Kathryn “Kif” Cook Appointed New Executive Director

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.

Uniquely Qualified

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.”

Professionally Equipped

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.

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WCF Disaster Relief Fund

Through the Disaster Relief Fund, Waccamaw Community Foundation serves as the primary point of financial donations for all disaster relief and recovery efforts in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties.

Tim Whitten

Tim@mywcf.org

843-357-4483

A native of Alabama, Tim received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University and a master’s degree in religion from Lenoir-Rhyne University. He brings to WCF a background in grant writing and in disaster recovery most recently serving the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Tim resides in Galivants Ferry with his wife Julie and their four children.

Phillip Anderson

Director

Phillip Anderson is a Senior Vice President & Senior Lending Officer for Asheville, North Carolina-based HomeTrust Bank, serving the coast of South Carolina. Throughout his 22-year banking career, he has served in commercial banking, trust administration, retail banking, and market leadership roles with mid-size and regional banks in South Carolina and Georgia. He has always embodied the community banking model of building strong local relationships and being active in numerous non-profits and promoting their causes.
 
He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, GA, the Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School, The Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Wharton Leadership program. He is also a graduate of several Chamber of Commerce Leadership programs over his career.
 
Phillip resides in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, with his wife Mary Beth and daughter Carolina. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and playing golf.

Ellen Barney Sycks

Stewardship & Communications Officer

ellen@mywcf.org
614-893-7998

Ellen serves the Foundation as its Stewardship and Communications Officer, responsible for communicating with fund holders on a regular basis and providing advice when needed, particularly around fund development as well as relevant field of interest information.

A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, Ellen provides more than three decades of non-profit leadership experience, focusing on creating major gift and planned giving opportunities to support organizations’ programs, special projects and capital campaigns. Ellen received her B.A. in National Security Policy from The Ohio State University. She lives in Murrells Inlet with her husband Jay and their two cats, Mabel and Murray.

Chris Hanna

Director

Chris Hanna is a Senior Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, he started in the real estate business in 1993. Chris is a member of the Coastal Carolinas, South Carolina and National Associations of REALTORS and is an active local community member as well, having served on various boards such as the Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals, the Coastal Carolina Athletic Foundation, and Horry County school district Carolina Forest Advisory Board. He is a member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality and Oceanview Baptist Church. Chris is a graduate of Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, and he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina at Coastal Carolina in 1992.

Rick Elliott

Director

Rick Elliott is president of his family business, Elliott Realty, one of the most prominent real estate companies in North Myrtle Beach. As a native of Horry County, he has always made giving back to the community a part of his approach to business. Each guest who stays with Elliott Realty is given the option to add an additional $1 per night to their bill to be donated to the Elliott Realty Charitable Community Fund at Waccamaw Community Foundation, which invests in causes throughout the surrounding community. Rick brings this commitment to community philanthropy to his service on the Waccamaw Community Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served as the chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.



Tyler Easterling

Director

Tyler Easterling is a native of Marietta, Georgia and has resided in Georgetown County since moving to the area in 2002. Tyler is the president and COO of The Brandon Agency, an integrated marketing agency headquartered in Myrtle Beach. She is the current board chair for Coastal Montessori Charter School and serves on the boards of Helping Hands of Georgetown and Young Presidents’ Organization Southern 7 Chapter. She is a member of the 2018 Liberty Fellowship class.

Tyler holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Mississippi and a Masters of Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina. She is an active member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church and enjoys spending time with her husband, Marshall, and two daughters, Julia and Anne Marshall.



Terri DeCenzo

Director

Terri serves as executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL). She is married to Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo, and when he joined the university in 2002, she became passionately involved with the life of the university, taking an active role in issues relating to student government and NCAA athletics, among others. Previously Terri has served on the boards of the American Red Cross and the Foundation for Georgetown Hospital System and was an adviser to the Safe Families Initiative that established Family Justice Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties. In 2016, Terri was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. A graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and Towson University, she spent most of her career practicing in critical care. The DeCenzo’s have four children: Mark (his wife Jen), Meredith (and her husband Ryan Daley), Gabriella and Natalie; and one beautiful grandson, William Mason Evans.


Executive Director, Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL)

Dr. Tracy Bailey

Director

Dr. Tracy Bailey earned a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina in May of 2013. She is a Teaching Associate with Coastal Carolina University teaching Intermediate Literacy Development and Instructional Practices for Early Literacy.

Dr. Bailey began her career in education as a high school English instructor and has worked in both rural and urban educational settings. After realizing the impact professional development and community literacy had on her personal and professional growth, she wanted others to experience this. She is the founder and executive director of Freedom Readers, Inc., a nonprofit company dedicated to promoting literacy. Tracy seeks to instill in teachers, students, and the community at large the belief that every student can learn and every learner has the responsibility to pass on new knowledge to another.

Dr. Bailey earned her BA from The College of Charleston- majoring in English Education- and a Masters in Secondary Education from Coastal Carolina University. She is married to award-winning writer, Issac J. Bailey, and is the mother of two wonderful children, Kyle and Lyric.



Brent Groome

Chair

A 1987 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Brent came to the Grand Strand area in 1989. After a 31 year career with HTC (Horry Telephone Cooperative), he retired in 2021.  In addition to his current role with WCF, he also serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for HGTC. He is also active with his church; serving as a Sunday School teacher and congregational song leader.  He and his wife, Dana, live in the Conway area.

Shawna Mosley-Foster

Service and Operations Officer

shawna@mywcf.org
843-357-4483 x200

Shawna, a native of Jamaica, NY, has more than 15 years of experience working in the hospitality and tourism field. Since relocating to South Carolina in 2004, she spent a few more years working with a local hospitality company before joining WCF’s staff.  While a native New Yorker, Shawna has a rich heritage right here in the Waccamaw area. Her mother was born and raised on Sandy Island, and her father is from Bucksport. She enjoys cooking, stargazing with her family, cruising and once retired….RVing! Shawna and her husband are empty nesters and resides in Myrtle Beach. 

Mike Mancuso

Executive Director

mike@mywcf.org
843-357-4483


Mike is a veteran business leader with more than 30 years of experience as an innovative problem solver and change agent for nonprofit, banking and small business organizations. Mike is a skilled economic developer with background in community development, downtown redevelopment, industrial development and strategic planning. His passion is helping Communities and Businesses thrive and grow. Most recently Mike served as the President and CEO of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Foundation in Johnston County, NC and as Executive Director for the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc in Salem, OH. Mike and his wife Christine make their home in Little River, SC. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren living in Charleston, SC, Atlanta, GA, & Austin TX. Mike enjoys boating on the ICW, tinkering in his workshop/garage and spending time with family and friends.