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Celebrating 35 Years of Leadership Grand Strand

LGS Alumni Memories and Insights

As LGS celebrates 35 years of providing leadership training, networking and community service to the Grand Strand, we have asked our alumni to share with us their favorite memories and insights into how Leadership Grand Strand has affected their lives.


"I couldn't resist this: How has LGS affected my life?

That's easy, and I have shared this information with many participants of LGS classes since completing LGS III: My fellow classmates have been and are friends for life! Almost 30 years have passed, yet when any of us run into each other, the experience feels just like it was yesterday; we pick up where we last left off. It's a great feeling to know after all these years we can still share the experience!" - Ruthie Kearns


"My boss at the time, Sandra Page, encouraged me to complete an application for LGS. I really did not know much about the program and after reading the requirements was skeptical about submitting my application. So I did and low and behold got accepted! How thankful I am that I was accepted ... this is by far the best thing I have done in a very long time! I learned so much about Horry County - the county I have lived in for over 40 years of my life. I did not know our county was filled with so much history and excitement. I also learned about the importance of volunteerism in Horry County. Today I try to volunteer in the community - knowing the importance of the needs throughout our county. I met so many wonderful people in my class who today are my very close friends. These new friendships mean the world to me. The LGS program allowed me to grow personally and professionally and I am so thankful I am a Leadership graduate of class XXVII. I believe very strongly in this program and am proud to have served on the Board of Regents for the last 3 years with a fabulous group of people. LGS rocks! " - Rosie Minton


"I have lived on the Grand Strand for 30 years and made lots of friends, but my best friends ever were after one class at LGS 25." - Dr. David W. Powers, Ocean Breeze Awnings & More


"When I began Class VIII in 1987, Myrtle Beach had not yet experienced the great expansion and development we enjoy today. I had just begun my career at Grand Strand General Hospital (now Regional Medical Center) and there were great hopes and plans for future development. The early years in the LGS program were somewhat different from today’s agenda. Our class traveled to different businesses and learned about their connection to the city. We toured historic sites in the area and discovered the roles these sites played in our development. Our class project was a video of the early history of Myrtle Beach and Horry Countyentitled “From Mastodons to Master Suites.” Months of hard work and preparation, plus assistance from many local businessmen, went into this project, which proudly was presented to the Chamber of Commerce at a news conference. My year in LGS was a highlight of my professional career. I learned so much about my community where I had been a resident for almost 20 years, and thought I knew just about everything there was to know! After attending City Council meetings and visiting local businesses for orientation, a whole new world of knowledge opened up to me and I gained a new appreciation for my “hometown.” Some of the friendships formed during that year are still alive today and now “we” are the older generation looking to the young leaders of today. I display my LGS Certificate of Graduation proudly on my office wall and have told many of the influence this experience held for me. Thank you, MB Chamber of Commerce, for making this valuable learning and growing experience available!" - Gay Cooke


"First I must say I met and got to know many wonderful people, and still today, many of us keep in touch, which I feel is one of the ultimate missions for LGS. LGS Class XXV was the first class to construct a Habitat for Humanity home; we had such a great time and learned so much. It was completed in record time and under budget. We also had the opportunity to collect non-perishable food items for the Community Center. This was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. Our goal was to collect 10,000 food items which we did. Standing outside a grocery store for two days asking for help has helped me realize that we can all do something to help those in need, and there are so many in need. All of the LGS class was passionate about our projects, and I think it showed through the enthusiasm and quality of work that everyone did. Thank you Myrtle Beach Chamber for offering such an outstanding program. Since my experience I have increased my community service efforts in the areas which I feel very passionate about and encourage all of my friends and family to do the same. We were also the last class that had the fortunate opportunity to work with Dee Briggs who will never be forgotten. She could ring a bell like no other!!" - Sandra M. Page, Carolina First Bank