By Paul Gable
Candace Howell came to Horry County in 2002 to begin her career in broadcast television news. Twelve years later, she is still here and loving every minute of it.
“I moved here after graduating from college believing I would fulfill my contract and move on,” said Howell. “But, I fell in love with Horry County. I love the people. There are so many great people here.”
Growing up in upstate New York, Howell said she was always inquisitive.
“I always wanted to know more about everything,” she said.
Her inquisitiveness led Howell to work at her high school television station in Sidney, New York.
“I had a teacher in high school who told me I could be a reporter,” Howell said. “I began covering sports and, later, news, literally anything that would allow me to put a camera in front of people.”
Howell took her love of journalism to the State University of New York at Morrisville where she earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Journalism, then to the State University of New York at Brockport where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting.
After graduation, Howell signed a three-year contract with WPDE TV 15 news. During her three years at WPDE, Howell completed a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Phoenix.
Having decided Horry County would be home, Howell branched out into the business community as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Lakewood Resort.
“Lakewood was a great place to work and I really got to see the inside of the tourism industry that drives this area,” Howell said.
After four years at Lakewood, Howell served two years as executive director of Coastal Uncorked while working as a freelance reporter and host of the television program “Local Living” at WMBF TV.
She moved to Director of Marketing and Membership at the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation in 2011.
“I believe very strongly in the need to encourage new businesses to locate here in order to diversify the job opportunities in the area,” Howell said.
In 2012, Howell had an opportunity to step back into a classroom as an Adjunct Professor of Public Relations and Special Topics at Coastal Carolina University. In 2013, her move to academia became permanent as she became Department Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Business at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.
“I love being in the classroom,” Howell said. “The college is at the heart of the community and it is great to be a part of the teaching process.”
Now settled with a young family in the community, Howell has decided to seek election as the council member for Horry County Council District Eight.
“I want my children to have the opportunity to go to college and find a good job in Horry County if they want to stay here and be part of the community,” Howell said.
Howell said she supports diverse job creation in the county to strengthen the local economy.
“Other communities around the nation are courting businesses and we have to be there with incentives to bring new businesses to Horry County,” she said.
Public Safety and infrastructure needs are also important issues she will concentrate on.
“As the county continues to grow, we must be there with the infrastructure and services we need,” Howell said. “Public safety is always critical and keeping ISO ratings low is important for our residents.”
“I am willing to work hard, listen and be a sponge on important issues,” Howell said. “I want to be an important force for change and growth in the community.”