LAKE WYLIE -- The River Hills Community Association will hold a reception Friday to introduce its new general manager. For many residents, though, no introduction may be required.
Martha Simmons was recently named to the position by the association board of directors, assuming her new role officially April 1. Simmons, an association employee for 23 years, served as acting general manager the two months on an interim trial.
"I welcome the challenges ahead as we strive for excellence in our services and plan new projects for the enhancement of the community," she said.
The board was confident in its decision to promote Simmons, based on her track record with the River Hills community for two decades.
"She's extremely well-liked by the community and respected," said Anne Bonn, director of employee relations.
Simmons knows the River Hills community as well as anyone, Bonn said, which was also a plus.
"She's incredible in the way she handles things efficiently and relates to the people of the community," Bonn said.
Nola Schutz, administrative assistant for the association, knows firsthand how valuable Simmons is after having moved to the area six years ago.
"That woman has been my saving grace since I moved down from New York," Schutz said. "She's been incredible."
Her helpful and pleasant attitude is a positive for both the River Hills homeowners and association staff, Schutz said.
"I just love working with her," she said. "She makes a positive difference to everybody. She's upbeat. She just makes life happy."
Rick Camden, one of the few people with more River Hills experience than Simmons, is happy to have her leading both the security and maintenance departments.
"I think they made a move in the right direction by hiring her, and I believe she'll do a great job," said Camden, maintenance supervisor for 31 years at River Hills.
Dean Schillinglaw, chief of security, agrees.
"She's a great person," he said. "She'll be a great asset to this community, as she has been for many years."
For Simmons, the position allows her to continue that service she has enjoyed for so many years.
"I feel such a part of the community having seen many teenagers grow up in River Hills and then return after they are married to raise their family in this environment," she said. "River Hills is unique, and we want to retain our uniqueness."
Simmons, originally from Spartanburg, has been a Clover resident for more than 20 years. She and husband Bobby of 40 years have one son and five grandchildren. In 2004, the River Hills Lions Club awarded Simmons its Unsung Hero Award for community service.
A reception for Simmons is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the River Hills Marina Pavilion.