Edisto Chamber’s 2023 Annual Event: Honoring Community Leaders and Celebrating Milestones
On Wednesday June 21, more than 130 members of the Edisto Chamber of Commerce convened at the Edisto Beach Civic Center for their Annual Event, marking the culmination of the 2022-23 year. This lively gathering serves as an enjoyable occasion to express gratitude, foster networking, present significant awards, and provide a comprehensive overview of the Chamber’s achievements throughout the past year.
Business of the Year Award
The most significant recognition of the evening was the 2023 Business of the Year Award. This recognition is given by the Edisto Chamber of Commerce each year to honor a business in the community that goes above and beyond. The Chamber Board selects five nominees within the community and then the Chamber membership votes to determine the winner.
The 2023 Business of the Year Award went to The Plantation Course at Edisto!
A longtime supporter of the Edisto Chamber, the Plantation Course at Edisto has been a significant stakeholder in the community for years. Heather Henderson currently manages the Plantation Course with support from Greg Wood, General Manager of both the Stono Ferry course and the Edisto course. The beautiful grounds are maintained by Superintendent Zach Rish.
In addition to being a valued business in the community that supports the local economy and tourism, the Plantation Course also focuses on giving back to the community. They host several fundraising tournaments each year. The Chickenman Memorial Tournament has quickly become a prestigious competition honoring the memory of Leland Vaughan, raising funds that go towards providing a baseball scholarship to Presbyterian College. They have further expanded the benefits of the tournament so that several local charities also receive a donation each year: the Edisto Home Mission Team and the Edisto Youth Recreation League were the recipients in 2022 and the Edisto Good Samaritan Smile Fund benefitted this year. The Plantation Course also host fundraiser tournaments benefiting both ALOE (Animal Lovers of Edisto) and Edisto Island Youth Recreation. Recently, they also spearheaded a new tournament, the Edisto Island Invitational Women’s College Tournament. Widely successful, the women’s tournament has been a great tourism driver, focusing on an untapped demographic and bringing new people to the area.
The Plantation Course shows further support for the business community through their relationship with the Edisto Chamber. Last year, the Plantation Course supported the Chamber’s Turtle Tide Art Project as the music sponsor for the auction and they regularly sponsor networking events like Business After Hours. Henderson has served on the Chamber Board for several years. Employees at the golf course regularly attend Chamber functions and are always willing to help donate services or items for various Chamber events.
One more delightful fun fact about the business: the Plantation Course boasts something not many other pro shops of its kind have – a very unique gift shop full of carefully curated items. You don’t have to be a golfer to stop in and find something special you probably wouldn’t find anywhere else on the island. And if you are a golfer, you are sure to find a new staple to your golf attire you never knew you were missing!
Martha Whetstone Service Award
The other award given out that evening was the 2023 Martha Whetstone Service Award. This award has been given annually by the Chamber since 2005, created in honor of the late Martha Whetstone, a pillar in the Edisto community. The award is given to honor a business, group, or individual that has provided exceptional service for either the community or the Chamber. The Chamber Board of Directors nominates and selects the recipient.
The 2023 Martha Whetstone Service Award went to Peter and Linda Beck!
It would be hard to find anyone as dedicated to the Edisto community as Peter and Linda Beck. The Becks have been coming to Edisto since 1990 and took up permanent residence in 2013.
We all know them for opening Green Boat Discount Liquor Store on the Island, which quickly became a fixture in the business community. However, starting a very successful community-based business is not the only thing they’re involved in. Peter Beck serves on the board for so many local organizations: the Edisto Island Open Land Trust (EIOLT), the Edisto Lions Club, the Edisto Chamber, FRESPACE, Edisto Island Youth Recreation, and the TIDE Committee. Peter has recently discovered a hidden talent as an emcee/auctioneer where his vocal stylings can be heard at the South Carolina Governor’s Cup, the Edisto Island Open Land Trust Oyster Roast, and the Edisto Chamber’s Turtle Tide Art Auction.
The Beck’s are both huge advocates for the Chamber. Peter was on the Chamber Board for 6 years, 5 of which he served as President. During his time on the Board, both he and Linda attended and supported Chamber events, even volunteering to assist with setup and breakdown of the events. They volunteer for the Red Cross, Botany Bay, the Edisto Island Open Land Trust, Edisto Island Youth Recreation, the Edisto Island Lions Club, Edisto Beach State Park, and St. Frederick & St. Stephens Catholic Church.
Linda is the powerhouse behind her partner! She supports and volunteers for community events all the time. Linda spearheaded the Trunk or Treat for kids at Green Boat during Covid; she is very involved in anything to do with kids. Because of their educational backgrounds and knowledge of how schools work, they were both instrumental in saving Jane Edwards Elementary School. Linda further supports the children of the island through tutoring and daycare.
Year in Review
The Edisto Chamber’s year commences and concludes in July, so a large part of the Annual Event involves summarizing the previous year’s performance.
MARKETING & ADVERTISING
When it comes to promoting tourism, the Chamber typically focuses advertising efforts to boost the off-season, most efforts are regionally targeted to areas within a 4-6 hour drive time from Edisto. A variety of different media outlets are used, including audio (through Spotify), print, digital, and social Media.
- 80,000 Website Users
- 40,000 Member Page Views
- 2,800 Job Posting Views
- Facebook followers up 10%, reached over 10,000 this year
- Instagram followers up 8%
With support from local businesses, the Chamber hosted six (6) Business After Hours, five (5) Movies in the Park, the annual 5k Road Race, Turtle Tide Art Reveal, the Edisto Fall Festival & Turtle Tide Art Auction, and the Christmas Weekend at Edisto. The first Turtle Tide Art Auction was a huge success and raised over $60,000 for local non-profits. Our 2nd Annual Turtle Tide Art Auction will be held October 7 during the Fall Festival, and we are hopeful it will be just as successful as last year!
The Edisto Chamber’s Annual Event provided the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and fellow business members while enjoying delectable refreshments. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended and showed their support!