John Powell of Walhalla has represented Oconee County since January 2010. He is the second alumnus in the history of the College to serve on its governing board. He served as chairman from 2017 to 2020.
Powell is the owner/broker of Powell Real Estate located in Walhalla, SC. He also owns a cattle farm and has been involved in the creation of 36 subdivisions, including being a partner in Falcon's Lair Golf Community in Walhalla. He also is a partner in eight Subway franchises in Upstate SC.
Powell was recognized twice in 2020 for his commitment to advancing the community college movement. He is the recipient of the 2020 Southern Regional Trustee Leadership Award. He also was honored with the 2020 South Carolina Association of Technical College Commissioners (SCATCC) Trustee Leadership Award.
A longtime activist in his community, as well as state and local government affairs, Powell worked with the Education Foundation of Oconee County to establish a Backpack Lunch Program that addresses an educational barrier -- child poverty.
Powell served as co-chair for Oconee County’s capital campaign committee to raise money for Safe Harbor, a domestic violence shelter for battered women and children. He also chaired a capital campaign to build a homeless shelter for the growing population of temporary homeless individuals in Oconee County. Our Daily Rest, a transitional home for the homeless, opened in summer 2009 and continues to help individuals transition to successful independent living.
In 2012 the Oconee Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award. He received TCTC’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year award in 2009.
He is a past member of the Oconee Medical Center (OMC) Board of Directors and served as chairman from 1995 to 1998. He also chaired the OMC Building Committee, as well as the Oconee County School Task Force. He is a former member of the State Disabilities and Special Needs Board and currently serves on the board of directors for Table Rock Retreat Center and the Business-Education-Industry Organization in Oconee County.