Waccamaw Community Foundation Supports Myrtle Beach Area Chamber Launch of Partnership Grand Strand Foundation

Waccamaw Community Foundation Supports Myrtle Beach Area Chamber Launch of Partnership Grand Strand Foundation

Initiative Will Accelerate Area’s Economic Prosperity and Enhance Quality of Life

On Feb. 24, 2022, Waccamaw Community Foundation joined Horry and Georgetown area business and community leaders and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) to launch a $3 million campaign for Partnership Grand Strand, a new 501(c)(3) foundation and economic and community development initiative aimed at accelerating economic prosperity and enhancing quality of life for businesses and residents across the Grand Strand over the next five years.

The initiative will lead or support efforts that will strengthen four equal and interconnected pillars of success:

  • Prosperity: Diversifying the region’s economy and growing small business opportunities.
  • Talent: Attracting, developing and retaining employees.
  • Place: Supporting the revitalization of Myrtle Beach’s downtown and oceanfront areas.
  • Infrastructure: Scaling up transportation infrastructure.

Campaign Co-Chairs Dr. Michael Benson (President, Coastal Carolina University) and Clay Brittain (Chairman, Brittain Resorts and Hotels) joined MBACC Chair Alex Husner (Chief Marketing Officer, Condo World Resort Properties) to welcome over 200 business and community leaders at a kickoff breakfast at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

MBACC President and CEO Karen Riordan unveiled details of the initiative and Dr. Benson and Mr. Brittain shared why the foundation and initiative are needed now and how leaders can become among the first early investors in the campaign. Jeff McKay, Executive Director of the North Eastern Regional Economic Alliance, also shared a regional economic development update and thoughts on the importance of strong economic development partnerships.

“Partnership Grand Strand will benefit every business and resident from across Horry and Georgetown counties,” Dr. Benson said. “By creating a more resilient and diverse economy and vibrant quality of place, businesses will prosper and readily find the talent and resources they need to thrive.”

“Through the collaborative efforts of our business and community leaders, we are pleased to announce that Partnership Grand Strand has already secured $1.615 million in five-year private sector and foundation pledges – an impressive 54 percent of our campaign goal of $3 million in just a few months. We are grateful for the support of our early investors and look forward to new investors joining us in the coming months,” Brittain said.

“With the investment by the private sector, we will be able to launch some exciting and bold projects targeting the specific needs of Grand Strand businesses,” said Riordan. “Just a few examples include helping small- and mid-sized businesses overcome obstacles to growth through a new business retention and expansion program; funding a workforce development professional to launch and coordinate talent attraction, development and retention campaigns in partnership with our educational and workforce partners; supporting the new Myrtle Beach Downtown Business Alliance’s efforts to revitalize downtown and the oceanfront; and adding capacity to our transportation infrastructure to reduce congestion.”

The initiative and capital campaign were created over the past year by the MBACC with the help of national capital campaign management firm POWER 10 to raise and leverage new resources to comprehensively tackle the biggest challenges business and community leaders said were threatening the region’s long-term economic prosperity and quality of life.

Waccamaw Community Foundation is one of a team of investors in Partnership Grand Strand that includes:

Founder – Brittain Resorts & Hotels

Diamond  – Carolina Cool, Coastal Carolina University, Condo-World, Founders Group International, Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, HTC

Gold – Burr Forman, Conway Medical Center

Silver – Waccamaw Community Foundation, Best Western Ocean Sands, Elliott Coastal Living, Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association, Coral Beach Resort & Suites

Bronze – Myrtle Beach Pelicans, First Reliance Bank, Duke Energy, Seacrest Resort, Holiday Inn Oceanfront Resort at the Pavilion

Partner – The Meeting Institute

Anyone interested in learning more about the initiative are encouraged to visit PartnershipGrandStrand.com.

3655 S. Hwy. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

843-357-GIVE (4483)

Info@mywcf.org

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Waccamaw Community Foundation is an affiliate of Coastal Community Foundation.

Copyright © 2022 Waccamaw Community Foundation

Fundholder Alert

To guarantee that your grants are distributed by the end of the year, please submit your requests by Friday, December 9th at 3:00p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Shawna Mosley-Foster at 843-357-4483 or shawna@mywcf.org

12/09/2022
3:00pm

Dennis L Wade

Dennis Wade is a native of Lancaster, SC and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Mr. Wade has been President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jackson Companies since 2001. The Jackson Companies is a diversified tourism, hospitality and real estate development company located in the South Strand of Myrtle Beach. For more than five decades, the Jackson family has instilled philanthropy and community service into their multifaceted group of businesses. Dennis is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand XIX and a Waccamaw American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. He currently serves on the Coastal Educational Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Visitors for the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University, and the Conway Medical Center Board of Trustees. He is also chairman of the Board of Directors of Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. and a director of Coastal Carolina National Bank. Dennis and his wife, Marie, have two children, Erica and Taylor, and have called the Grand Strand home since 1997.

Allen Jeffcoat

Allen Jeffcoat has been practicing law in Myrtle Beach since 1977. His areas of practice include real estate, estate planning, probate administration, environmental law, corporate and business law, and bankruptcy.  He serves as an expert witness in cases in these areas of practice. He is licensed to practice law in SC and NC. He has served as chair of the Real Estate Practices Section of the SC Bar.

Allen’s relationship with Waccamaw Community Foundation began many years ago, when he would advise his estate planning clients to invest their funds to benefit their philanthropic interests, such as education, the arts, and environmental protection. After working alongside his clients and WCF, Allen joined the Foundation’s board of directors in 2007 and served as director until 2016.

In addition to his professional to his professional interests and his involvement with WCF, Allen has a history of supporting coastal and statewide conservation efforts. In 1985, Allen joined the South Carolina Nature Conservancy board of trustees, and fulfilled a variety of leadership roles- including a stint a chairman— from 1987-1989. Allen also served on Governor Carroll Campbell’s Freshwater Wetlands Forum, and continues to apply his experience in environmental and real estate law to help preserve and protect natural resources and ecosystems vital to the local community.

Allen is also a founder and first president of the YMCA of Coastal Carolina.

Allen has resided in the Grand Strand since 1977 with his wife, Mary. They have two grown children and a granddaughter.

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.