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John Durst

Title: President & CEO
Phone: 803-765-9000 x 11

As President and CEO of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, John Durst brings a wide range of knowledge, experience and expertise to guiding the Association. As a former director of the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Durst headed the cabinet level agency that is widely recognized for its leadership role in promoting and supporting the tourism industry throughout South Carolina.

A graduate of Furman University, Durst is dedicated and passionate about the industry. He has been selected as the recipient of several honors and awards including the Order of the Palmetto, Key to the City of Columbia, Woodrow Wilson Award for Regional Cooperation by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the International Ambassador of the Year by the Central SC Alliance. The Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau presented him with the Golden Pineapple Award for his role in leading the rebound of our state’s tourism industry in the aftermath of 9/11.

Durst has a strong network through his involvement in several community organizations. He has served as Chairman of the Board for the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism, a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Executive Committee for the South Carolina Golf Association and as President (currently serving as Advisor to the Board of Directors) of the Rotary Club of Columbia. He is also a recent graduate of The Riley Institute’s South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative.

His wife, Martha, is a retired educator and mother of two grown sons. They have two grandchildren whom they enjoy spoiling at every opportunity, along with spending time relaxing at Edisto Beach.
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