Thursday, May 23, 2013
SCRLA: New Name, New Leader
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- The South Carolina Hospitality Association is no more, instead it's now the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.
The name change and leadership change come as the organization continues to try and rebuild."
"Today's announcement is about the future," says Rick Erwin, former chairman of the former South Carolina Hospitality Association.
Thursday, Erwin announced a new President and CEO of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, John Durst.
"We are totally committed to ensuring that our association meets and hopefully exceeds our goals," says Durst.
Durst is the former Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Durst served during the Hodges administration.
His appointment Thursday comes amid a tough year for the organization that represents the state's multi-million dollar tourism industry.
Challenges the current Chairman, David McMillan, addressed.
"Hard lessons have been learned and as Rick said, new policies have been put into place to make sure that it never happens again," says McMillan.
Just over 8 months ago, officials discovered an embezzlement scheme of nearly $400,000 involving then Accounting Director Rachel Duncan.
Then SCHA President, Tom Sponseller, committed suicide.
In the time since, changees have been made.
"We initiated a series of safeguards to make sure that every penny of the association's money is audited and monitored," says Erwin.
Thursday, they turned the page with a new SCRLA President and a new name, looking for a fresh start.
Coming up tomorrow night, we will air our one-on-one sit down interview with Mr. Durst.
Hear what he has to say about taking over and his thoughts on building on what he calls Tom Sponseller's legacy.
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