Leadership Grand Strand is accepting applications for the next class in the 10-month leadership program. All applications are due June 30. APPLY NOW
The Board of Regents and its committees are responsible for the policies and procedures of Leadership Grand Strand. The program is sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to develop a corps of informed, committed and qualified individuals capable of providing dynamic leadership for the Grand Strand area.
For more information about Leadership Grand Strand, contact Diana Greene, LGS executive director, by emailing LGS@VisitMyrtleBeach.com or call 843-916-7222.
James David Anderson III (Jimmy) is the Director of Technical Services at Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (HTC). He is a lifetime native of Horry County. In his 21 years at HTC, Jimmy has helped develop and grow HTC's world-class data, voice, and video networks that deliver services to Horry and Georgetown Counties. In addition, Jimmy focuses on strategic planning, team development, and drives innovation within the technical areas of HTC. He graduated from CCU with a B.S. in Biology and from Winthrop University with a Master of Business Administration and a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XXXIX.
In his spare time, Jimmy enjoys family, boating, golfing, traveling, coaching, and various other outdoor activities.
Jimmy resides in Loris, South Carolina, with his wife Cassandra, children Jameson (16) and Josie (13), Audrey (newborn) dogs (Chubbs) and (Cash), and cat (TJ).
Sean Bailey is the Marketing Manager for SkyWheel Attractions. Originally from the southside of Chicago, Sean holds a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Valparaiso University.
After college, he chased storms, and the dream of being a meteorologist across the country. He forecasted frigid winters in Upstate New York and tornadic storms in Arkansas, and then moved to the Grand Strand to forecast the array of weather affecting the residents and visitors. While in Leadership Grand Strand Class 40, he discovered a new calling to do marketing and digital media for the SkyWheel.
Sean is an active member of the community. Since his time in LGS Class 40, he has been involved in several organizations dedicated to downtown revitalization, homeless initiatives, and professional development. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, he is also on the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council. Sean lives in Socastee with his 8 year old puppy Skye and enjoys competing in beach volleyball tournaments, working out and listening to Taylor Swift.
Courtney Baker is the regional management coordinator, active adult for Liberty Senior Living. Courtney grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2015 with a degree in biological sciences. After college, Courtney spent two years at the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida as a guest relations hostess before moving to the Myrtle Beach area in 2017. Courtney is actively involved in the community where she is a part of the Grand Strand ChangeMakers with Multiplying Good, Junior League of the Grand Strand and Grand Strand Young Professionals. Courtney was member of Leadership Grand Strand Class XL. She resides in Murrells Inlet, SC with her husband Daniel and two golden retrievers, Winni and Elli.
Brent A. Barker is a Plant Engineering Supervisor with Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc (HTC). In his 23+ year tenure with HTC, Brent has predominantly led the distribution design engineering team with emphasis on team development both within HTC and other entities to promote cooperative partnerships.
Brent is an active member with Waccamaw Sertoma Club, First Baptist Church of Conway, and a past board member of Conway Chamber of Commerce.
He is a Conway High School graduate and holds an Associate of Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Horry Georgetown Technical College. He is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class LXII.
Currently, Brent resides in Conway with his wife Lauren, 2 sons Landon and Stanton, and family dog, June. Brent and his family enjoy boating, fishing, sporting events and other outdoor activities.
Katie joined United Way of Horry County in November 2019 as the Community Impact Coordinator where she is focused on learning about Horry County’s greatest needs, grantmaking and making a positive impact in our community. Before United Way, Katie worked at Habitat for Humanity of Horry County for three years and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Coastal Carolina University in May 2016. She served on the Steering Committee for the Grand Strand Young Professionals for two years and is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XLI. She is serving her first term on the LGS Board of Regents.
Katie is originally from Pennsylvania but has resided in Horry County for 16 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles, traveling the world, going to the Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks, and going to the movies and concerts.
Dustin G. Formo
Dustin G. Formo is the VP - Corporate Accounting & Finance for The Jackson Companies. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Accountancy from the University of South Carolina. He has been a licensed C.P.A. since 2008. He is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class 41. Dustin is a native of Florence, South Carolina, but now lives in Murrells Inlet. He loves the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Carolina Panthers.
Dustin and his wife April have two children, Anna Grace and Banks, and two dogs, Rambo and Tuff. He enjoys traveling, spending time with his family, attending sporting events, and going to the beach.
Ryan Graham is the Director of Outside Plant Engineer with Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (HTC) and has been with the company for 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Carolina, Honors College, and he has held a Professional Engineering Certification since 2004. Ryan is an active member of HGTC’s Electronics Engineering Technology Advisory Committee and a former board member and President of the Aynor Area Athletic Association.
Ryan’s leadership resume includes being a Senior Fellow in Class III (2013) of the Waccamaw Community Foundation’s American Leadership Forum in 2013 and a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XL (2020).
Ryan is a native of Horry County having graduated from Aynor High School, and currently resides in Aynor with his wife Brandy, 2 sons, and a daughter. The family enjoys serving on the mission field with trips to India, Germany, Israel, Haiti, and other world outreach locations. They also enjoy camping and watching their children compete in multiple sports.
Dr. Jessica Y. Greene, LPC
Dr. Jessica Y. Greene is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a private practice practitioner in the Grand Strand area and is a native of Sumter, SC. She is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology, Webster University with a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Counseling, Northcentral University with a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in General Psychology, and Leadership Grand Strand Class 40.
Dr. Greene is a private practice practitioner and works with people of all ages and specializes in mental health, anxiety, depression, trauma and grief. She previously was a professional counselor and mental health counselor in a school setting. She tailors her approach to meet the needs of each client ranging from cognitive behavioral techniques to faith-based counseling. Her goal is to help improve her client’s quality of life and mental health.
Dr. Greene has been involved in several volunteer roles with organizations since moving to the Grand Strand such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Myrtle Beach Sunrise Rotary Club, Horry County Schools, Habitat for Humanity of Horry County, and Junior League of the Grand Strand. When Dr. Greene is not working or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, golfing, reading, and traveling.
Matt Harris, a native of the Midwest, relocated to Myrtle Beach in 1998 to be involved with the launch and inaugural season of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and opening of Pelicans Ballpark then aptly named Coastal Federal Field.
He served a term on the Board of Directors for the Grand Strand Miracle League during its early years, is a graduate of the Myrtle Beach Citizens Police Academy and a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XXIII.
Today Matt is a full-time licensed real estate agent with RE/MAX First Choice, is an active member of F3 Grand Strand, a men’s group, which is focused on fitness and leadership as well as serving as Chapel Leader for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, a position he has held since 2005.
He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa where he was a founding member of the Iowa Theta chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Matt and his wife, Carrie, are parents to Elizabeth (15) and Ethan (12) and four-legged rescue pooch “Kinnick.”
Immediate Past Chair
I was born in Texas in 1984, but I don’t consider myself a millennial. I moved to South Carolina in 1999 – the day high school started. I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2007, summa cum laude, with a B.S. in Business Administration and from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2010, cum laude, with a Juris Doctor. I worked briefly for the S.C. Attorney General in the securities fraud division, then clerked for a Circuit Court judge, and finally moved to Myrtle Beach in 2012 to work for the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor. I am a violent crimes prosecutor here in Horry County. In addition to prosecuting defendants charged with murder, armed robbery, burglary, etc., I supervise a team of prosecutors and I work with the Horry County Drug Court. I enjoy golfing, going to concerts, relaxing on the beach, reading, and volunteering with high school and middle school mock trial.
Daniel W. Hoppe
Daniel W. Hoppe, Jr. is the Executive Director of Academic Services and Professional Development at Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC). He has spent the last 23 years dedicated to higher education and nonprofit management. Dan has focused his efforts on distance/online education, professional development/ training, strategic planning, change management, alumni development, marketing, and fundraising. Dan holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toledo, a Master of Arts in Organizational Management and Strategic Planning from Spring Arbor University and is currently completing a Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies at Bowling Green State University (ABD). He is also a proud graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XXXIX.
In our community, Dan has served as the Accountability Chair for the Multiplying Good Grand Strand Advisory Board, President of the St. James High School Choir Boosters, President of the Gates II HOA and the Assistant Director of the Carolina Hitmen and Carolina Sharpshooters Lacrosse Programs. He has been a youth baseball coach with the Surfside Beach Youth Sports Association and a lacrosse coach for both The Hitmen and Sharpshooters. When Dan is not working or volunteering, he loves to grill and smoke on one of his 3 Char-Griller grills and is a Disney fanatic, planning Disney vacations for friends and families or visiting the Disney parks or cruises with his family.
Dan resides in Myrtle Beach with his wife Heather and children Danny (18), Hannah (15) and Sam (11).
Danielle Lewis, a true native of Myrtle Beach, is the Neighborhood Revitalization Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity of Horry County. She is passionate about empowering her neighbors to be the best they can be and seeing resident relationships thrive. Prior to her role at Habitat, she was the assistant manager for Pirates Voyage for over 9 years. Danielle earned an Associate Degree in Arts from Horry Georgetown Technical College and a certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace from the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida. She is a member of LGS Class 41.
Her passions include mental health advocacy, which led her to start REACH Empowerment, Inc. REACH stands for Restore, Educate, Achieve, Connect, and Heal. Through REACH Empowerment, Danielle’s time is removing barriers to mental health resources and stopping the stigma of utilizing professional services when it comes to maintaining and enhancing an individual's mental health.
Danielle has a daughter, Brooklyn, who likes to paint nails, shop and go to the park with her mommy. Danielle enjoys spending time with her family, as well as celebrating her friends. She also enjoys reading fiction novels and traveling.
Santana Pennauchi, a native of Myrtle Beach, is the owner and master event planner of EVENTS BY SANTANA, EBS. She has been in the event industry in the Grand Strand for over 7 years and continues to expand in the field. EBS offers a wide range of services to flawlessly execute full event production, festivals, weddings, fashion shows and more. She has worked with clients such as the Market Common, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Domino's Pizza Corporate, and Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce.
Santana was a member of Leadership Grand Strand Class XXXVIII (38) where she held positions such as chair of YLA, Youth Leadership Academy, and co-chair of her Ann DeBock group.
Santana resides in Myrtle Beach with her husband, Bill, and dog, Sunday.
Misty D. Polston
Misty D. Polston is a dermatology Nurse Practitioner at Waccamaw Dermatology, LLC since 2017. She is a native of Bennettsville, South Carolina, and she earned her Bachelor of Science of Nursing degree from Francis Marion University. Misty worked as a Registered Nurse for 11 years including four years for a major cruise line. She then attended South University to become a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Misty, found her passion in the dermatology field and looks forward to assisting the Grand Strand area with all of their skin care needs.
Misty is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XL. She is a founding member of the Junior League of the Grand Strand. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving, traveling, live music and snuggles with her Great Dane “Sawyer.”
I retired after 30+ years as an executive with Burroughs & Chapin Co. l have been married for 51 happy years to Lineta. We have two grown and married children and two teenage grandsons. I Began LGS 38 classes ago and served as program director until I could turn the job over to Anne DeBock after she graduated with the first class. I have served the Myrtle Beach community in many capacities through the years: chamber chair, first chair of the CAB, founder of the Grand Strand Soccer League which morphed into the YMCA program, first chair of the MB Bike & Pedestrian Committee, current chair of the MB Planning Commission.
I have especially enjoyed watching the success of the LGS program, the success of the graduates and their impacts in our community. The longevity has amazed me which I largely attribute to the leadership of the graduates who serve the program on the BOR and the leadership of directors like Diana.
Charlie is a Wealth Management Advisor and First Vice President at Merrill Lynch leading the Soto Sawyer Wealth Management Group. He was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with dual concentrations in financial services and marketing along with a minor in economics.
Charlie has been involved in several volunteer roles with organizations since moving to the Grand Strand in 2004. He has a passion for mentoring and coaching student-athletes and has spent many hours with the Socastee High School Wrestling Team as a volunteer assistant coach since 2011, attending practices and often traveling with the team for competitions. Charlie’s enthusiasm for fitness and getting out of his comfort zone has also landed him in a leadership position for the local F3 (Fitness, Fellowship, Faith) men’s group, encouraging others to devote time to taking care of their overall health, freeing them to lead in other aspects of their lives. He is a proud graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XXXIX and is excited to give back to the program through his position on the board of regents.
Charlie and his wife, Tracy, live in Myrtle Beach with their three children ages 2, 8 and 12. They enjoy spending time together riding bikes, running or exploring new things to do along the Grand Strand and around the local area.
Anna Strickland is the Government & Community Relations Representative for Santee Cooper. She is a Horry County native who spent her school years and teaching career in North Carolina before moving back to Horry County in 2016. Anna holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Teaching Licensure from Campbell University and a Master of Arts in History from UNC-Wilmington, and is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XL.
Anna is a jack of all trades with her position at Santee Cooper including, but not limited to, government relations, community relations, educational outreach, corporate outreach and volunteerism, and economic development. Her passion for community involvement has led her to serve as Chair of the Waccamaw Region Workforce Development Board for the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Public Education and Awareness Committee for the South Carolina Coastal Region Human Trafficking Task Force. Also, she is a member of Coastal Carolina University’s Women in Philanthropy and Leadership and Grand Strand Young Professionals.
She considers herself a foodie and movie-buff and enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling to historical sites, and keeping up with her active Australian Shepherd, Finn.
Sponsorship provides our investors the opportunity for recognition and publicity. For some events, sponsorship will also include tickets to the event, the opportunity to speak to attendees or to distribute promotional items. Check out the Investment and Sponsorship Program and stretch your marketing budget.
The Tidal Creek Brew Garden is supporting Substitutes for Santa all July long giving customers the opportunity to "round up" and donate, plus a special Brews to Benefit happy Hour on July 28.
Registration Now Open for Free, Half-Day Program Available to Kids Ages 7 to 12