Rantin: State tourism advocate honored

brantin@thestate.com (803) 771-8306March 7, 2014 

First Communion

Marion Edmonds

PERRY BAKER — Perry Baker

Marion M. Edmonds has made a practice of promoting South Carolina’s scenic view, and that passion for the state’s landscape has distinguished him among the state’s tourism leaders.

The S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism spokesman recently received the Fred P. Brinkman Award for lifetime achievements in the industry. He was honored during the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism & Travel on Hilton Head Island.

“Marion is an extraordinary example of a leader who has made outstanding contributions to tourism on a statewide level,” said Danna Lily of the South Carolina Travel and Tourism Coalition, which presents the award.

Edmonds has worked at the department for more than 35 years. The Greensboro native and Furman University graduate joined the agency in July 1978 as a historian for the S.C. State Park System. He later served as director of tourism, managing projects and services including the state’s welcome center program, international sales team, and grants and public relations teams. He also is credited with helping shape research and programming at state parks that ultimately brought visitors and strengthened tourism in park communities.

The award is named for Fred P. Brinkman, PRT’s longest-serving director, who led the development of the agency as a leader in South Carolina’s tourism industry.

Hospital appoints temporary leader

Providence Hospitals recently named Michael French as interim chief executive officer.

“I am pleased to join the Providence leadership team and the thousands of talented employees and health care professionals of these two great hospitals,” French said. “Their clear commitment to providing the very best cardiac and orthopedic care in the state is energizing and inspiring.”

French has served as president and CEO of Michael French & Associates, a health care interim management and consulting firm based in Roswell, Ga.; as interim CEO of Universal Hospitals Group, an 11-hospital system based in Istanbul, Turkey; and as managing director of Huron Consulting Group, a global management consulting company that offers services in health care, education, law and finance.

He has served in various executive leadership roles at hospitals and management consultant firms nationwide.

“We have every confidence that Michael’s leadership will continue this ministry’s momentum in quality and excellence as we carry out the search for the next permanent president and CEO of Providence Hospitals, ” board chair Michael Kapp said.

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