December 2018

Bachelorette of the Year Top Ten Finalist: Mandy Matney

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Mandy Matney
News Editor at the Island Packet

Fun fact about me:
I almost died from an appendectomy-gone-wrong when I was 23. So, you won’t see me at a rural hospital again anytime soon!

If you were the newly elected mayor of Hilton Head Island or Bluffton, what would be the first thing on your agenda?
I would love to see Hilton Head Island get some kind of free/ cheap ferry system where you could hop on and go island-exploring to places like Daufuskie, Hunting Island, and the most mysterious island of the Lowcountry: Morgan Island. Three thousand monkeys live on that island! People aren’t allowed there, but you can see the monkeys from the boat. How cool would it be to take a ferry and see the monkeys roam around?

Full disclosure, I’m the editor for all Hilton Head Island government stories in the Island Packet, so I’ve been following this mayor’s race very closely and can’t really comment seriously without compromising our reporting.

Favorite holiday movie:
Christmas Vacation. Or Elf. It’s a close call.

What quality do you most admire in others?
Honesty. I’ve surrounded myself with best friends who aren’t afraid to tell me when I’m being ridiculous about something or if my outfit is awful. And also, the first rule of journalism is to tell the truth, and that’s a principle I carry with me in all realms of life. Or, as Ron Swanson says, “The only thing I hate more than lying is skim milk, which is water lying about being milk.”

What local event is a “must-do” for you every year?
Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival. Easy.

Why should our readers vote for you as Bachelorette of the Year?
I’m honestly just so grateful to be in the Top 10 and to be a part of this, so everything from now on is just bonus. I will say I absolutely love the Lowcountry and fundraising for this Bachelorette contest made me love it even more. In my job, every day, I work very hard so that the people of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island are informed and educated about what’s happening in our neighborhoods. It’s been so rewarding to do something different to serve the community.

Charity you are playing for:
Hilton Head Heroes, an organization that gives families with very sick kids a week vacation on Hilton Head Island. My brother died when he was nine years old, and I will never forget the last vacation we had as a family before he died. Hilton Head Heroes gives families in need the gift of memories, and I know how important that is.

Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?
I got into journalism because I believe that exposing the bad things in society can ultimately lead to making it better. I think it’s important to stay positive and hold on to the belief that we can all take roles in making our community and our world a better place, but choosing to be ignorant and dodging all of the bad things isn’t helpful. My mom made me start watching the news from a young age and would tell me, “Mandy, it’s important to know about all the bad things that happen in the world so you can understand how lucky you have it.” And I’ve really framed my life around that.

To what do you attribute the biggest successes in your life?
My failures … and I have many of those. When I was 22, I took my first job out of college as the managing editor of a small daily newspaper in the Ozarks. I had virtually no idea how to run a newspaper, and I made huge mistakes every day. But I learned from those big mistakes. The best thing in the world for every 20-something is to learn how to fail and learn how and when to let yourself take a risk that could lead to failure.

How about your largest failures?
It all depends on your definition of failing. I don’t consider a lot of the big, embarrassing mistakes I’ve made as failures, because they shaped me and helped make me better. Most of my “failures” are really stories I never published. But I’ve learned even from that. It’s much easier to finish a difficult story than it is to quit it. Fear stops me from doing a lot of things I should be doing, and I’m working on that.

What is your personal mantra:
Prove them wrong.

To Vote for Mandy Click Here!

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