Shortly after Cathy Hughes joined The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg in 1972, she got a call from the society editor who said, “Cathy, The Times and Democrat’s on fire.” Hughes and her husband rushed to the paper and along with staff members watched as smoke came out of the building. Undaunted, the staff published the paper the next morning. She learned early on the value of leadership and a committed staff. She has been with the newspaper for 48 years, becoming publisher in 1999, the first woman to lead the enterprise. In 2017, she was named Lee Enterprises Group Publisher, and her responsibility has grown to management of seven newspapers in seven states from her office in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Hughes is a summa cum laude graduate of University of South Carolina, with a BA in journalism. She has been active in many community and statewide organizations and was honored with the Order of the Silver Crescent for significant contributions, leadership volunteerism and lifelong influence within a region or community.