Casey Church, 27, took an environmental education class in high school. One day her teacher suggested that she check out Coastal Carolina University. Church was looking to go somewhere for Spring Break, and decided to come down to the Grand Strand from Pennsylvania. “It was one of those great, classic Myrtle Beach days – no clouds in the sky and it was just beautiful,” she says. “I fell in love with the campus.” In 2008, she emerged from CCU with a degree in Communication and Journalism.
To say that the job market was stalled in 2008 is a colossal understatement, but by a stroke of serendipity, an opportunity came up. “I used to work for the internship director in the Edwards Building at CCU, and a couple of months after I graduated, [executive director] Pat Goodwin at the [Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin] Art Museum called her and asked if she knew of anyone because she had someone leaving a position.” The internship director recommended Church, who was ultimately hired on as museum services coordinator, a position she still holds. “I was extremely lucky to get an interview for a great position and get hired,” she says.
Church’s scope of duties is varied, so much so that she says that there is no chance to get bored – and she is able to flex her administrative and creative muscles. “Everything down to assisting the executive director with daily duties to doing daily work such as minor accounting with the gift shop and getting things ready for our accountant – managing the office – making sure the supplies are stocked and that each of the other employees has what they need to make their daily office activities run smoothly. If we have an issue with the air conditioning or the security – or the lights aren’t working – I play liaison between us and our electricians and HVAC people and things like that. And then on the other side of it, I do the press releases, marketing, and community relations.”
She is constantly putting the word out about the museum, which includes doing radio and television interviews. “I also help with the four major fundraisers we do throughout the year – whether that (means) be being on the actual committee and helping them plan the events – or just doing the backend and helping them just organize the ticket sales – a little bit of everything.”
Church is also plugged in to the community, and her efforts with gsSCENE were rewarded this year by way of the Ambassador of the Year award. “gsSCENE is the young professionals group that is run by the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce,” she says. “There are five or six ambassadors that keep in touch with our members and spread the word about the group. It’s a really great avenue for young professionals to continue bettering themselves and giving back to the community at the same time.”
Like a lot of folks who live and work here, Church says she took the beach for granted, but she has turned this around a bit. “I’d say in the last three years I have made as much of an effort as possible to get myself there as much as I can.” She is a Surfside Beach resident.
She loves children, and does a lot of babysitting for different families in the community. “I love hanging out with other people’s kids,” she says. “They remind you of the simple things in life, and they always have such cool personalities.”
As for the future, Church’s philosophy is elegant. “To a certain extent, I think it’s good to have an idea of what you want to do in the future. Right now I am kind of just living it day-to-day. With the art museum we plan everything so far in advance – our schedules are put out to 2015-2016. So it’s kind of nice when for my nine-to-five I am talking about two years in advance – but in my personal life It’s nice to live in the now.”
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