For Waller, true happiness was outside the law - DatelineCarolina

For Waller, true happiness was outside the law

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Ginny Waller, executive director for Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, worked with the board and community members to map out STSM’s goals for the next four years. One goal was to increase individual donations, which went up 5 percent in 2010. Ginny Waller, executive director for Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, worked with the board and community members to map out STSM’s goals for the next four years. One goal was to increase individual donations, which went up 5 percent in 2010.

Waller left law behind to head nonprofit

By Andrea Losey
Edited by: Chris Secrest

Ginny Waller started out at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands as a volunteer in 2004 after seeing an ad for the organization in the Free Times.

The Louisiana native had been a victim of sexual assault herself. A USC law school grad, she was working for a state Appeals Court judge and was headed into private practice doing construction litigation and insurance defense.

Waller says the fundraising and administrative activities in the S.C. Bar Young Lawyers Division and the American Bar Association were her favorite part of practicing law, so she decided she needed to focus on these interests.

"I actually left the practice at the end of 2007, primarily from a very supportive husband saying it was OK," Waller said.

She already was volunteering at Sexual Trauma Services, primarily answering hotline and hospital calls, but wanted to do more. So, Waller says, "I called up and said, ‘I've got some free time on my hands, what do you need me to do?'"

Waller helped organize events for Sexual Trauma Services, which led to the creation of a new position for her, development director.

When Executive Director Eve Wilson retired in late 2008, Waller became interim director and then quickly moved into the permanent position, which paid $50,919 last year according to the organization's last available Form 990.

Katie Reid, Sexual Trauma Service's community education director, appreciates the effort Waller has put in. Reid saw her area's funds cut by two-thirds. But through careful financial planning by Waller and the board, Reid's program remains unchanged and her job is safe.

"I'm extremely fortunate to have an executive director who understands the importance," Reid said.

Mary Dell Amick, volunteer services coordinator at Sexual Trauma Services, has noticed the skill Waller uses to manage the nonprofit in today's difficult times.

"Ginny is really good at looking at diverse sources of funding and ways to continue growing programs," Amick said.

For Waller, navigating the nonprofit world is a task she's happy to take on.

"I am blessed. This position was made for me," Waller said. "I don't feel like I'm going to work most days, which is awesome because most people can't say that; I wish they could!"

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