Your Myrtle Beach City Council
For a complete list of past Council members, see our Who Served When: Myrtle Beach City Council History webpage. Want to watch Council meetings online? Click here.
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Mayor Brenda Bethune is a native of Myrtle Beach and her sincere passion to serve her community has been a lifelong commitment. She owns BJ Investments, a property investment, development and rental company, as well as Magnolia Row Shopping Centre and The Little White Dress Bridal Boutique. She was also the majority owner of Better Brands, Incorporated, where she gained more than 39 years of business development, sales and management experience. She is a graduate of the Riley Mayors’ Design Fellowship through Clemson University and serves on the Board of Directors of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Bethune also serves on the Coastal Carolina University Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences Board of Visitors. Mayor Bethune has served on many local boards and received the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Pee Dee Council of Boy Scouts of America, the Special Operations Wounded Warriors’ Tip of the Sword Award and the Horry-Georgetown Early Care and Teacher Education’s Champions for Children Award. Bethune was also given an award from the Palmetto Leadership Council in recognition of her contributions to South Carolina. Brenda Bethune was first elected in 2017 and was the first woman elected as Mayor of Myrtle Beach.
Mayor Pro Tem
Councilman Mike Chestnut, a real estate agent and restaurateur, took office in November 2000 following his election to Council. He was re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. Councilman Chestnut's current term continues until January 2024. A long-time resident and businessperson in the Myrtle Beach community, Mr. Mike Chestnut owns and operates a restaurant in the Myrtle Beach downtown area. He served on the Myrtle Beach Housing Authority prior to his election to Myrtle Beach City Council.
Councilwoman Jackie Vereen Hatley is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Mrs. Hatley offers more than 25 years of experience in the tourism industry as a hotel owner. Jackie previously served on the City of Myrtle Beach's Community Appearance Board as well as the Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority Committee. Councilwoman Hatley is an active member of the Myrtle Beach Woman’s Club and attends First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach. Jackie Vereen Hatley’s current term ends in January 2026.
Councilmember John Krajc, a real estate broker and owner of invi Real Estate, was elected in 2019. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Krajc relocated to Myrtle Beach after college. He is a graduate of Radford University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Prior to serving on City Council, Krajc took part in Leadership Grand Strand's Class 36 and served as president of the Five Points Association. He also served on both local and state Realtor Association Legislative Committees. As a former Chairperson for the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors Young Professionals Association, John currently serves as a member of the association’s Board of Directors through the end of 2022. John Krajc is a graduate of the City of Myrtle Beach's Citizens Police Academy, Citizens Fire Academy and My Beach 101 Citizens Academy. He is also a graduate of the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Government Official Institute. In 2022, Councilman Krajc was accepted as a member of the next class of Leadership SC, a statewide leadership program. His Council term continues until January 2024.
CLYDE H. “MIKE” LOWDER
Councilman Mike Lowder was elected to City Council in 2009. He was re-elected in 2013, 2017 and 2021 for a term of office that will expire in January 2026. Prior to his election, he served on the City of Myrtle Beach’s Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Lowder is a graduate of Horry-Georgetown Technical College with a degree in Criminal Justice. Councilman Mike Lowder served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and then worked for more than 26 years in the Myrtle Beach Police Department and Horry County Sheriff’s Office, completing his public law enforcement career as Chief Deputy of the Sheriff’s Office. After his time in law enforcement, Mr. Mike Lowder became a private investigator, from which he retired in April 2022. He is currently the security manager for Oceanside Village in Surfside Beach.
PHILIP N. RENDER, DMD
Councilmember Phil Render is a general dentist. Dr. Render is a life member of the South Carolina Dental Association where he served as Chairman of the Pee Dee District Legislative Committee. Dr. Render was in private practice for 27 years, then served as Dean of Health Sciences at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. He also was an adjunct clinical faculty member of the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Render served on the board of trustees of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and was a member of the Horry County Higher Education Commission. Dr. Render is a past board member of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, Ocean View Memorial Foundation, Tidelands Health Foundation and South Carolina First Steps. Dr. Render is credentialed by the South Carolina Board of Dentistry, South Carolina Real Estate Commission and South Carolina Department of Insurance. He was first elected to City Council in November 2003 (re-elected in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019). His current term of office will expire in January 2024. Dr. Phil Render is a graduate of Wofford College and the Medical University of South Carolina.
City Councilman Gregg Smith is a graduate of Myrtle Beach High School and the University of South Carolina. Currently, he is a Realtor with Century 21 Broadhurst. In addition to his role as a councilmember, Mr. Smith represents the City of Myrtle Beach as a member of the Board of Directors for the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments. Prior to serving on City Council, he served on the Board of Directors for the Grand Strand Miracle Leagues and Habitat for Humanity of Horry County organizations. Smith’s current term continues through January 2026.
To see a complete list of past Council members, see our Who Served When: Myrtle Beach City Council History webpage.