FLORENCE, S.C. – David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program and a former governor of South Carolina, will address the community and area business leaders at the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce’s annual Membership Luncheon.
The World Food Program won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
The luncheon will be held on Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Florence Center.
The Chamber Business Person of the Year, presented by Wells Fargo, will also be announced at the luncheon.
Beasley was the keynote speaker at the Florence Chambers Membership Luncheon in August of 2018, which saw a sellout crowd of more than 500 attendees at the Florence Center.
“The last time David addressed our membership, it was to a sold-out crowd,” Florence Chamber President Mike Miller said. “Mr. Beasley spoke about an hour, and not a soul left the room. The conversation was engaging, informative and entertaining.
“We expect him to share his thoughts on the WFP being awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize and offer experiences the WFP faced under the worldwide COVID-19 conditions.”
Beasley continues his life’s work bridging political, religious and ethnic boundaries to champion economic development and education. At the World Food Program, Beasley is putting to use four decades of leadership and communications skills to mobilize more financial support and public awareness for the global fight against hunger. These efforts were recognized last year when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded WFP the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
The fight against hunger is even more critical now, with rates steadily rising because of persistent conflict, the impact of climate change and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Beasley’s leadership, WFP has mobilized the resources required to respond to an ever-expanding caseload of people requiring food assistance. In 2020, the agency aims to reach up to 138 million people.
Beasley also is driving greater focus and attention to WFP’s work beyond emergency food assistance, highlighting how longer-term development can help bring peace and stability to troubled regions.
Before coming to WFP in April 2017, Beasley spent a decade working with high-profile leaders and on-the-ground program managers in more than 100 countries, directing projects designed to foster peace, reconciliation and economic progress. He traveled to as many as 30 countries a year, organizing, leading or participating in conferences and missions in Kosovo, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen, among others. His work has allowed him to develop deep relationships with leaders around the world.
As governor of South Carolina from 1995 to 1999, Beasley guided the state during years of economic transformation, helping to reshape the state’s economy into a healthy, diverse and robust market. The work led to one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, with a dramatic increase in private sector capital investment.
Beasley was the first governor in South Carolina to make a public push for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol dome, a move that earned him the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
Beasley received his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of South Carolina and taught at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. He was first elected to public office at the age of 21 as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. He is married to the former Mary Wood Payne and is the father of four children.
The chamber’s Annual Membership Luncheon will be held at the Florence Center, 3300 W Radio Drive in Florence on Sept. 9. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. The program will begin at noon.
Individual lunch tickets are $30 for chamber members, $40 for nonmembers. Special reserved tables of 8 are available for $450. This event is made possible by area financial institutions. For tickets and registration information, visit flochamber.com/event/2021-annual-membership-luncheon/or call 843-665-0515.