A Heartfelt Conversation with Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin


I had the pleasure of spending time with Mayor Goodwin in her office and it was truly a treat. I had originally had a list of questions to ask her, but I never really addressed those questions, because it was not an interview with her, it was a heartfelt conversation. I am thankful for this opportunity.

How did you find out that Booth submitted you for this nomination?

Mayor Goodwin: I was shocked and humbled to learn that Booth did this, but the more I reflected on it, he would have done it because he is my biggest cheerleader and advocate. Booth is the best partner in a husband and father. He and I are nothing alike. He would be happy with heading to a low-key dinner and movie. Not me, I thrive on high energy activities. Booth provides a great balance for me and our family. I could not ask for a better life partner.

In fact, Booth was the first person that encouraged me to run for Mayor. Often, we would have conversation about possible mayor candidates at the conclusion of each conversation. Booth would say, ‘you know who should run for mayor and would be great at it, you Amy’. That is what started me on the run for Mayor of Charleston.

Political Aspirations: Your interests in politics.

I was exposed to politics at a very young age. In fact, my grandmother was the first female to be elected to West Virginia House of Delegates and the West Virginia Senate.

Upon graduating from college, I landed a job in TV at WCHS. I was getting ready to move onto the next market and was offered a position as the communication director for the Mayor of Charleston. It was then I realized the local impact that being a Mayor has on a community. You can live and work in the community you serve and can truly make a local impact. In the mayor’s office, you see an immediate impact. I have held several communication director jobs and working for the mayor was one of the most rewarding experiences, which is funny how it has led me back to the beginning.

Share with me about your thoughts on the election and the impact of the outcome?

The election process was long and hard. It took time away from the family, but Booth was very supportive. The fact that I am the first female mayor, I did not fully realize the true impact of that. Seeing and hearing the impact, we started a campaign, “All can be”. This campaign is about making individuals think that they can be something, if they put their efforts and mind to it. Through determination and drive, you can be. I also want to make this city vibrant and be proud of the place I call home: Charleston.

During the first 365 days in office, I did not take one day off. It was the hardest yet the most rewarding [decision] because I was able to accomplish goals and strive to do more. I was able to uncover the needs and fulfill requests. I loved every moment.

The hardest thing is creating a work-life balance and missing time with my family. I am just very thankful that my family is beyond supportive.

Share with me about your family.

My parents have been married for over 50 years and, through them, that truly shaped me and [is] a reflection of how I was raised. They were honest and open with my sister and I. Growing up, my sister and I were expected to go to school, practice and work in the family business. I believe that this provided me with a foundation for hard work, determination and my work ethic.

My sister is my best friend, she is my person that I share everything with. I hope someday that I can be as good as she is. She is a great mom, non-judgmental, unflappable, genuine.

If I asked your family to describe you what would they say?

My sister: high energy and people person

My Dad: hard working and fast paced

My Mom: good mother

My son Sam: competitive, she thinks she is funny and “so extra”

My son Joseph: She is nice and cares for us

When you learned that you were selected for this award, share with me your reaction?

Could not believe it to be in the company of so many amazing women. Very humbled and lost for words, which is not like me. I have had the opportunity to tour the shelters and it is those women and the staff that truly embody this award. I am just so honored that I have been given this honor.

Mayor Goodwin is being honored at the annual YWCA Women of Achievement Luncheon on February 28. Visit ywcacharleston.org/woa for tickets and more information.

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At YWCA Charleston we are dedicated to our mission: eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

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