MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's ninth-month leadership program, Leadership Grand Strand, is now accepting applications for Class XXXVI. The upcoming program, sponsored by the MBACC, will commence in August 2015 and run through May 2016. The purpose of Leadership Grand Strand is to develop a corps of informed, committed and qualified individuals capable of providing dynamic leadership for the Grand Strand area.

Leadership Grand Strand explores topics like Grand Strand history, tourism and economic development, government and politics, education, law enforcement, human services and the arts. Alumni serve on community boards and commissions and in key decision-making positions throughout the Grand Strand.

Leadership Grand Strand is open to citizens who have resided in Horry or Georgetown County continuously for at least one year prior to the application date. Candidates may be nominated by an organization or may nominate themselves. Program participation is limited, with selection reflecting the demographic, geographic and professional diversity of the Myrtle Beach area.

Criteria for selection include evidence of leadership abilities, potential to provide leadership to the Grand Strand, interest in community affairs, desire to volunteer and commitment to become more involved in the Grand Strand community. Participants and their sponsoring organizations must be willing to invest the time required for members to fully participate in the program, which includes a two-day retreat in September, a full day of classes the first Thursday of each month and 100 hours of community service. Regular attendance is imperative and mandatory.

Applications, which require three letters of reference, must be typed and are due by June 30, 2015. Applications are available online at LeadershipGrandStrand.com. Tuition is $999 per person.

Scholarship opportunities are also available through the William F. Pritchard Scholarship fund. Those interested in applying for a scholarship are encouraged to visit the Leadership Grand Strand web site and fill out a scholarship application.

For more information, visit www.LeadershipGrandStrand.com or call (843) 916-7222.