New Gregg-Graniteville Foundation executive director wants to make a difference in the community 1

Diana Silas

As the new director of the Gregg-Graniteville Foundation, Diana Silas has hit the ground running.

“I’m very busy learning my job, and I already have plans to write a grant for a cyber camp next summer,” she said. “I have to staff the camp, and it has to go through an approval process with the NSA (National Security Agency). It will kind of be our first big new outreach program.”

Silas previously was the business manager for the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences at Augusta University.

She has a degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

“This is an opportunity for me to contribute to the community and make a difference,” said Silas, who grew up in Burnettown. “I hope to advocate for education and physical fitness.”

The Gregg-Graniteville Foundation was incorporated in 1950 by the Graniteville Company, which formerly operated textile mills in the Horse Creek Valley and Augusta.

Over the years, the foundation has supported churches, schools, colleges and community nonprofits. Its focus has been on education, community development, recreation, health and welfare.

The William Gregg Scholarships have provided more than $3.4 million to more than 400 students.

The Gregg-Graniteville Foundation also owns, operates and funds the Gregg Park Civic Center in Graniteville.

“I want it to be that small town, neighborhood recreation center where people come because there are people there who know their names,” Silas said.

According to a Gregg-Graniteville Foundation press release, Silas is responsible for fiscal management, personnel, resources and facilities.

She replaced Patricia Knight, who retired.

“Diana’s 33 years of financial, education and consulting experience, including many years as an accountant and financial analyst, combined with her knowledge of the entire Midland Valley community, makes her an excellent choice to lead the foundation,” said Gregg-Graniteville Foundation Chairman Ira E. "Bud" Coward in the release. “She will be a significant asset to the board of directors in leading the implementation of our recently developed strategic plan to support the community. This includes positioning the foundation and the Gregg Park Civic Center to continue their important role in delivering recreational opportunities for current and future generations in the Graniteville-Vaucluse-Warrenville areas and other surrounding communities.”

Silas, her husband, Brian, and their two sons, Brett and Zac, live in the Midland Valley area.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.