Bowed Up

A dozen local guys man up for annual Mr. Myrtle Beach contest

September 12, 2012 

  • If you go What | Fourth annual Mr. Myrtle Beach contest When | Doors open 5 p.m. Saturday, contest begins at 6 p.m. Where | Revolutions Nightclub, Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach How much | $5 general admission; VIP $20 Contact | 282-0454 or katiesproject.org/MrMyrtleBeach

In baseball lore, there’s Mr. October, Reggie Jackson.

In dreams there’s Mr. Right - and sometimes in reality, Mr. Wrong, for that matter.

In ‘rasslin’, there’s Mr. Wonderful, Paul Orndorff, and who can forget the iconic Mr. Clean with his shaved head and earring?

Then there’s Mr. Myrtle Beach and come Saturday, Bradley Livingston will have to relinquish his claim to that title.

Livingston, Mr. Myrtle Beach 2011, will be succeeded on Saturday as a new Mr. Myrtle Beach is crowned.

Yes, it’s time again for the 4th annual Mr. Myrtle Beach competition, a pageant-style contest that pits a dozen local men in head-to-head competition set for Saturday evening at Revolutions Nightclub at Broadway at the Beach.

It’s serious competition and raises money for a noble cause (Katie’s Project) that provides prom dresses and other gear for local students, but make no mistake, this isn’t a gender-bending, drag queen-type of affair where men don evening gowns, plaster on forced smiles and tear up for tiaras - it’s all about men being men.

The dozen contestants represent a cross section of backgrounds and occupations, from TV and radio personalities to fire fighters to attorneys to hair stylists to attraction managers and restaurateurs - all professing a desire to give back to the community.

Get to know them in following Surge-style mini-bios.

Contestant: Craig Atkins

Occupation: General Manager, Ripley’s Aquarium

Atkins recently relocated to Myrtle Beach, but he is no stranger to the area, according to the Katie’s Project Web site. Although he originally resided in Indiana and Minnesota, Atkins has vacationed in South Carolina for the past 15 years.

He is currently the General Manager for Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach. When he’s not at work or volunteering his time for worthy causes, he enjoys working on sports cars, coaching youth soccer, practicing martial arts and self-defense, nature photography, and spending time with his wife, two kids, and numerous family pets.

- Rebecca Robertson, for Weekly Surge

Contestant: William Baker

Age: 35

Occupation: Assistant Manager and Product Specialist for M.A.C.

Residence: A Citizen of the World and the Grand Strand

Hometown: Woodbridge, Va.

The question is, what doesn’t William Ashton Glynn Baker do? He is an only child who has five siblings (they’re half brothers and sisters). He is the cantor at Saint Andrew Catholic Church. (For those of us who don’t know…cantors are the lead singers and sometimes instructors of an ecclesiastical choir) He has been involved with religious education. He’s swung a metaphorical sword with the Knights of Columbus. He’s down with The Jesuits of New Orleans and the Franciscans Conventional of D.C. and the Oratorians of Rock Hill. And when he’s not totally exhausted, he walks his rescue dog, Max.

But wait, let’s talk about his life in the ‘90s – Baker attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. He graduated with Honors from Myrtle Beach High School when he was 16. He spent some time at Furman University, then some more time at the University of South Carolina and graduated from Coastal Carolina University.

But really wait, Will I Am also rocks the mike…among other things. Not only can he beat a tune out of a piano and slide the horsehair across a violin like nobody’s business – he’s also a classically trained vocalist. He excels in opera and musical theater, soloing at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the National Pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – Holy Jesuit, this guy has a resume. But wait, there’s more.

Not only can the dude wax poetic in seven languages, he’s also kind of a big deal in the beauty industry. He’s laid down the base with Chanel, Laura Mercier, and M.A.C.

Plus this guy can turn a phrase – he’s had editorial pieces published in various beauty and fitness magazines. And surprise, surprise…He took a minute to own the runways of New York when he worked Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and earned a nomination by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for Outstanding Makeup Design.

Did we mention his work for charity? Katie’s Project is just the beginning. He’s scratched the belly of the Grand Strand Humane Society. He’s pumped it up for The American Red Cross. He’s been sweet on The American Diabetic Association. He’s raced his pulse for The American Heart Association. Baker has also given it up for Catholic Charities, Care Team, and The Human Rights Campaign.

- Derrick Bracey, For Weekly Surge

Contestant: Sean Fredericks

Age: 38

Occupation: Operating Partner at The Melting Pot Restaurant

Residence:  Myrtle Beach

Hometown: Myrtle Beach

A certified chef with the American Culinary Foundation and a graduate of the Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s culinary program, Fredericks certainly knows his way around a kitchen. His passion for the restaurant industry developed at a young age and translates to his position today as the Operating Partner of The Melting Pot in Myrtle Beach.

After reading a news story about a local high school student in need of no-cost formal wear, Fredericks decided to get involved with Katie’s Project and the Mr. Myrtle Beach contest. He also volunteers his time for other worthy causes including the American Heart Association, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, March of Dimes, and the Horry County Early College High School’s Business/Education Expectations (BE2) program. In 2010, Fredericks created the Jerrette Fredericks Culinary Scholarship in honor of his mother to help aid students seeking to get involved in the culinary arts program at HGTC.

Here’s some more about Fredericks in his own words.

Q: | Describe your personal fashion sense in three words: 

A: | Cool, sophisticated, and simple.

Q. | Favorite sports team(s)? 

A: | Gamecocks and the Redskins

Q. | What’s on your iPod or other playlist? 

A: | Mostly country - Jason Alden and Keith Urban. Also, Lenny Kravitz, JT, and Usher.

Q. | If you’re single, describe the perfect first date? 

A: | I am mostly traditional, so probably dinner and a movie or some dancing.

Q. | What super-power would you wish to possess – the ability to fly, X-ray vision, mind-control,

etc?

A: | The ability to fly. I like to get everywhere as fast as possible.

Q. | Who is your role model and why? 

A: | My father, he has always been very supportive and is very smart, calm and level-headed.

Q. | If you could invite a celebrity to dinner, who would it be and why?

A: | Will Ferrell, because he is funny as hell.

Q. | What is the craziest thing you’re willing to do to become Mr. Myrtle Beach? 

A: | I think trying to sing is the craziest thing.

- R.R.

Contestant: Brandon Herring

Age: 32

Occupation: Previously employed as a news and anchorman with WMBF in Myrtle Beach. Currently he is “technically unemployed” but looking for more broadcasting work.

Residence: Myrtle Beach

Hometown: Lumberton, N.C.

Life has taken Herring from the farm fields of his youth in Lumberton to a career in TV broadcasting, with stints as an anchor and reporter at stations in Charlotte, N.C., Dalton, Ga., and Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va. He’s a graduate of the highly-esteemed School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has lived in Myrtle Beach for nearly four years. This single guy’s hobbies include working out and competing in sprint-length triathlons.

Q. | What was the most exciting story you covered as a TV reporter?

A. | Probably the wildfires around Myrtle Beach in 2009.

Q. | Why should you be crowned Mr. Myrtle Beach?

A. | Part of the effort is the fundraising and acting as an ambassador for Katie’s Project, and I really do know the area well through my work here. I may not have grown up here, but I feel connected to the community, and I’ve made a lot of connections with people who seem really willing to give.

Q. | How would you describe your personal fashion and what is a typical outfit for you?

A. | I must say I was well known as a sharp dresser at WMBF. I like to just keep it classic, not too trendy but not old fashioned. If I’m not at work, I’m probably at the gym so a lot of times you’ll find me in a cut off T-shirt and gym shorts, otherwise khakis and a polo shirt.

Q. | What’s on your iPod or other current playlist?

A. | Nothing. I don’t listen to music outside of radio in the car. For many people music is a huge part of their lives, but in general I listen to podcasts or if I’m in the car, most of the time I have on National Public Radio. My favorite music artist, however, is Sting.

Q. What makes a man a man?

A. | In this day and age, there really is not much that a man can do that a woman can’t also do equally. I really think the only difference still is physicality…men are bigger and stronger in many cases. That’s the biggest difference to me.

Q. | Any pet peeves?

A. | Bad grammar drives me crazy, both in writing and speaking.

Q.| What’s something nobody knows about you?

A. | As much as I don’t listen to music that much, I actually did play clarinet in high school band and in the band at college, and I can play both classical and band ensemble music. I’m incorporating it into my talent for Mr. Myrtle Beach.

--Christina Knauss, for Weekly Surge

Contestant: Chris Nash

Age: 29

Occupation: Lt. with North Myrtle Beach Fired Dept., and server at Pirate’s Voyage

Residence: Carolina Forest

Hometown: Newark, Del.

This CCU grad sounds like he stays busy putting out fires - as he also is a paid-per-call volunteer firefighter with Horry County Fire Rescue. Nash earned a degree in History from CCU, and is now working on a Master’s Degree “in the Science of Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership through Grand Canyon University's Online Program,” according to his bio posted on katiesproject.org.

That bio also states that individuals have the power to change others’ lives, with “the decisions you make, your attitude towards others and the situations you put yourself in.”

He hopes to change lives by capturing the Mr. Myrtle Beach title, which would “help change a young girl’s life in a single night – one she’ll remember as feeling beautiful, happy and confident. Those are the memories every girl deserves to look back on and smile,” according to the aforementioned online bio.

Q. | How would you describe your personal style?

A. | My personal fashion is pretty basic – cargo shorts, t-shirt, and sandals...he dress code for anyone livin’ the Myrtle Beach dream.

Q. Where do you shop?

A. | The majority of my clothes come from American Eagle, Aeropostale, and the occasional trip to Express.

Q. Your favorite team(s)?

A. | Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Philadelphia Flyers are my favorite pro-teams. As far as college, I’m Notre Dame, gold and blue, through and through.

Q. | How do you spend your leisure time?

A. | Some of my favorite activities are to travel (Dave Matthews Band concerts, sporting events, and leisure), play guitar, and exercise.

Q. | What’s on your iPod?

A. | I have all different genres of music on my iPod, everything from Dave Matthews Band and Goo Goo Dolls to country and rock groups, like Keith Urban and Metallica.

Q. | Who is your role model?

A. | My role model would have to be my Dad. He has worked as hard as he can for his family, and he continues to work for as long as he can. My Dad is a military veteran who served in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart, along with many other medals, for his bravery and service to his country. His will to be as motivated as he is, has had a large affect on me and how I live my life. I can only hope to be as great of a dad as he has been.

Q. |What are your prom memories?

A. | My prom was a memorable one. I spent it with all of my friends, and it was an experience that I’m glad to make happen for girls in our area who may have not had the opportunity.

- - Kent Kimes, Editor

Contestant: James “Jimbo” Newton

Age: 42

Occupation: Stylist at Salon Edge, North Myrtle Beach

Residence: North Myrtle Beach

Hometown: Rockingham, N.C.

Jimbo Newton knows a lot about style and looking good…it’s how he makes his living. A Grand Strand resident for more than 30 years, Newton has become what some people refer to as the Strand’s “hair guru,” with more than 25 years of experience as a stylist helping people of all ages look and feel better about themselves. Beside his work at the salon, Newton also served as head hair designer at this year’s Charleston Fashion Week and works as an interior designer.

He supports and participates in many charitable efforts around the Myrtle Beach area, and relaxes with boat trips on the Intracoastal Waterway. Newton also loves spending time with his twin nieces, Isabel and James, and his dog Tucker.

Q. | Why should you be crowned Mr. Myrtle Beach?

A. | I feel I would be a great spokesperson for Mr. Myrtle Beach and Katie's Project because I work with a lot of girls for all different proms along the Grand Strand and understand the issues of that age group.

Q. | Single or in a relationship?

A. | I have been in a relationship for 21 years.

Q. | How would you define your personal fashion/style?  

A. | I am a chameleon.  I like classic with a side of funk.

Q. | Do you have a favorite clothing designer that you wear frequently?  

A. | Ralph Lauren, Gucci, J.Crew, LV. 

Q. | Describe yourself in one word or one sentence.  

A. | Giving, would be one word to describe myself. 

Q. | If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?  

A. | I would want to see the future.

Q. | Do you have a pet peeve?  

A. | Yes, slow drivers in the fast lane.

Q. | What makes a man a man in your opinion?

A. |Honesty and hard working.

Q. | What's something nobody knows about you?  

A. | “I open mouth kissed a horse once"  (Austin Powers).

- C.K.

Contestant: Andrew Phillips

Age: A young and brash rapscallion

Occupation: Weekend Meteorologist for WBTW News 13

Residence: The Eye of a Hurricane and the Grand Strand

Hometown: Woodstock, Ga.

The man from Woodstock is a storm chaser with his finger in the wind and his head in the clouds. Phillips spends his weekends trying to figure out the future for you – will the sun be kind? Will it rain? Is a tsunami on the way? Tune in to Phillips on News 13.

Making the most of his unpredictable tropical environment, Phillips eats hail for dessert, takes a shower in torrential downpours, makes a bed in gale-force winds, and lets a tornado rock him to sleep. He touched down in various locales of Georgia before joining WBTW as a meteorologist and news content specialist. He’s been the weekend weather warrior at WBTW since January.

But Phillips is a true son of the Peach State. He graduated from the University of Georgia and his bite is just as bad as his bark. So when he’s not woofing out the weather conditions, he’s barking for his Georgia Bulldogs.

Phillips also likes long walks on the beach and working as a volunteer with Wellspring Church. So, don’t leave him blowing in the wind, he needs your vote.

- D. B.

Contestant: John David Ray

Age: 29

Occupation: Attorney

Residence: Myrtle Beach

Hometown: Myrtle Beach

Yessiree, a honest-to-God Myrtle Beach native, Ray grew up working at various jobs along Ocean Boulevard and restaurants along the Grand Strand and would seem to be both a Tiger and a Gamecock. That’s because he did his undergraduate work at Clemson, but went to law school at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

When he’s not practicing law, he teaches part-time at CCU, and has participated in Leadership Grand Strand and the Citizens Police Academy offered by the Myrtle Beach Police Dept.

Let’s here from Ray in his own words.

Q. | Single, in a relationship, or its complicated?

A. | Single...I mean it's complicated...No it’s single. Yeah, let's go with single final answer.

Q. | What super-power would you wish to possess?

A. | I think super-speed would be the best super-power to have because it's like having a lot of superpowers in one. I mean you can run fast, make tornados, phase through walls by vibrating your molecules, and go faster than the speed of light and time travel among other things.

Q. | If you’re single – is it because you smell funny or just haven’t found that certain special someone yet?

A. | I just haven't found someone who brings as much to the table as I do.

Q. | How would you describe your personal fashion?

A. | Preppy.

Q. | Favorite sports team(s)?

A. | My Top 3 are the Myrtle Beach High School Seahawks, the Clemson University Tigers, and the University of South Carolina Gamecocks because I am a graduate of those three fine institutions. I also enjoy the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly professional soccer team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp pro baseball team, the Cairo Syrupmakers, the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes, and the Chattanooga Central Purple Pounders.

Q. | What makes a man a man?

A. | A man makes decisions and lives with consequences.

Q. | Who is your role model and why?

A. | My Dad who recently battled cancer.

Q. | Do you actually live within the city limits of Myrtle Beach?

A. | I live in what is known as a "donut hole" which means I live in Horry County but I am on an island of Horry County property that is surrounded on all sides by the City of Myrtle Beach. So yes I do live within the city limits of Myrtle Beach but technically no.

Q. | Name one thing you’d like to change about Myrtle Beach?

A. | I think someone should come up with a way to breed really large shrimp. That way the tourists could all ride them around and then after they camped at night they could eat them. How about it science?

- K.K.

Contestant: Alan Reid

Age: Graduated high school in 1999

Occupation: Works for Turnstyle Enterprises in Pawleys Island. His job includes handling human resources and IT-issues, sales and marketing and product media.

Hometown: Boston area, Massachusetts

Your Surge reporter tried repeatedly to get in touch with Reid by e-mail, phone and Facebook message, for this report, but social media reports indicate he may have been out of town and therefore didn’t get our smoke signals. Therefore, some basic facts about this well-rounded Massachusetts native, as provided by his bio on the Katie’s Project web site:

Reid moved to Myrtle Beach four years ago. He came to the Grand Strand to work for Turnstyle Enterprises, a new manufacturing company established by his brother-in-law. Turnstyle makes automatic gate openers and other fence products for sale at Lowe’s and Home Depot.

He studied creative writing and fine arts at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., worked at a bank there, and also does freelance web design.

He spends his free time listening to music and checking out concerts and other entertainment, likes to spend time with friends and frequently travels to his family’s vacation home in Puerto Rico.

He is also an animal lover who has two adopted cats found behind a jewelry store in Georgetown. He has also adopted cats from both the Grand Strand and Puerto Rico with his sister, Sherri Duncan, a local veterinarian. You can check out one of those cats, Scooty, who has some of his own YouTube videos.

--C.K.

Contestant: Ron Roberts

Age: A station manager never tells

Occupation: Mix 97.7, WWXM-FM Station Manager and Midday Personality

Residence: The Grand Strand, Up and Down Dial

Hometown: Grovetown, Ga.

Roberts is a winner. Driven by the need to get the word out, he’s worked in journalism since high school. First, the written word but eventually he moved to radio. Roberts has captivated earholes in Augusta, Ga. and throughout Louisiana – finally, finding a home here on the Grand Strand back in 2007.

He has won "Radio Personality of the Year" in 1997 and 1998 from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters' GABBY awards. And Roberts hangs to the left – being a dedicated Democrat who works on the local level for the party’s campaigns.

Roberts, an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs, likes to get wet, spending time with his friends and family in the water along our Strand.

Q. | What makes you so special and why should you be crowned Mr. Myrtle Beach?

A. | I don't know that I'm all that "special," really; I'm just in a position to bring some attention to a worthwhile charitable organization, and I'm glad to help out as best I can. Now, why should I be crowned Mr. Myrtle Beach? Oh, that's simple; the crown will rest easily on a shaved head.

Q. | If you’re coupled up, do you consider you and your mate as a Myrtle Beach Power Couple?

A: | Not at all. We're more the stay-at-home, rent-from-the-Red-Box and spoil the cat types.

Q. | How would you describe your personal fashion?

A: | Verrrrrry laid back. Radio's perfect for slummin' gear.

Q. | What super-power would you wish to possess?

A: | How about the ability to get beamed from one spot to another like “Star Trek?” That would rock in so many ways. A. Quick travel, B. No frisking by TSA and C. I can buzz back home and feed the cat the necessary 4-5 times.

Q. | What makes a man a man, other than the obvious?

A: | Putting others before himself. My Dad didn't have to instill that virtue in me by words. He's always showed me by actions. That's the essence of being a man.

Q. | Who is your role model and why?

A: | Folks who know me are going to roll their eyes and say, "of course." But honestly, President Barack Obama is a pretty darned good role model and here's why he works for me... First off, his childhood was anything but a charmed existence. He earned his way to some of the nation's finest colleges, became a Constitutional lawyer, which in and of itself would be an amazing story for a young man of his background and ethnicity. To be where he is today, in an era where many would have never dreamed an African-American would be, is simply amazing. And to top it off – And this is where he's a great role model for me – Has anyone ever seen the man blow his stack? I'm serious; has there ever been an individual in such a spotlight ... in such a position ... who's ever been so calm, cool and collected? Under such intense scrutiny, and with such venomous opposition? He'll do, just fine.

Q. | If crowned Mr. Myrtle Beach, will you be willing to show your birth certificate and tax records to the public?

A: | Only if Donald Trump challenges my legitimacy. In person. With a $1 million check as a reward.

Q. | Name one thing you’d like to change about Myrtle Beach?

A: | Sure would be nice to see some high speed rails up and down the Bypass median and a monorail up and down Ocean Boulevard linking Broadway at the Beach to Market Common.

Q. | What is the sexiest word to say in your radio voice?

A: | I giggle every time I intro the song by that band, Grouplove. Maybe not sexy, but definitely feels kinky.

- D.B.

Contestant: Christian Sliker

Age: 29

Occupation: Firefighter

Residence: Myrtle Beach

Hometown: Fort Lee, N.J.

He’s originally from Jersey, but he’s no Snooki...

Instead of putting out public relations fires for reality TV stars, Sliker serves as the city of Myrtle Beach Fire Dept.'s Public Educator and Public Information Officer, and you may have seen him on local TV dishing out fire safety tips and advice.

But he’s got an alter ego, performing behind the wheels-of-steel as DJ Christian Slick and venues up and down the coast.

For those single Grand Stranders looking to be a Sliker stalker, sorry, he’s been married for seven years and has a son.

Q. | Do you consider you and your wife as a Myrtle Beach Power Couple?

A. | It’s like if Oprah married Donald Trump.

Q. | How would you describe your personal fashion?

A. | Unmatched

Q. | Favorite activity?

A. | Beach volleyball

Q. | What’s on your iPod or other current playlist?

A. | Skrillex, Bon Jovi and Christian Slick

Q. | What super-power would you wish to possess – you know the ability to fly, X-vision, or mind-control?

A. | With Great power comes great responsibility, I’ll pass

Q. | What makes a man a man?

A. | Behind every great man there’s an even greater women telling them what to do...

Q. | Who is your role model and why?

A. | Honey Badger!

Q. | How would you describe your political ideology? Left, right, liberal, conservative, centrist or Libertarian?

A. | Pedro for president…..

- K.K.

Contestant: Merle Sutphin

Age: 40

Occupation: Sales Manager at Best Exterminating, Inc.

Residence:  Myrtle Beach

Hometown: Accokeek, Md.

 

Born in Washington, D.C., Sutphin moved to Myrtle Beach in 2008, relocating from Brandywine, Md. with his two children, Savannah Sky and Merle Allen, Jr.

He is excited to be involved in the Mr. Myrtle Beach contest, willing to do what it takes to win. He was nominated by his company, Best Exterminating, Inc. where he is employed as a Sales Manager.

When Sutphin is not busy with work or volunteering his time for worthy causes, he can be found exploring Myrtle Beach’s illustrious nightlife and spending quality time outdoors. He enjoys relaxing at the beach, kickin’ back poolside, jet skiing, and meeting new and fascinating people.

  

Q: | Describe your personal fashion sense in three words: 

A: | Pimpin’, Pimpin’, Pimpin’.

 

Q. | Favorite sports team? 

A: | Dallas Cowboys.

 

Q. | What’s on your iPod or other current playlist? 

A: | Pusha-T and Rick Ross

 

Q. | If you’re single, describe the perfect first date? 

A: | Still waiting on the perfect first date.  I’m single, ladies!

  

Q. | Who is your role model and why? 

A: | My mother.  She has always been there for me if I needed her.

  

Q. | Name one thing you love about Myrtle Beach? 

A: | Being able to be at the beach in two minutes.

 

Q. | What is the craziest thing you’re willing to do to become Mr. Myrtle Beach? 

A: | You name it, I will do it, with enough vodka of course.

- R.R

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