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For many in the industry, John Pharr and Strand Hospitality Services are synonymous. With the company from the start when he was general manager of the Holiday Inn Downtown on the oceanfront in Myrtle Beach, Pharr has been at the helm of Strand since 1984. Under John's leadership, Strand has earned a place among the leading hotel management companies in the southeast.
His skills as an administrator combined with his unparalleled knowledge of the hospitality business have made him an icon in the travel and tourism industry and it surprised no one when he was named Hotelier of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association, which represents hundreds of hotels and more than 75,000 rooms along the grand strand.
John earned his MBA from Webster University and his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University. John retired as a Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, where he worked with the Air Force on lodging and hospitality projects worldwide. He also served as an Air Force Academy Admissions Counselor.
Pharr is a member of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club. He serves on the board of National Golf Course Management, one of the largest golf course management companies in the United States. He currently serves on the board of Myrtle Beach National Companies and has done so for over 30 years. In addition to this he serves on the appointed board for the Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business and the advisory committee for the Real Estate Investment Management Program. He was formerly on the board of directors of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He is a former member of the Wingate Inns Presidents Advisory Council.