Hospitality Advocacy in South Carolina Takes on New Identity & Leader

Post by Practice Group Chair
Christian Stegmaier

Hospitality advocacy in South Carolina has taken on a new face with former Director of S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism John Durst now at the helm. The organization has also re-branded itself as the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, harkening back to the great foundations laid by the late Tom Sponseller in helping merge the S.C. Hotel & Motel Association with the S.C. Restaurant Association. Tom was not only a tireless advocate, but a true friend to many, and we honor his memory even in the midst of this new chapter for the South Carolina hospitality industry.

In the wake of convicted staff accountant Rachel Duncan’s embezzlement plot and Sponseller’s tragic suicide, the reformed S.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association has taken several precautions to prevent any fiscal discrepancies within the organization:

  • tasking an outside accounting firm with compiling quarterly reports for the board
  • developing a finance committee within the board to review these reports as well as an audit committee to conduct annual reviews
  • ramping up security and documentation for all accounting and banking processes handled internally

We look forward to the next phase of this organization, and its benefit to the hopsitality industries we work to protect.

You can read more about the new South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association in the State Newspaper.

About Christian Stegmaier
Senior Shareholder

Christian Stegmaier is a shareholder and chair of the Retail & Hospitality Practice Group at Collins & Lacy in Columbia. He is also active in the firm’s professional liability and appellate practices. Stegmaier welcomes your questions at (803) 255-0454 or