After working for the State for 47 years, 45 of those with the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and two with the Horry County School District, it isn’t likely that anyone will forget Cathy Floyd anytime soon.
But Solicitor Jimmy Richardson and the S.C. Senate made sure this week that she’ll never be forgotten now that the Solicitor’s Intervention building is officially the Cathy E. Floyd Intervention Programs building.
“I’m just humbled,” she said repeatedly after learning of the honor. “I was totally shocked. I didn’t have an idea.”
In a very-well attended ceremony Tuesday, Richardson extolled Floyd’s work, giving her much credit for the 45 to 50 employees working in the old Conway Hospital that is now, not only modern and beautiful, but also perfectly suited for the programs that are based there.
Richardson said a former county administration told him that buying and restoring the old building at 1601 11th Ave. in Conway could cost $8 million to $9 million. They bought it for $825,000. Richardson said Floyd’s oversight and commitment to getting the building in shape caused them to buy it and complete their work for about $2 million.
He said lots of volunteers turned out to help with the upgrade, and Deputy Sheriff Tom Fox said Floyd even called on inmates from the Horry County Detention Center to do some of the original demolition., which resulted in a considerable cost savings.
He said she kept them happy by feeding them pizza.
The Aynor High School graduate, who once drove a school bus, began her work with the Solicitor’s Office as an administrative assistant and now manages the office, which covers Horry and Georgetown counties. Richardson pointed out that Floyd has worked for five solicitors over the years, but the office has had only one manager in 43 years.
Floyd actually retired once, completed her allowed TERI time and went home for two weeks, before being rehired by now S.C. Senator Greg Hembree, who was solicitor at that time. She went back to work and has been there ever since.
She has promised Richardson that she’ll stay as long as he is the solicitor, but now she says she doesn’t want to leave until she hits the 50-year mark.
“I’ve worked all my life,” she said. ”That’s all I know is people…You just try and make a difference in somebody’s life and a positive difference.”
Actually, the Pretrial Intervention Program, Drug Court and scanning department have occupied the building for one year, but Richardson said they moved in about 14 months ago, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, so they decided to hold off on a grand opening/ribbon cutting until now.
“This is a place that we really look to change lives,” Richardson said.
He said Floyd, who also serves on the advisory board for paralegals at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, has poured herself into the renovation project and has represented the judicial system in Horry and Georgetown counties for 40 years.
He said she’s ridden herd over hundreds of employees and managed thousands of time sheets over the years.
He said she’s overseen several death penalty cases, every hire, every employee pay raise, every vehicle purchase, every evaluation and more over the years, and she’s done it all with a sweet spirit.
“Many generations to come will recognize you for your service, and to God be the glory,” he said.
Hembree said as a hospital the building came into being for the purpose of healing and making people’s lives better. Now it’s come full circle and again is in the business of healing and making people’s lives better, he said.
He also applauded Floyd saying, “If I had ten Cathy Floyds…I could take over the world.”
He said she’s a blessing to the people around her and is truly the heart of the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Floyd is a member of Berea Baptist Church, is married to Dennis Floyd and they have two children. Unfortunately they were not present for the naming announcement because they were out of town at a family funeral.
She said she’s enjoyed her time with the Solicitor’s Office, but in line with her humble spirit said, “You do what God wants you to do.”
She also thanked God for the friends He has put in her path for all these years.
“I don’t feel worthy, but I still appreciate it,” she said of the building’s new name.
So far, only the building’s first two floors have been renovated and are being used, but officials plan to eventually remodel and expand to the third floor.
Now the building has offices for drug court employees, who oversee an average of 80 to 85 clients at any one time. The building also has a game room for its clients with ping pong and foosball. There are four group rooms to engage clients in positive social activity.
The drug court program started in 2005 and, director Candy Townsend said, they have had about 550 graduates of the program so far. Five more were scheduled to graduate yesterday.
“Everyone that works in drug court is really committed to it,” Townsend said.
The building will also be used for the department’s safe driving classes and as a place to scan and securely store case information, most importantly death penalty cases that can go on for a decade or more, according to Floyd.
Tuesday’s event also included tours of the building and lunch with cloth tablecloths with food for everyone who attended.
Guests included Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy, Conway deputy administrators Mary Catherine Hyman and John Rogers, Conway City Councilman William Goldfinch, employees of the Solicitor’s Office, Horry County Councilman Orton Bellamy, state legislator Stephen Goldfinch, Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson and many more.