Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) recently changed leadership with the election of new officers as well as the addition of a new commissioner. Former vice-chair Benjamin Cooke was elected chair of the commission, commission member Mattese Lecque was named to the position of vice-chair and member Andrew Thomas will now serve as secretary-treasurer. Wes Lybrand was appointed as a new member of the commission. Remaining on the commission are Jeff Gladwell, Lisa S. King, and former chair Ravi Sanyal. Tom O’Rourke is CCPRC’s executive director.
For more information on the agency, its parks, and its recreational offerings, visit www.ccprc.com.
“Benjy” Cooke is a native South Carolinian, raised in Greenville. After graduating from The University of South Carolina in 1995 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, he lived seasonally in Nantucket, Mass.; Steamboat Springs, Col.; Clyde Park, Mont.; and Wickenburg, Ariz.. He then returned to Charleston, his permanent home since 1998.
Cooke co-founded and is a partner in the commercial real estate firm Oswald Cooke & Associates. Having been originally appointed to CCPRC in 2009, he was re-appointed to a second term in 2011. He has been active in the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department for many years and works to promote and participate in local charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Share Our Suzy and Hands of Charleston.
Andy Thomas graduated from James Island High School in 1987 and attended Clemson University, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Financial Management in 1991. As a college student, he was employed as a lifeguard for CCPRC’s Folly Beach County Park. Thomas became a bank branch manager in 1992 and currently serves as a senior commercial client manager with First Federal.
A 20-year tenure of volunteering in the Charleston community includes organizations such as the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Charleston County Public Schools Mentor Program, Trident United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Ducks Unlimited, S.C. Waterfowl Association, Junior Achievement, Mason Preparatory School, Saint Andrews Parks and Playground and the SCORE Small Business Program. Thomas supports youth sports on James Island and the James Island Charter High School athletics. He has served as a volunteer coach and/or a booster club officer for James Island Charter High School, Fort Johnson Middle School, City of Charleston Recreation Department on James Island and the James Island Youth Soccer Club.
Thomas resides on James Island with his wife, Costa, and his daughter, Hampden. Thomas’ son, Robert Moody, attends The Citadel and is on the Bulldog’s baseball team. Andy loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting and fishing.
Wesley Lybrand is a Charleston native who grew up on James Island. Lybrand graduated from James Island Christian School, and says he has always enjoyed the outdoors and being active in the community. As a former state surfing champion, Lybrand has an affinity for the water and the area’s beaches. He also enjoys being actively involved with local park and recreation programs and facilities.
For a full list of biographies of the members of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, visit www.ccprc.com/commissioners.