Gary M. Loftus has been named director of Coastal Carolina University's Center for Economic and Community Development. The center, housed in Coastal's E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, serves as a bridge between the university and the business community, sponsoring applied research for local business and governmental agencies as well as other projects relating to economy and business.
Loftus is a noted area civic and tourism industry leader. He is chairman of the Road Improvement and Development Committee (R.I.D.E.) and the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association and serves on the board of directors of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the South Carolina Hotel-Motel Association, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and the City of Myrtle Beach Tourism Committee. From 1974 to 2002, he was general manager of the Bar Harbor Motor Inn in Myrtle Beach. He is president of G & K Management, Inc., a Surfside Beach management and consulting firm.
Loftus has been the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto (1997), the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year Award (1998) and the South Carolina Hotelier of the Year Award (1995-1996).
"We are very fortunate to have someone with Gary's vast experience and considerable expertise at the helm of the Center for Economic and Community Development," said David DeCenzo, dean of Coastal's Wall College of Business Administration. "A major facet of the center's mission is to interact with the surrounding community, involving faculty and students in projects with practical applications which benefit area businesses and organizations. Gary's extensive background in the private and public sectors at both the local and state levels will enable him to lead the center to new levels of excellence."
The Horry County Higher Education Commission created the Center for Economic and Community Development in 1988 to conduct applied research and offer special services that are relevant to the needs of the region. Under the guidance of an advisory board of local business leaders, the center has conducted many research projects through the years including numerous surveys, assessments, feasiblity studies and impact studies.
Loftus earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Princeton University in 1962.