In the course of an organization’s history there are trailblazers – pioneers and innovators that challenge the status quo and push the organization to new heights. Olive Holland was one of those leaders at LVS. Olive came to LVS from the Hilton Head Lions Club where she was a Charter Member, Club President, and South Carolina Lions Hall of Fame Inductee. She became the first female District Governor in South Carolina in 1992, the first female Council Chair in 1997, and the first female President of the South Carolina Lions Foundation in 2001 (then the charitable arm of LVS).
Olive moved to Hilton Head in 1982 with her husband, Manuel, to further pursue her love for sailing. Prior to coming to South Carolina Olive was the Director of Religious Education at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Massachusetts and a distinguished teach of gifted students in Mecklenburg School District. She and Manuel started their own insurance company when they moved to Hilton Head. Olive’s involvement in the community extended to her church, the support committee for the Beaufort County Human Development Center, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee, among others. She lived from October 2, 1928 until July 29, 2019.
Under Olive’s leadership at LVS our organization moved with earnest towards gender parity by elevating the leadership role of women in advancing our work to empower the blind and visually impaired. She oversaw the successful transition of an LVS CEO for only the third time in the organization’s history. Olive and Manuel were joint chairpersons for LVS fundraisers across the state, resulting in significant funds being raised for LVS programs. In addition to sustaining and advancing existing programs, Olive’s leadership expanded our focus on our environmental impact and initiated recycling and eco-friendly policies.