Distinguished Alumni 2006

Pam Osteen King

King, PamPamela Osteen King graduated from Winthrop in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. While a student as Winthrop, Pam Osteen served as a Committee and Sports Chair for the Winthrop Recreation Association (with Jane La Roche) and was a member of Sigma Gamma Nu. Upon graduation she married Bill King and taught elementary and middle school physical education in the Florence and Darlington School Districts until 1977.

In 1981, she opened the Golden Strip Gymnastics Center in Simpsonville, SC. At the time, her gymnastics center was one of the largest in South Carolina. In 1983, she was named the South Carolina Coach of the Year by the South Carolina Gymnastics Federation. In just two years, her teams won the Class IV USGF Class III Novice Compulsory, and the Class III Novice Optional State. In addition, she hosted the most prestigious meet of the year drawing a record crowed to the event. At one point her center enrolled over 750 students. In her spare time, she was the mother of two boys, Sid and Lonnie. She is now a proud grandmother of two granddaughters.

Pam Osteen King's government teacher at Winthrop would never have predicted her next career path. Although she claimed to have had a D average in her government class while at Winthrop, she became the first woman mayor of Simpsonville, SC in 1992. She was responsible for a $3.4 million annual budget, supervised and coordinated administrative activities of 105 employees, acquired $1.2 million in federal grants, and established a city wide recycling program. In 1992, she was a recipient of the Order of the Jessamine and VFW Distinguished Service Award. She finished her term as mayor in 1995 and moved with her family to Morristown, TN.

In 1996, Mrs. King changed career paths once again. From 1996 to 1999, she served as the Public Relations Director for the Hamblen County United Way. In this capacity, she worked closely with the local media, planned and organized the annual campaign, developed a training manual and extensive program for volunteers, and organized quarterly meetings for the 32 agency directors. In 1999, she became the Executive Director the United Way of Hamblen County, where she was responsible for a $1.2 million budget, set and achieved her fundraising goal ($1.29 million), and implemented a new computer system for the organization. In 2001, she moved to Gatlinburg where she opened an upscale gift shop. Once the gift shop was up and running, she found her way to Dollywood, where she is the Core Value Training Coordinator.