Munyan takes Chamber CEO position
Amanda Munyan is the new President and CEO of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.
Replacing Greg Alexander, she comes to the position announced this morning from the executive director position with United Way of Laurens County. She served in that position since August, 2015, and prior to that worked for the Chamber (5 years as marketing and communications director) and owned a downtown Laurens business. She and her family are active in the Boy Scouts.
Munyan said she is “ready to get in here and get started."
The Chamber is staging Heritage Hype tomorrow in uptown Clinton, has a community clean-up scheduled June 3, and is taking a leading role in promoting community activities for viewing the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
PREVIOUS, Horizon 2017:
By Ernie Segars
“Make A Difference” is the theme of the organization that Amanda Munyan manages and she applies that message in her multiple roles as a young professional, wife and mother and church leader in her native Laurens County.
A graduate of Laurens District 55 High School, Mrs. Munyan was selected in 2015 as the Executive Director of the United Way of Laurens County. After high school, she attended Piedmont Technical College and received a degree in business from USC Upstate in Spartanburg. She worked for several years as the manager and eventual owner of the Pixie Dust children’s boutique in Laurens. She also provided communications and marketing services on a part-time basis for the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.
She said that her work with the United Way of Laurens County is particularly rewarding because the organization touches so many agencies that help so many people in need in Laurens County. “Funds generated through United Way’s annual campaign go to 24 service agencies that provide direct assistance to Laurens County residents. We only have a staff of two at United Way of Laurens County, but we do help a lot of people through organization and cooperation.”
According to agency publications, United Way of Laurens County support a broad range of community programs including emergency relief, education, and health focused programs and assistance to those trying to stabilize their finances.
The implementation of “Dial 211” is a major focus of United Way of Laurens County this year. The United Way Association of South Carolina sponsors this program as a source of help for those in need. The theme for the program is “Hope When You Need It Most” and the service is available 24 hours day, seven days a week and in any language. The Dial 211 program connects to more than 16,000 resources that can assist with issues like food and housing, child care and education services, financial education and credit counseling and mental health and substance abuse.
“At United Way of Laurens County, we receive many calls after hours and on the weekend with requests for information and assistance for all kind of problems. These requests often deal with real emergencies and we cannot always respond immediately. The Dial 211 program will be an immediate aide and source of information to those in need,” Mrs. Munyan said. She said that the Laurens County Emergency Communications Department has assisted in establishing the program.
United Way’s Annual Campaign is certainly a major focus of the organization, but Mrs. Munyan pointed out that United Way coordinates services throughout the year that assists everyone from school students in need of school supplies to those who need help in filling out income tax forms.
United Way’s School Supplies Drive is an opportunity for businesses and volunteers to insure that Laurens County students have the supplies necessary for a successful school year. Volunteers combine a “needs list” that includes pencils, paper, backpacks and other materials. Program participants can either donate the materials directly or provide funding assistance through United Way of Laurens County.
United Way of Laurens County also has access to services for those who may have trouble weaving through the intricacies of state and federal income tax forms. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is available to individuals or families with an annual income of $60,000 or less. Volunteers receive training approved by the Internal Revenue Service and they are available to assist with the preparation of income tax returns at more than 50 locations throughout the Upstate. The VITA centers are open from February through April of each year.
“The VITA program has been a major success locally. A business professor from Presbyterian College has served as a volunteer to assist with the preparation of tax returns,” Mrs. Munyan said.
Mrs. Munyan and her husband Drew have two sons, aged 12 and 8. Drew Munyan, a native of Montana whose family moved to South Carolina, is employed with Laurens Electric Cooperative. Both of her sons participate in sports and scouting.
The Munyans are members of First Presbyterian Church of Laurens and Mrs. Munyan serves as a church elder. She is chairman of her church’s Strengthen the Church Committee and responsible for family night suppers and other activities.
When asked how she manages her very busy professional and personal life, she said,” I remember the theme of United Way of Laurens County, ‘Make a Difference.’ It’s not always easy but I enjoy what I do and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my community and our people.”