After 8-year Foundation President Jonathan Kresken returned to practice law in March of 2011, the WCF Board of Directors, under the able Chairmanship of Bob Calliham and along with the Search Committee, conducted strategic planning sessions to establish criteria for the new President/Executive Director. Through this process, WCF determined it best to fill the position with a person having strong ties and knowledge of our community, a great passion for charitable giving, and strong professional and personal integrity and commitment.
Waccamaw Community Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Kathryn “Kif” Cook to the position of Executive Director, effective January 1, 2013.
Says present Board Chairman G. David Bishop, “Kif is uniquely qualified to grow our organization and expand the reach of charitable giving throughout the Horry/Georgetown area. Our primary focus is just as our mission states, ‘Connecting donors with causes they care about.’ Kif’s absolute dedication to this mission, to finding those who want to give and making it easy for them to do so, safely and in perpetuity, will benefit the entire Waccamaw region. We’re very excited about the positive impact this will have on our community.”
Download the full press release here.
A lawyer who has lived in Myrtle Beach since 1986, Kif first practiced with the Bellamy Law Firm for 15 years, and has had her own practice, Cook & Roy, LLC, for the past 12 years. She has served on the Waccamaw Community Trust Advisory Board since its inception, and became Chair of the Waccamaw Community Foundation’s Grants Committee in 2010. Until her move to Executive Director, Kif had served 3 years on the WCF Board of Directors. Through the foundation, she has been involved with Literacy Alive and the Grand Strand Homeless Coalition, but her service to nonprofit organizations in our community does not end there.
Says the new Executive Director, “Throughout my career, I have always believed in giving back and improving the community and profession in which I am involved, work, and live.” In that light, Kif served as a board member of the Coastal Concert Board, and she served for sixteen years on the Sea Haven, Inc. Board of Directors, with twelve of those years being on the Executive Board. She is a graduate of the 1990 Leadership Grand Strand Program, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, and also has the honor of being a graduate of Class Two of the Waccamaw American Leadership Forum. This experience in particular, she says, “honed my skills in collaborative leadership and relationship building, and awakened my desire for a change in direction in my career towards philanthropy and community work.”
Kif’s passion for giving back to her community, her knowledge of the Horry and Georgetown region, and her years of invaluable experience with the Foundation will be assets in guiding and growing the Waccamaw Community Foundation in our area and State. When asked what inspired her to pursue a career in the nonprofit segment, she responded, “I am at a point in my legal career where I wish to wind down my practice of law and use the skills, relationships, and life lessons learned to enhance the community that has given so much to me over the past twenty-seven years.”
Not only is Kif’s commitment to the things she involves herself with evident in her philanthropic endeavors, but also in her professional achievements. At the start of her law career, she served as the Regional Representative for Horry and Georgetown Counties on the South Carolina Young Lawyers Association Board. The South Carolina Supreme Court appointed her to serve on the South Carolina Bar Specialization and Continuing Legal Education Commission for six years. She was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to serve on the South Carolina Bar’s Commission on Lawyer Conduct from January 1997 through December 2011. Elected by her peers in Horry and Georgetown Counties, Kif served as the region’s representative in the South Carolina Bar House of Delegates from January 2005 through June 2008, and was then elected to serve on the South Carolina Bar’s Board of Governors from June 2008 to June 2011. She also served on the Board of the South Carolina Women Law Association, beginning as a Regional Representative in 1998 and moving up the ranks of that organization to serve as President in 2004.
Kif has already established her legacy in the profession she has practiced for 18 years with diligence, determination, and the highest professional ethics. We cannot wait to see the legacy she will create at WCF through her passion for giving back to our community.
Please also take a look at TheLocalNewspaper’s article on Kif from March 24, 2013.