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Myrtle Beach News


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Leadership Grand Strand Class XXIX Graduates May 8

The 27 participants of Class XXIX will graduate from Leadership Grand Strand during a ceremony this evening at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes. Dinner will start at 6:45 p.m., and the graduation ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m.

The goal of the program, which is sponsored by Leadership Grand Strand and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, is to develop a corps of informed, committed and qualified individuals capable of providing dynamic leadership for the Grand Strand area.

For class participants to graduate, they must complete a nine-month program and a minimum of 100 hours of community service. This year, participants assisted more than 10 nonprofit organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs, the March of Dimes, The American Red Cross and the MBACC’s Youth Leadership Academy project.

Graduates of Leadership Grand Strand Class XXIX are:

• Gregory Ackerman, Smith, Sapp, Bookhout, Crumpler & Calliham
• Kevin Alford, Ocean Lakes Family Campground
• John Bertang, Myrtle Beach Police Department
• Paige Bird, RE/MAX Ocean Forest
• Carole H. Bowdre, Agape Senior and Hospice
• Dennis J. DiSabato Jr., Law Office of Dennis J. DiSaboto Jr. LLC
• Stephanie Springs English, Tidelands Bank – Myrtle Beach
• Kenneth Generette, Horry County Schools
• Robyn Graham, Graham E-Z-Go
• Howard Henry, BB&T
• Blakely Jenkins, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
• Charlene “Charlie” Leone, South Carolina Electric and Gas
• John Reuben Long II, Heran, Brittain & Martin P.A.
• Matthew Radcliff Lowery, M. Radcliff Lowery CPA, PFS, CFP, LLC
• James F. McCrackin, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
• Kristy L. McDowell, Phillips, Hursey & Farrell CPA’s LLC
• Kimberly Miles, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
• Karen Miller, Fairfield Inn by Marriott at Broadway
• Tina Pace, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
• Tammy B. Ramsey, WebsterRogers LLP
• John Richards, Thomas & Hutton Engineering Inc.
• Carla Schuessler, Ally Management Inc.
• Walter E. “Wes” Standish IV, Associated Insurors
• Richard Stiles, FSA-Full Steam Ahead Inc.
• Steven Strickland, The EARTHWORKS Group Inc.
• Gina Trimarco
• Josh Wise, Beach First National Bank

Leadership Grand Strand is still accepting applications for the upcoming Class 30. Applications are available online at and require three letters of reference, must be typed and are due by June 30. Tuition costs are $890 per person.

The program, which will begin in August 2009 and end in May 2009, is open to citizens who have resided in Horry County continuously for at least one year prior to the application date. Candidates may be nominated by an organization or may nominate themselves. The program is limited to 30 participants, with selection reflecting the demographic, geographic and professional diversity of the Grand Strand.

Criteria for selection include evidence of leadership abilities, potential to provide leadership to the Grand Strand, interest in community affairs, desire to expand volunteer involvement and commitment to become more involved in the Grand Strand. Participants and their sponsoring organizations must be willing to invest the time required for members to fully participate in the program, which includes a two-day retreat in September, a full day of classes the first Thursday of each month and 100 hours of community service. Regular attendance is imperative and mandatory.

Leadership Grand Strand explores such topics as historical aspects of the Grand Strand, tourism and economic development, government and politics, education, law enforcement, human services and the arts. Alumni serve on community boards and commissions and in key decision-making positions throughout the Grand Strand.

For more information, visit or call (843) 916-7222.