100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Brad Dean


Brad Dean

CEO, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber

Brad Dean was born and raised in a small farming community in Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in accounting. 

After graduation, Dean worked for General Electric, and in 1993, he joined the Rank Organization, which had just purchased the Hard Rock Cafe chain. In 1995 he was tapped to open and run the Myrtle Beach restaurant. 

After working with Hard Rock Cafe for three years, Dean joined the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce as its chief financial officer. He spent more than four years under the direction of Ashby Ward, who passed away April 2003 after leading the chamber for nearly 30 years. In October 2003, Dean was named president and chief executive officer of the chamber.

In this role, Dean heads the area’s primary destination marketing organization, with nearly 3,000 members representing more than 50,000 employees, a full-time staff of 45 and a budget of $37 million. The chamber, founded in 1938, serves the business community throughout the Grand Strand, from Little River to Pawleys Island.

Active in the community, Dean has volunteered with various organizations including Junior Achievement, Careteam, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Coastal Carolina University, the City of Myrtle Beach and United Way of Horry County. He currently serves on a variety of boards of directors including the South Carolina Tourism Alliance and the United States Travel Association. 

Dean lives in Murrells Inlet with his wife Myriam and children Bryan and Gina. He attends Surfside United Methodist Church.