Main Street Williamston director brings experience to position


By David Meade

Sonya Albury-Crandall, of Clemson, has had a crash course on Williamston since being named Executive Director of the Main Street Williamston Program. Crandall officially began her duties as director for the town’s marketing and economic development program last Friday.

Her first two days on the job this week involved attending input sessions as part of the Envision Williamston strategic assessment being held Monday and Tuesday. During one of the sessions, Crandall said she sees Main Street as actively engaging the community as part of a broader “Envision Williamston” which includes supporting health and wellness and quality of life.

Crandall brings experience as an executive director, instructor and research and policy advisor to the position.

With a background in planning initiatives, health and human services, research projects, marketing, communications, government relations and resource development, Main Street boardmembers believe Crandall will move the program forward and facilitate expanding it into the broader and more encompassing Envision Williamston.

“After interviewing a number of qualified candidates, the Main Street Board is proud to have selected Sonya to lead our program,” Main Street Williamston Board Chairman Jonathan Fowler said. “She has the proven experience and motivation to build upon what we’ve accomplished so far. More importantly, she knows how to set measurable goals and achieve them. I am excited for the community to see what’s ahead with Sonya at the helm.”

Crandall is in the Doctoral Policy Studies Program at Clemson with an emphasis on economic development in rural setting and health policy.

While working on her Doctorate she has also been working with the Town of Pendleton as a graduate intern/policy advisor, conducting special policy studies on public safety and local taxation.

She worked as a Graduate Assistant Instructor in the College of Health, Education and Human Development at Clemson during fall of 2013 through spring 2014.

Prior to that, from 2009-2012 Crandall was a Research Scientist with the Clemson Architecture and Health Program on a Department of Defense initiative.

August 2009 to Dec. 2009, she worked as a Research Associate/Consultant with Clemson University HEHD. Under the program she was the Program Coordinator for the federal office of Rural Health Outreach Program grant program in Seneca, responsible for curriculum development and training of volunteer health coaches to lead a hypertension control education program for seniors.

She has experience as a writer/webmaster with Clemson University Restoration Institute where she launched and managed their website in 2008.

Prior to coming to Clemson, Crandall worked as the Executive Director for the Health Council of South Florida, Inc. where she oversaw and coordinated activities of 12 professional staff from the disciplines of health care administration, computer science, public health and social sciences. During her time there the organization grew from revenues of $606K to over $12M.

During her time there, she oversaw the expansion of the scope of the council and assured high quality standards and productivity.

She began working with the Health Council in 1990 as a Senior Health Planner coordinating special events and staffing planning committees on healthcare ethics and community needs.

She eventually became Director of Planning for the Health Council, involved in grant writing and then Associate Director for Health Planning and Evaluation, responsible for resource development, project management and partnership building.

Crandall has experience with marketing and public relations, planning and performance measures.

She has served as Program Committee Co-Chair for the Association of Women Professionals in Clemson and as a member of the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes Foundation in Miami Florida.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work with Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, a Masters of Social Work with a major in community development and administration from Florida International University in Miami and is certified in Business Plan Development through the University of Miami’s Executive Educaton program.

She is married, has two children and enjoys hiking, cycling, art, water sports, music, youth work and team/leadership building.

Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said he is “very excited to see Sonya come on board with the Main Street Program.”