Leadership Grand Strand (LGS) is pleased to announce that Tracy Bailey, Ph. D., is the recipient of the organization’s Ann DeBock Leadership Award. Bailey is the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach and the founder and executive director of Freedom Readers, an afterschool and summer literacy program serving Horry and Georgetown counties.
Bailey was presented with the honor at the annual Ann DeBock Leadership Award Alumni Social on Jan. 28, 2022. Each year, the recognition is given to an LGS graduate who exhibits outstanding leadership and service to their community.
“While we had incredible nominees put forth for this award, Dr. Bailey truly stood out for the many contributions she has made to our community, including inspiring our youth at the Boys and Girls Club and at Freedom Readers. She’s a role model for all,” said Diana Greene, executive director of LGS.
In 2020, Bailey was appointed as the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club and in 2010, she founded Freedom Readers. A Georgetown County native, Bailey earned a Ph.D. in education with a specialization in language and literacy from the University of South Carolina.
As part of the project, this year’s LGS class that nominated Bailey constructed and installed a Little Free Library outside the Boys and Girls Club. The little library was dedicated to Dr. Bailey in a ceremony Jan. 19. The public bookshelf was crafted using wood from Bailey’s hometown of Santee, S.C., and a hand-carved wooden toolbox belonging to her father, Richard “Huckabuck” Amos Swinton, who inspired her to read as a child.
“As my father taught me, literacy is an essential tool and his toolbox being inside the Little Free Library represents that work that you do when you’re young that will help you be successful when you’re older. Now, we’ve got a place where kids can exchange books for free at anytime—rain or shine,” Bailey said.
Three finalists also were honored during the social Friday - Blakely Roof, president & CEO of the United Way of Horry County; Todd Setzer, CEO of A&I Fire and Water Restoration; and Jeffrey Wisniewski, membership programs and events manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association.
The Ann DeBock Leadership Award was commissioned and started by LGS Class 19 in memory of Ann DeBock, the program’s first executive director from 1979 to 1998. For more information, visit LeadershipGrandStrand.com.
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