract high-profile events to the region.
Appointments and Other Services
Ms. Dickerson is a representative on the South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC) Information and Technology Committee and the National Association of Counties (NACo) Essential Technology Committee. She was appointed by the past three NACo presidents to serve on the Telecommunications and Technology Steering Committee, of which she served as chair in 2012-2013. She also represented Richland County and the SCAC on the National Association of Counties Executive Committee.
She was elected by her peers to serve as president of the Women of the National Association of Counties Leadership Network. On March 7, 2013, Ms. Dickerson was sworn in as chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators in the Rotunda of the South Carolina State House. She was honored by the S.C. Legislative Women Caucus with a resolution recognizing her numerous accomplishments while serving on Richland County Council. She was later presented a resolution sponsored by Sen. Joel Lourie for excellent leadership on the national level.
Ms. Dickerson has served on the National Foundation for Women’s Legislators as state and regional director and as a representative of Richland County through Women of NACo. In August 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa, she was nominated by local, state and congressional female peers as president-elect of the National Order for Women Legislators (NOWL) and chair-elect of the National Foundation for Women Legislators. The NOWL sponsored a partnership tour to India as a follow up to former Pres. Barack Obama’s previous tour. Ms. Dickerson traveled to several countries and visited with prime ministers and secretaries of state and was a special guest at the Gujarat Business Investment Summit.She is grateful for the opportunity to have walked the mall around the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
Ms. Dickerson serves as a representative of Richland County on the National Multi Modal Transportation Steering Committee, which has appeared before the Department of Transportation and Congress to make recommendations in support of the reauthorization of the Transportation Bill. She has actively participated in transportation summits in Dallas, Texas and Washington, D.C. Through her service on Richland County Council, Councilwoman Dickerson partnered on an economic development tour with the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce to visit China, where she also experienced the world’s fastest trans-rapid/high speed rail by traveling on the Meglev Train in Shanghai. The National Multi Modal Transportation Steering Committee has afforded Ms. Dickerson numerous opportunities to make profound contributions in transportation improvements in order to promote business and economic opportunities nationwide.
Ms. Dickerson is a published author who fulfilled her dream to write a book titled, "A Tribute to 101 Incredible Women Who Influenced My Life from My House to the White House," which is dedicated to her mother and daughter. Ms. Dickerson remains a strong advocate for women to actively engage and participate in the politics that affects their daily lives. She twice visited the White House, once with the National Organization of Black Elected Legislators Women in briefing five of former Pres. Barack Obama’s staff on broadband digital literacy, adoption and deployment.