Nora Hembree Battle is an employee/agent of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce located at 1201 North Oak Street. The Chamber lists her as its “Media Communications Director”. Mrs. Battle is the daughter of a prominent S.C. District 28 Senator, Greg Hembree. Mrs. Battle is also married to the son of Mike Battle, a well known local attorney who does legal work for the City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County Council.
In a suit filed against the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber, City of Myrtle Beach, and Horry County yesterday, Mrs. Battle is named as the owner of Battle Strategies, LLC. The suit states that, in the last two years, MBACC paid Battle Strategies, LLC $60,470.80 in TDF funds. (tourist tax dollars).
Mrs. Battle is only one of multiple current Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce employees who also own a private business with TDF funds paid to those businesses.
Others include Bill Rosenthal, a former MBACC employee, who now owns a business called Visibility and Conversions. MyrtleBeachSC.com was informed yesterday that Mr. Rosenthal has recently relocated to Florida. Visibility and Conversions has been paid over $60 million in TDF tax funds.
Jim Wright is yet another MBACC employee with a private Florida business paid with TDF Tax funding. Mr. Wright is MBACC’s Finance Director. He also owns Right Analytics, a Florida corporation.
Editor’s Note: When this article originally aired, we followed Google Maps’ listing of a vacant lot in this residential neighborhood. We have since learned Jim Wright has built a $600,000.00 home on this lot. When we called MBACC on Friday, they told us Mr. Wright did not work at the Chamber office on 1201 North Oak Street. We were promised his Florida number, but were, instead, disconnected.
Ms. Graham is listed by MBACC as its “Visitors’ Service Manager”. Ms. Graham also owns Com-Connect, LLC. This firm has been paid $952,690.39 in TDF funding. Ms. Graham’s business address is a rural home near Galivants Ferry, S.C.
The legal complaint against the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Myrtle Beach, and Horry County lists other firms who also received TDF monies from MBACC.
However, we spoke with several Myrtle Beach residents yesterday, who found it curious that so many MBACC employees also operated their own private businesses. How does a full time staff member at MBACC find the time to operate a private business concern?
Some found it even more curious that MBACC determined that these private businesses, owned by MBACC employees, were the most qualified in America for TDF funding.