Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Myrtle Beach.
In addition to a keynote address by Frank Luntz, a New York Times best selling author and political strategist, those who attended were treated to lunch and a variety of small group sessions.
The chamber expected about 400 people to attend the meeting.
"This is a bigger turnout than normal because we made this year's meeting for free. We wanted to be very budget sensitive, value sensitive and we wanted to reach small businesses who don't have a big budget, but wanted to grow their business and hopefully become bigger in 2013," said chamber president Brad Dean.
The following awards were presented to businesses and individuals:
Pioneer of the Year - Jack Thompson, Myrtle Beach photographer
Citizen of the Year - Scott Brandon, The Brandon Agency
Hospitality Employee of the Year - Ronald Bessant, The Original Benjamin's Calabash Seafood Volunteer of the Year - Jeffrey Wisniewski, Arcadian Shores Golf Club
Ambassador of the Year - Rhett Fowler, Canterbury Apartment Homes
LGS Ann DeBock Leadership Award - Dr. Debbie Conner, Coastal Carolina University
Young Professional of the Year - John Sawyer, Conway National Bank
Community Service Award - TIE between The Bellamy Law Firm and South Atlantic Bank
Business Innovation Award - Carolina Backwoods ATV Adventure Tours
Operating Green Award - Lakewood Camping Resort
Small Business of the Year - Pool Services Corp.
"The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber is definitely proud of all of the businesses and individuals that took home awards today. They are shining examples of philanthropy, good business practice, great customer service and innovative thinking," said Diana Greene, MBACC Vice President of Membership, "Year after year, we are happy to be able to recognize those doing outstanding work and making a difference in our community and along the Grand Strand."