Robert Williams, chair of Lizard’s Thicket restaurants, has been awarded the Order of the Palmetto from Gov. Henry McMaster.
The Order of the Palmetto is the state’s highest civilian honor. It recognizes a person’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the state.
Williams was recognized for his support of nonprofit organizations Carolina Children’s Home, Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter, Special Olympics and Epworth Children’s Home. He was also recognized for his efforts to serve meals to those in need during the recession and the October 2015 flood.
“This is a recognition that is not sought by anyone,” McMaster said. “You can’t apply for it, but others have to recommend you for it. It is a rigorous process. Bobby Williams has a lot of friends in South Carolina, and they think highly of him.”
Williams was nominated by Rep. Beth Bernstein, D-Richland, Rep. Chip Huggins, R-Lexington, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, U.S. Representative Joe Wilson and University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides.
In addition to his community service, Williams has served three terms as voting director of the National Restaurant Association and was elected director emeritus by the organization.
Lizard’s Thicket is a 41-year-old restaurant chain with 15 locations in South Carolina serving 4.6 million customers each year.