Cox named new board chair for LR Chamber
Austin Cox, new chairman of the board, and Cathy Honeycutt, departing chair, were attending the Little River Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at River Hills Golf Club on Tuesday night where they exchanged the gavel.
By Elisabeth Strillacci
A new chairman of the Board of Directors of the Little River Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center took the gavel in hand on Tuesday night at the organization’s annual business meeting.
Executive Director Jennifer Walters welcomed members to the dinner, noting the group is celebrating 12 years of existence.
“We strive to help Little River grow and prosper,” she said, “so we thank our sponsors and ask that you all support fellow members, because we are all in this together. And of course we can’t do this without our ambassadors and our staff.
“We are looking forward to 2016 with lots of plans and announcements and of course the continuation of our festivals,” she added before recognizing departing board members Kim Masson, who was unable to attend, and Clay Swenson.
“This was the first organization we joined when we moved here,” said Swenson. “We truly believe in the Little River community. Over the years there have been a lot of changes and a lot of growth, and we’re proud to have been a part of that.” Swenson served five years on the board.
Walters then invited departing board chairman Cathy Honeycutt to speak.
“Little River is a mixed bag of nuts,” Honeycutt said. “This last year, we wanted to make sure everybody in the state government, the county government, everybody, knew who we are. And believe me, everybody knows who we are now and what we are working on. Another goal was getting 31 to North Carolina, to take some of the traffic load off Little River, and after a lot of work, the money is there, and North Carolina knows it has to get done, and it’s going to happen. We have a lot to be proud of.”
Honeycutt handed the gavel to incoming chairman Austin Cox, who thanked his wife, Hannah, for her support and patience “in listening to me talk about the Chamber all the time.
“And thank you all for entrusting me with the reigns of the organization,” he said. “We will, in 2016, continue on the path started by Cathy and Jennifer and all of us, including continuing the festivals, the Blue Crab Festival and ShrimpFest, which are two of the best and most widely known in the state. We are going to bust our tails every day for our members.”
Walters then presented awards to four members of the organization, beginning with the Mary Martin award. Martin, Walter’s predecessor in the organization, was known for going above and beyond throughout her time with the Chamber, and Mark Vymislicky, owner of MVP Training Studio, was presented with the Mary Martin Award for his numerous ongoing activities, like the turkey drive.
Daniel Turner of BB&T received the John W Griggs Ambassador of the Year award for his tremendous efforts in representing the Chamber throughout the community and the greater Myrtle Beach area.
The Freedom of Little River Award was presented posthumously to Timothy Nugent, a firefighter who died in December and who represented the spirit of caring for the community and one another. The award will go to Fire Station Two in his honor.
Tiff Guilliams of Ford’s Fuel and Propane received the Member Business of the Year award after his company “got re-involved, I mean really re-involved, with the festivals, “ said Walters.
“We appreciate everyone who came out and helped us and we’re looking forward to doing it all again soon,” said Guilliams.