Renee Williamson takes reins of MI2020

  • Thursday, June 19, 2014

Anita Crone/South Strand News Renee Williamson stands on the Jetty View Walk at the south end of Murrells Inlet. She is to take over as Murrells Inlet 2020 executive director in early July.

Renee Williamson has worked in both the public and private sectors.

And while her experience has stood her in good stead in both areas, her heart kept telling her to go back to the public sector.

She followed her heart, and starting in early July she will take over a very public job –executive director of Murrells Inlet 2020.

She comes back to the public sector after serving for about a year as membership and marketing director for Wachesaw Plantation Club. Prior to that, she worked part-time for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce.

Williamson, the mother of four and a resident of Pawleys island, calls herself a “relationship builder” who is looking for the positive, for a way to get people to work together.

That was one of the things that came through during her telephone and in-person interviews with the MI2020 selection panel, that recommended her to the full board. That entity gave its unanimous approval to the choice on June 13.

Sean Bond, Murrells Inlet 2020 chairman, said that the selection panel and the board were impressed by Williamson’s “leadership, marketing experience, ability to run our office and interact with community – the businesses, residents, etc.”

“My goal as the executive director will be to support and promote the mission of Murrells Inlet 2020, realizing that this can be a delicate balancing act between tourism, business development and the environment,” Williamson said on June 16.

While she is giving herself a week between jobs, she is already delving into the distinctive environmental issues that surround MI2020.

“I already have four books to read on the environment,” she laughs, adding that one of her daughters is planning to study environmental law and has been instrumental in providing her a reading list.

More than 200 people applied for the executive director position and the selection committee pared the list to three finalists for the job, which pays $35,000 a year.

The other finalists were Beth Stedman of Murrells Inlet and Nina Akin of Myrtle Beach.

Stedman has program management, fundraising and economic development experience and has previously volunteered on the Murrells Inlet 2020 board for several years.

Akin has previous nonprofit and fundraising experience and served as past president of the Chamber of Commerce of Tulare, Calif., from 2010 to 2013 before moving to South Carolina.

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