|By Claire Byun, The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"It's going great so far," Williamson said last week, about halfway through her first month as director.
Research for the Watershed Based Plan, which shows problem areas and most significant causes of pollution in the inlet, finished up last month and Williamson recently reported the findings to
"That was basically my 'baptism by fire,' " Williamson said. She said the council -- and community -- were receptive to her presentation and new official role.
The executive director oversees the organization and aids in the planning of events, projects and fundraisers. The director has a
Williamson said she applied for the position at the last possible second, after deciding she wanted to return to nonprofit work.
"I have been involved with nonprofits for over 20 years, and between nonprofit and for-profit work, nonprofits have always been my favorite," Williamson said.
Much of her nonprofit experience centers around the
"That's really where I learned a lot about funding -- writing grants and raising money," Williamson said. "In those organizations you don't have a budget, you have to raise the budget."
From 1999-2001, she served as a marketing director for 32 McDonald's stores, which gave her insight into "local, regional and national marketing techniques." After leaving that job, Williamson took the next several years to raise her four daughters.
Her 23-year-old daughter Ashleigh-Anne recently graduated from
Sixteen-year-old Lees and Emma, 14, both attend
Born and raised in
Though she resides outside of
Williamson is looking forward to the personal relationships she'll build through 2020, but said she's realizing all the hard work involved in pulling people into a team and dealing with controversial issues, such as Monday night fireworks on the MarshWalk -- some say the fireworks are damaging the inlet, while businesses say they are a boost -- and the uproar over CMT's reality show 'Party Down South."