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      Horry County names new airport director

      Pat Apone has been named the new Director of Airports, Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge announced Monday.

      Apone has been serving as the Interim Airport Director since Mike LaPier left last September.

      Apone has been with the Horry County Department of Airports since 1997, according to Eldrige, and has served as the Assistant Director of Airports, the Chief Financial Officer and the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration for the department.

      "Pat has been the backbone of the airport for years and has earned the top spot of Director," Eldridge stated in Monday's news release. "When Pat began working at the airport, the airport was operating in a deficit position. Since that time, the Airport has operated more efficiently and diversified revenues to achieve a responsible fund balance that allows for an excellent bond rating and stability to weather the fluctuations of the airline industry. In her recent tenure as interim director, Pat wrapped up several projects and secured a new airline use agreement. With Pat, Horry County is getting a new Director who knows our airports inside and out, and will make an excellent addition to our management team. Her results-oriented and inclusive leadership style best fits the needs of this position."