Image from Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center.

Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center's former President/CEO, Otis B. Rawl Jr. was awarded the Order of the Palmetto at the Chamber’s breakfast meeting Tuesday morning.

The Order of the Palmetto is the state’s highest civilian honor. It is awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance.

“The Lexington Chamber and Lexington County have benefitted from Rawl’s leadership,” said Chamber President/CEO Angelle LaBorde. “Otis receiving this prestigious honor is reflective of the value of his decades of service and contributions to our state.”

Notable South Carolinians including Sen. Ronnie Cromer and Lou Kennedy, President & CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, wrote letters in support of Rawl’s nomination.

“The award itself is given to those who have helped the whole state of South Carolina,” said Sen. Cromer. “Otis is definitely one of those because of his service to the SC Chamber and a champion for businesses in South Carolina.”

During his tenure as Chamber President/CEO (2016 to 2020), the chamber was awarded with four-star accreditation by the United States Chamber of Commerce for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community. The Chamber also hosted successful community events including Dining On The Dam, where 1,300 guests from the Midlands gathered at the Lake Murray Dam and enjoyed dishes that incorporated Certified SC Grown products.

Prior to joining the Lexington Chamber, Rawl served as President and CEO of the SC Chamber of Commerce from 2008 to 2014. Rawl joined the SC Chamber in 2001 as vice president of public policy and was named chief operating officer in 2008.

Before his career with the SC Chamber, Rawl worked with the SC Department of Revenue for more than 20 years. He also served a six-month term with the SC State Treasurer’s Office and was appointed chief of staff of the SC Department of Public Safety by the governor in 1995.

The Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center has been a catalyst in community growth for more than 60 years. Additional information about the Lexington chamber is available online.

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