Meet the people behind Creative Consultants Group’s success
Bill Hinson – CEO
- Dedicated to helping businesses throughout the Southeastern US succeed
- 33 years in information technology working with Banks, Health Care Organizations, Hospitality, and Small to Medium sized businesses
- Skilled in both computers and business with a financial background
- Delivers technology based on needs and goals that is on budget, on target and on time!
Bill Hinson holds a 33-year track record of extinguishing IT fires, proactive computer management, saving companies millions of dollars, increasing profits, and earning the trust of executives leading some of the areas smallest and largest corporations.
As Chief Executive Officer of Creative Consultants Group, Bill leads a team specialized in preventing and solving information technology problems for a variety of small- and mid-sized businesses. He excels by proactively managing clients systems and helping them to align technology with the needs of their business. He values his relationships with clients, who often regard him and his team as a member of their own staff. With a keen sense of business, Bill helps his clients leverage technology to achieve their larger company objectives.
Some of his clients include business owners whose computer repair technicians failed to solve their problems. For example, one Georgetown County Engineering firm recently called Bill after their IT vendor (at the time) spent numerous billable hours trying unsuccessfully to fix an issue resulting from a change in internet service providers. The technician then recommended they buy a new server to solve the problem. Sensing something was not quite right; the firm called Bill and his team to look at the issue and much to the firm’s surprise, Bill’s team fixed the issue in 15 minutes after receiving the call, enabling them to avoid the cost of a new server.
Bill draws from more than two decades in positions at some of the largest companies in the area including Anchor Bank (now part of TD Ameritrade via Carolina First) and Horry Telephone Cooperative, where he proved his ability to use technology as a business enhancer and as a competitive differentiator that drives profits through increased sales, increased productivity, and lower costs. Among his successes:
- Bill helped Anchor Bank grow from just a few branches to more than 42 locations by using technology as a competitive Advantage. He personally oversaw the mergers and acquisition of several banks from a technology perspective and was the key in developing one of the first and most successful internet presences by a community bank that helped them grow into a regional bank.
- Bill was chosen originally to head up the Internet Services Group at Horry Telephone Cooperative which had been losing money each year when he arrived. Through his business acumen, and help of his dedicated employees, Bill and his staff turned this line of business into a multi-million dollar profitable business line for HTC that continues to expand and grow to this day. During his tenure he was also given the added responsibilities of managing the internal network and staff as well as the help desk group. He left in 2004 to pursue his passion for bringing corporate IT services to Small to Medium sized businesses through development of Creative Consultants Group.
Bill is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Myrtle Beach and Conway Chambers of Commerce, and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association known as ISACA. Bill holds certifications as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, VMWare Technical and Sales Engineer, Sonicwall Technical and Sales Engineer; as well Apple, IBM, Dell and HP repair certifications.
Bill attended the University of South Carolina at Conway (now known as Coastal Carolina University) where he majored in Finance with minors in Computer Science and English. A native of North Carolina, he grew up in the Charlotte area before moving to the Myrtle Beach SC area with his family in 1979. He and his wife Beverley have two daughters, Holli and Amy, two son-in laws, Dave and Chris, and three grandchildren, Madison, Benjamin, and CJ, which he absolutely treasures. Bill, Beverly, and their Border Collie Ginger live in Conway SC. Bill enjoys swimming, biking, and spending time with his family spread throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, and West Virginia.
Rick Rush – President and COO
Rick was the founding partner of Creative Consultants Group back in 1997. He has over 20 years of experience in the IT services industry, with responsibilities for a number of lines of business and initiatives with area companies. Before returning to Creative, Rick worked with Horry County Schools (HCS). He helped the Personnel Department move from a paper based records system to one based on imaging and workflow. This new system made the hiring process for HCS, one of the county’s largest employers, much more streamlined and efficient. After HCS, Rick worked with HTC where he helped create and lead their Technical Services department. He was responsible for starting the managed services and professional services offerings for the Coop. In addition to these teams, he had responsibility for their Network Control Center (NOC), network management team and the hospitality Wi-Fi group. It was the hospitality Wi-Fi group, along with other teams, that Rick worked with to recently implement a massive security camera project for the City of Myrtle Beach. This project was one of the first of its kind in the region to utilize a complex wireless network to transport video surveillance across. Also, Rick was responsible for the Technical Support group and bringing it back in house to HTC. As a result, HTC customers experienced much better telephone support and shorter times to resolve their issues. Rick’s deep industry experience and focus on helping partners with running their businesses, has made him a trusted advisor for many.
Rick brings back to Creative a deep set of skills, including: ability to align IT initiatives with core business objectives, operational experience to help partners do things better the first time and an absolute commitment to exceeding customer expectations. He treats every business partner as if they were his own company. He firmly believes that Creative’s success is 100% based on a continued track record of delivering time and time again on partners’ IT needs.
Rick is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University. During his time there he conducted research on technology in k-12 education and presented at the National Council for Undergraduate Research event in Austin, TX. He has spoken at industry conferences on topics covering all aspects of IT services and security.
He currently resides in the Conway area with his wife Angela, their son Dylan, and Maddie their Jack Russell. He is a member of Good Hope Baptist Church, where he looks for every opportunity to serve, including time as a Deacon, Sunday School Director and member of the AV team. He also sits on the board for His Hands of Horry County.
Rachel Strader – Director of Finance & Human Resources
Rachel joined our team in October 2003. She is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics. She is currently working on a Master of Accountancy at CCU. Her devotion to CCG, along with her accounting and organizational skills, assists her in maintaining accurate HR and Finance records.
Lavon Dorman – Director of Voice and Telecommunications Services
Lavon comes to Creative with more than 30 years in the telecommunication industry working with Horry Telephone Cooperative where he oversaw all of HTC’s internal phone systems as well as performed installations, repairs, and diagnostics of customer PBX systems. Lavon holds Nortel, Mitel, Avaya, and Switchvox certifications and is skilled in designing and deploying Voice over IP (VoIP) systems.
Devin Shirkey, CCNA, VCP – Senior Systems Analyst
Devin is a South Carolina native from the North Myrtle Beach area. He joined Creative in 2012. He attended Horry Georgetown Technical College majoring in Computer Networking. He formerly worked with the City of North Myrtle Beach where he maintained 85+ servers in large scale VMWare environment. He is certified as a VMWare VCP, Cisco CCNA, Microsoft MCP, COMP TIA Network+, and Sonicwall CSSA. He has extensive networking infrastructure experience and acts as the technical lead for all VMWare deployments and projects.
Jonathon Hardee – Senior Systems Analyst
Jonathon has over 12 years experience in IT support working with banks and healthcare organizations. He joined the Creative team in 2006. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Technology from Horry Georgetown Technical College. Jonathon is skilled as a server and infrastructure network engineer and oversees server deployments and migrations for Creative.
Cynthia Polen – Director of Web Services
Cynthia PolenCynthia Polen has over 18 years experience, designing, developing, implementing, and managing web sites for businesses. She has extensive experience in ASP.NET, Coldfusion, Java, PHP, and other web development languages. She is a graduate of Horry Georgetown Technical College with a degree in web services and information services.