Portraits of Purpose cover with 50 featured people

Portraits of Purpose

Snapshots of 50 locals making a difference in the Lowcountry. 

Welcome to “50 Portraits of Purpose,” a special edition by LOCAL Life magazine that showcases familiar faces in a way you’ve never seen them before. In this collection, we’ve collaborated with renowned photographer Michael Hrizuk to capture the essence of 50 locals who are making a difference in the Lowcountry. 

These are not just photographs; they are windows into the souls of locals who give back, innovate and inspire. Each portrait is accompanied by a brief narrative that touches on each local’s business, charitable endeavors and passions. 

“50 Portraits of Purpose” is an invitation to explore the unseen facets of people you thought you knew. It’s a journey through the heart and soul of the Lowcountry, celebrating those who strive to make a difference every day.


Sean Nolan - Family Focus Financial Group

Sean Nolan

Family Focus Financial Group

7 Carroll Court, Bluffton

FFFGonline.com

Info@FFFGonline.com

843-427-3300

Sean Nolan co-founded Family Focus Financial Group with his mother Kathy in New Jersey in 2007. By 2019, their family-driven financial enterprise expanded to Old Town Bluffton. The firm is known for its comprehensive “Green Light Retirement Plan,” which focuses on lifestyle, income, growth, healthcare, heirs and tax efficiency. A licensed insurance professional and investment advisor, Sean provides expert, tailored guidance in retirement planning. He supports various charitable causes, including The V-Foundation for Cancer Research and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Outside work, Sean enjoys family time, surfing (when we have waves) and exploring the Lowcountry, blending his passions for family and business.

Local since: 2019

Words to live by: Always do the right thing. 


Andrew Carmines

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks

1 Hudson Road, Hilton Head Island

HudsonsOnTheDocks.com

ajcarmines@hudsonsonthedocks.com

843-681-2772

From a young age, Andrew Carmines was deeply involved in his family’s venture, Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, laying the foundation for his future as its general manager. Under his stewardship, Hudson’s has flourished into one of Hilton Head’s most celebrated and enduring seafood establishments. In 2013, Andrew furthered his commitment to sustainability and local cuisine by founding the Shell Ring Oyster Company, focusing on eco-friendly oyster farming. The Carmines family also honors Andrew’s late brother through the David M. Carmines Foundation, which hosts the Hilton Head Seafood Festival. This event not only celebrates local culinary heritage but also supports cancer research and island charities, embodying the family’s dedication to community welfare and the fight against cancer.

Local since: 1978

Words to live by: “ Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison


Alan Wolf, SERG

Alan Wolf

SERG Restaurant Group

9A Hunter Road, Hilton Head Island

serggroup.com

serg@serggroup.com

843-715-0344

Alan Wolf, president of SERG Restaurant Group and chairman of the Coastal Community Development Corporation, is at the forefront of tackling Hilton Head’s workforce housing shortage. Leading SERG, which operates 17 local restaurants and employs 1,300 people, Wolf’s efforts extend into affordable housing through the CCDC. This nonprofit focuses on making housing accessible to local workers by buying homes and offering them at income-based rents, aiming to ensure Hilton Head’s workforce can afford to live on the island. This approach provides sustainable living conditions, helping to maintain the community’s vibrancy and economy.

Local since: 2002 

Words to live by: “The proud man counts his newspaper clippings; the humble, his blessings.” — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


Beverly Serral

Beverly Serral

Beverly Serral Properties and BESTNEST by Beverly Serral

7 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island

beverlyserral.com

beverly@beverlyserral.com

843-341-3600

Beverly Serral, a real estate broker, entrepreneur and designer, founded Beverly Serral Properties in 2010 amidst the great recession. Following its inception, she launched BESTNEST by Beverly Serral Vacation Rentals and Beverly Serral Design. Her innovative “once you’re in the nest, you never have to leave” approach — integrating residential real estate, vacation rentals and renovations — was a pioneering success on Hilton Head. Beverly is acclaimed for her professional acumen, elegantly creative designs and meticulous attention to hospitality. Her unique concept of consistently excellent vacation rentals has gained national recognition. Beverly actively supports several Christian and military veteran focused charities including, locally, Treat the Troops.

Local since: 2003 

Words to live by: Never, never, never give up. 


David Crowell

David Crowell

David Crowell Mortgage Team at Movement Mortgage

1000 William Hilton Parkway, Suite 205, Hilton Head Island

movement.com/lo/david-crowell

david.crowell@movement.com

843-684-5015, 843-290-3794

David Crowell is the senior manager for Movement Mortgage steering operations across South Carolina. With a career in mortgage banking dating back to the 1990s, he takes great pride in devising home financing strategies for his clients. Over the past 27 years, David has touched most families on Hilton Head. He is particularly proud of his team of mortgage professionals who execute every transaction with skill and grace. Outside of business, David is involved with the Any Length Recovery Community in Sumter. Any Lengths offers a long-term recovery program for individuals seeking a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. 

Local since: 1996

Words to live by: To each according to his need, from each according to his ability.


Patrick Wiita

Patrick Wiita

Hilton Head Soap Co., Reunion Health
1000 Main Street,
Hilton Head Island

wiitamd.com, hhsoap.com
reunionus.com
drwiita@wiitamd.com
843-499-3308

Triple board-certified psychiatrist Patrick Wiita, M.D. specializes in child, adolescent, adult and forensic psychiatry. Alongside his colleague Nicole Sinnigen, Patrick co-founded Reunion Health, a virtual mental health counseling practice providing affordable care throughout the state, with a particular focus on serving active duty service members and their families. Additionally, Patrick is the co-creator of Hilton Head Soap Co., where he formulates handcrafted soaps and body products. A portion of the company’s profits supports All Paws on Deck, a nonprofit directed by Patrick’s husband, Jon, which focuses on improving the lives of homeless dogs.

Local since: 2019

Words to live by: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”– Robert F. Kennedy


Mike Overton

Mike Overton

Outside Brands
The Plaza at Shelter Cove,
50 Shelter Cove Lane, Suite H,
Hilton Head Island

OutsideBrands.com
mike@outsidebrands.com
843-686-6996

In 1979, Mike Overton started a modest windsurfing school on Hilton Head Island, which has since evolved into Outside Brands, a leading multi-faceted outdoor adventure enterprise across South Carolina and Georgia. Today, Outside offers a wide range of activities including boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, skiing, fishing, e-bike tours and family explorations. It also operates as a premier Destination Management Company (DMC), providing comprehensive services for traveling groups such as transportation, events and special activities. Additionally, Overton founded The Outside Foundation in 2014, focusing on youth engagement in outdoor activities and local environmental conservation. This initiative includes programs like Kids in Kayaks, area clean-ups and an oyster recycling effort, emphasizing a commitment to community and environmental stewardship.

Local since: 1979

Words to live by: There is no inappropriate weather, just inappropriate clothing.


Grant Kaple

Grant Kaple

The Boathouse
405 Squire Pope Road,
Hilton Head Island

hhboathouse.net
grant@hhboathouse.net
843-681-2628

Grant Kaple, at the helm of The Boathouse’s operations, oversees the boat dealership and dry-stack facility, making it a premier destination for Lowcountry mariners seeking the latest in boating technology, tailored watercraft and essential parts and accessories. A passionate boater since his youth and a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, Grant deeply understands the needs of the boating community. Committed to environmental and community well-being, he supports the Port Royal Sound Foundation, which is dedicated to the stewardship of the Sound. The foundation’s efforts focus on conserving and preserving Port Royal Sound for the environmental, cultural, and economic benefit of the Lowcountry, ensuring its vitality for future generations.

Local since: 2008 

Words to live by: We are in the business of happy customers.


Brantley King

Brantley King

Billy Wood Appliance
6 Marshland Road, Hilton Head Island;
1223 May River Road, Bluffton

BillyWoodAppliance.com
Brantley@billywoodappliance.com
843-681-8441 (HHI)
843-707-2332 (Bluffton)

For over half a century, Billy Wood Appliance has been the go-to destination in the Lowcountry for premium appliances, earning the trust and loyalty of the Hilton Head and Bluffton communities. Brantley King and her dedicated team at BWA champion local initiatives, underscoring their commitment to enriching their community. Brantley’s support extends across a broad spectrum of causes, from the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina to educational foundations and children’s charities like The Sandbox Children’s Museum and The Children’s Center. As a mother of three and a staunch advocate for accessible education, Brantley believes in every child’s right to receive the highest quality education, from early childhood through higher and vocational training. This dedication reflects BWA’s deep-rooted belief in giving back and fostering community growth and well-being.

Local since: Lifetime local

Words to live by:  Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. – Gloria Steinem


Gwen Chambers

Gwen Chambers

BlacQuity
P.O. Box 3132, Bluffton

blacquitysc.org
info@blacquitysc.org
843-707-5271

Gwen Chambers’ BlacQuity leads in enhancing the Lowcountry’s business landscape by supporting Black-owned enterprises. Since 2020, it has aided over 30 entrepreneurs through Black Equity University, a 12-week program offering business acumen, skills, and resources for successful ventures. BlacQuity also provides personalized coaching by pairing entrepreneurs with experienced business owners, hosts monthly “Motivation Mondays” for networking and maintains a Black-owned business directory. This comprehensive approach not only equips Black entrepreneurs with essential tools but also fosters a supportive community, promoting equitable growth and success in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Local since: 2008 

Words to live by: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” — Maya Angelou


Jonathan Vaughan

Jonathan Vaughan

Evergreen Pet Lodge
105 Dillon Road,
Hilton Head Island

Evergreenpetlodgehhi.com
Evergreenpetlodge@gmail.com
843-681-8354

Jonathan Vaughan, owner of Evergreen Pet Lodge, goes above and beyond to ensure VIP treatment for all pets at his premium boarding and daycare facility. Tailored for pampered pets, the lodge boasts expansive play and sleep areas, meticulous housekeeping, personalized room service, professional grooming, relaxing massages and exciting water sports. The facility also features a well-stocked pet store, an on-site veterinary clinic and opulent multi-level cat suites. A community advocate, Jonathan supports numerous local charities such as the Hilton Head Humane Association, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. Off-duty, Jonathan is often found strumming his collection of guitars.

Local since: Late 1980s

Words to live by: Treat others how you’d like to be treated.


Susan Ochsner

Susan Ochsner

Hilton Head Agent
9 Red Maple Road, Hilton Head Island

yourhiltonheadagent.com
susanhhi@me.com
843-816-6388

Susan Ochsner has been a fixture on Hilton Head Island since her Swiss mother and American father relocated from Brazil in 1971. She has seamlessly integrated the island’s charm and culture into her thriving real estate career, skillfully matching clients with their ideal properties. Outside of work, Susan is an active volunteer at the Church Mouse Thrift Shop, a boutique whose proceeds benefit local nonprofit initiatives. She has also successfully raised over $30,000 with the Cashew & Friends Fundraiser, a beach event that supported organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Deep Well Project and Memory Matters. Passionate about pickleball, community service and strolls on the beach, Susan embodies the spirit of Hilton Head, blending professional success with a profound commitment to her community.

Local since: 1971

Words to live by: Life is short and it is here to be lived!


John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John Paul II Catholic School
4211 N Okatie Highway, Ridgeland

JohnPaul2School.org
john.mccarthy@johnpaul2school.org
843-645-3838

Upon moving to Beaufort in 2017, John Paul II Catholic School President John McCarthy initiated the Promise Scholarships to increase educational access in the Lowcountry. By collaborating with local partnerships, McCarthy’s scholarships provide full tuition for students showing promise but facing financial hardships, enabling over 30 students to attend the school with a fund exceeding $300,000 annually. A symbol of his journey, McCarthy owns a signed photo of Pete Rose sliding into Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star game, acquired during his first principalship in Vermont, which has traveled with him through five leadership roles.

Local since: 2017

Words to live by: Lead with purpose.


Dominick Biangone

Dominick Biangone

Seacoast Driveways
35 Marshland Road, Hilton Head Island

SeacoastDriveways.com
info@seacoastdriveways.com
843-707-6043

Dominick Biangone, a versatile serial entrepreneur, has navigated the business landscape with remarkable success, launching, growing, and divesting companies across diverse industries. His expertise spans business creation, capital acquisition, strategic planning, operations, sales, and leadership. His current initiative, Seacoast Driveways, offers comprehensive paver restoration services, underscoring his commitment to excellence and innovation. Beyond his entrepreneurial achievements, Biangone actively supports the Sandalwood Community Food Pantry on Hilton Head Island, directly addressing food insecurity by ensuring families have access to vital nutrition. This dual focus on professional success and community welfare illustrates Biangone’s resilient, optimistic spirit and his dedication to effecting positive change.

Local since: 2014

Words to live by: Endeavor to live the life you imagined.


Robbie Bunting

Robbie Bunting

Hilton Head Properties Realty & Rentals
12 New Orleans Road,
Hilton Head Island

HiltonHeadRealEstateNews.com
HiltonHeadPropertiesRandR.com
Robbie@HHPRandR.com
843-341-4801

Robbie Bunting, owner/partner at Hilton Head Properties Realty and Rentals, matches clients with their ideal vacation rental homes and his vacation management team takes it from there. Beyond realty and rentals, Bunting champions the protection of the endangered Atlantic sea turtles though his support of Sea Turtle Patrol, a nonprofit dedicated to the turtles preservation. Bunting donates to the group in his clients’ names, providing them with adoption certificates and updates on their sea turtle nests. This initiative not only supports conservation efforts but also fosters a bond between his clients and the island’s rich natural heritage, emphasizing the importance of preserving Hilton Head’s unique ecosystem.

Local since: 1984 

Words to live by: Hope, Courage & Miracles


Meredith Taylor

Meredith Taylor

Gifted Hilton Head
The Village at Wexford, 1000 William Hilton Parkway, Suite J2,
Hilton Head Island

gifted@giftedhiltonhead.com
843-842-8787

Looking for the perfect gift? Meredith Taylor’s Gifted Hilton Head boutique offers an exquisite array of both signature and custom-made items. Specializing in high-quality gifts for any occasion, including hostess, wedding, baby and girlfriend gifts, as well as unique jewelry options, Meredith ensures all items are affordably priced and exquisitely crafted. Customers also enjoy complimentary gift wrapping.Since realizing her dream of opening a shop on Hilton Head in 2011, Meredith has not only provided unique gifts but also supported philanthropy, actively backing the Palmetto Animal League, a devoted no-kill, nonprofit animal rescue. She is pictured with her Vizsla dogs Elsie and Bogue. Visit Meredith’s boutique for thoughtful gifts that truly make a difference.

Local since: 2007

Words to live by: Just do it…Take the chance.


Gary Bezilla

Gary Bezilla

Bezilla Kinney Phifer Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
400 Merchant St., Hilton Head Island

bezillakinneywmg.com
gary.bezilla@wfadvisors.com
843-681-1400

Gary Bezilla, recognized as a Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Manager, finds greater pride in his environmental advocacy. As a volunteer with the Hilton Head Reef Foundation, he contributes to the preservation of Broad Creek’s fisheries, combating the issue of abandoned boats that threaten the ecosystem and navigation. The foundation’s efforts have led to the removal of over 16 boats, with local and state authorities pushing for legislative solutions. Gary’s commitment to environmental preservation and his community underscores a legacy far beyond his financial achievements. Through his actions, he inspires others to look beyond the surface, advocating for a healthier planet and a brighter future for generations to come.

Local since: 1975 

Words to live by: Live like you are dying.


Rick Saba

Rick Saba

COAST Brokered
by eXp Realty
81 Pope Avenue., Suite D,
Hilton Head Island

CoastHiltonHeadIsland.com rick@thericksabateam.com 843-683-4701

Rick Saba, an esteemed Realtor and a prominent member of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors, has been a member of the President’s distinguished Honor Roll for years. He was also the HHAAOR’s past president and won the Realtor of the Year award. Beyond his professional achievements, Rick’s commitment to his community is profound. He co-founded the YES (Young Entrepreneurs of the South) organization and generously dedicates his time as the treasurer for the Hilton Head Humane Association, a Meals on Wheels driver and a youth lacrosse coach for the Hilton Head Island Recreation Association. Furthermore, Rick supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and actively participates in local fundraising initiatives with his dynamic Rolling Stones tribute band, White Liquor, demonstrating a remarkable blend of professional success and community service.

Local since: 1998

Words to live by: Be kind and lead by example.


Joel Johnson III

Joel Johnson III

Main Street Medical
93 N. Main Street, Hilton Head Island

hiltonheadurgentcare.org
843-681-3777

A familiar face to many islanders, Joel Johnson III, MD, established Main Street Medical, a premier urgent care and family practice, after moving to the area with his family in the late ‘90s. After 45 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Johnson continues to be grateful for the educational opportunities that enabled him to pursue a career path that he loves. Dr. Johnson and his wife, Joanne, a former educator, believe that a strong education is the cornerstone of an enduring career. The Johnsons take pride in supporting their alma maters, as well as the universities and schools attended by their three daughters, and now, eight grandchildren. 

Local since: 1996

Words to live by: Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.


Tom Dillard

Tom Dillard

Dillard-Jones Builders
1106 Buckhead Bay Road, Bluffton

DillardJones.com
Thomas@dillardjones.com
843-353-0203

In 2003, Tom Dillard launched Dillard-Jones Builders as a small, family-owned, luxury custom home builder. Alongside his dynamic duo, Dilli (his director of security), and Cam (his director of fun), his valued team consists of talented architects, interior designers, and construction professionals. They take pride in their unique, all-inclusive process on each home they build, which is crafted to fit their clients’ visions and dreams. Since expanding to the coast, Tom enjoys scenic morning runs and boating on the water with his family.

Local since: 2021

Words to live by: Integrity is the secret sauce.


Bruce Brenner Wood

Bruce Brenner Wood

Hilton Head Capital Partners
7 Lafayette Place, Suite B, Hilton Head Island

hiltonheadcapitalpartners.com
bwood@hiltonheadcp.com
804-350-1338

Bruce Brenner Wood, founder of Hilton Head Capital Partners and an avid luxury car enthusiast, combines his investment prowess with a passion for high-end automobiles. A member of elite car clubs, including the Mercedes Benz Club and Ferrari Club of America, Bruce recently broadened his community impact by supporting Women Driving America. This initiative highlights female car collectors, judges, and industry influencers, showcasing female-owned vehicles in competitions and exhibitions. Through his engagement, Bruce champions diversity and empowerment within the automotive community, uniting his love for luxury cars with meaningful support for women’s achievements in the sector.

Local since: 2009 

Words to live by: We are what we think about but we will be what we dream about. 


Beth Drake

Beth Drake

The Beth Drake Team
8 Lafayette Place,
Hilton Head Island

BethDrake.com
Beth@Bethdrake.com
843-422-7500

Beth Drake, a Guild member certified by the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing, is a top-ranked Realtor dedicated to facilitating the purchase and sale of premier homes on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton. She is also deeply committed to supporting the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. This prestigious public institution in Greenville offers pre-professional instruction to artistically gifted high school students across the state, including Beaufort County. Drake is on the advisory board of the school’s local fundraiser,  Songwriters in the Round, which provides financial aid to students in need. Over the last 10 years, the event has raised more than $1 million. 

Local since: 2010

Words to live by: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”– The Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12


Matt Mastrorocco

Matt Mastrorocco

ROC Dental Group
The Plaza at Belfair, 25 Clark Summit Drive, Suite #100, Bluffton

rocdentalgroup.com
smile@rocdentalgroup.com
843-706-3800

For over two decades, ROC Dental Group has been a beacon of advanced dental care on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, mastering cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry. Led by Matt Mastrorocco, DMD, the practice is known for its individualized, gentle care within a welcoming atmosphere, prioritizing patient comfort and wellness. Beyond the dental office, Matt’s dedication to health reaches the wider community through support for various local nonprofits, notably ROC Star charities. Among these, Neighborhood Outreach Connection stands out for its commitment to dismantling poverty at its roots by operating educational centers in Beaufort County’s low-income areas, championing community wellness and opportunity.

Local since: 2000

Words to live by: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank


Erika Waronsky

Erika Waronsky

The Sandbar Beach Eats,
Carolina Coffee & Crumbs
Coligny Plaza, Hilton Head Island

sandbarhhi.com
carolinacoffeehhi.com
erika@sandarhhi.com
843-342-7263

Since 2017, Erika Waronsky has delighted patrons at The Sandbar in Coligny Plaza with beach eats that fuse Lowcountry and Caribbean flavors. Chef Sam Houston’s menu features seafood, sandwiches, tacos, and hearty platters. Beyond cuisine, Waronsky prioritizes community support, notably through Dine Out For Christ Lutheran Preschool, her establishment’s main charity event, donating 50 percent of November sales to the preschool. This initiative supports the preschool’s creative curriculum, emphasizing learning through play. Waronsky also owns Carolina Coffee & Crumbs next door, contributing to Coligny’s lively atmosphere and her broader commitment to local community enrichment.

Local since: 2000 

Words to live by: Good brings good.


Hunter Montgomery

Hunter Montgomery

Montgomery Law Firm
10 Pinckney Colony Road, Suite #402, Bluffton

montgomeryestateplanning.com • info@montgomeryestateplanning.com • 843-815-8580

Since joining the South Carolina Bar in 2002, Hunter Montgomery has specialized in estate planning and probate law, offering free resources to secure clients’ legacies for their families and pets. He enjoys facilitating client support for cherished charities. Actively supporting Bluffton Self Help, Hunter contributes to a community empowered by education, training, and basic needs assistance. Additionally, he helps organizations focused on Alzheimer’s and dementia care, underscoring his commitment to both individual financial security and broader community welfare. Hunter’s work reflects a blend of professional expertise and a deep-seated desire to make a positive impact.

Local since: 1984 

Words to live by: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”  —  Etienne de Grellet, Quaker missionary


Pearce Scott

Pearce Scott

Pearce Scott Architects
6 State of Mind St.,
Suite #200, Bluffton

pscottarch.com
pearce@pscottarch.com
843-837-5700

Pearce Scott Architects stands out with a blend of innovative design and extensive experience. Taking on a broad range of projects, from bespoke residences to educational institutions, and from hospitality venues to commercial spaces, the firm masterfully integrates creativity with craftsmanship and passion with precision. With a deep commitment to preserving the historic charm of Old Town Bluffton, Pearce and his team dedicate their expertise to volunteer projects focused on public structures and historic preservation. Pearce actively supports the Historic Bluffton Foundation, Bluffton Self Help and Save the Shutters, directing charitable efforts and resources toward the community’s preservation and revitalization, ensuring its heritage thrives for generations.

Local since: 2003

Words to live by: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.


Becky Herman and Monica Davis

Becky Herman and Monica Davis

Herman and Davis Properties
5 Park Lane, Hilton Head Island

HermanAndDavisProperties.com
info@hermananddavis.com
843-686-9512

Becky Herman and Monica Davis of Herman and Davis Properties leverage their combined 55+ years of experience, integrity and deep market insight to expertly navigate the real estate markets of Hilton Head and Bluffton’s premier communities. Beyond their professional success, their commitment to social responsibility shines through their support for local children. They actively contribute to The Children Center, offering early childhood education and childcare; the Deepwell Santa Shop, providing holiday gifts for needy families; The Outside Foundation, encouraging outdoor activities and environmental conservation, the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island and the Long Cove Community Fund. Their dedication enriches both the real estate landscape and the community’s well-being.

Local since: 1989

Words to live by: Well done is better than well said (actions speak louder than words).


James Gigante

James Gigante

Supporter of the Spirit of Sebastian Foundation

SpiritOfSebastian.org

“When all you see is darkness, there are people who will hold your hand and be your light,” James Gigante said. “Spirit of Sebastian is that light and a new resource for addicts.” The Spirit of Sebastian Foundation was created by Javier and Anna Maria Zimbron in loving memory of their son, Sebastian “Flacko” Zimbron. He lost his life due to an overdose of fentanyl, but he fought his addiction all the way to the end. The nonprofit foundation is focused on fostering awareness about drug addiction and providing help, support, prevention, and rehabilitation resources to those in need.

Local since: 2002

Words to live by: Addiction affects every family.


Leslie Trenta

Leslie Trenta

Leslie Trenta Designs, Marsh on the May
43 Boundary Street, Bluffton

MarshOnTheMay.com
leslie@leslietrentadesigns.com
843-816-8482

Leslie Trenta has successfully helmed her namesake interior design company for over two decades, alongside running her eclectic boutique, Marsh on the May, which doubles as her home décor and design studio. The boutique showcases a rich collection of local art, vibrant accessories, ceramics, tableware, decorative pillows, luxurious bedding, and elegant lighting solutions. Beyond her professional pursuits, Leslie is passionate about American and French Brittany dogs. She dedicates her time to the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network (NBRAN), working with other volunteers who share a deep love for the breed. Additionally, she is an active volunteer with the Old Town Bluffton Merchants Society.

Local since: 2017

Words to live by: “For it is in giving that we receive.”– St. Francis of Assisi


Rebecca Mancini

Rebecca Mancini

Maggie and Me
6 Bruin Road, Bluffton

facebook.com/maggieandmebluffton
Maggieandme1@frontier.com
843-707-9083

In 2020, Ohio-based entrepreneur Rebecca Mancini faced the closure of her formal-attire boutique, Maggie and Me, due to the pandemic. With events, including proms, canceled, she adapted by selling online and hosting private events. A visit to a sorority sister in Bluffton led to the discovery of a new location for her boutique. Quickly adapting to the coastal lifestyle, Maggie and Me in Old Town Bluffton now offers casual wear for women and children, alongside beloved brands like Free People, Billy T, Gretchen Scott and Olukai. Rebecca’s resilience not only expanded her business but allowed her to contribute to the Bluffton community, supporting local initiatives like the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton.

Local since: 2020 

Words to live by: “A wise girl once said “let that sh** go” and she lived happily ever after.”  — A WISE GIRL


Bob Engler

Bob Engler

Budget Blinds of Hilton Head Island
11 Sheridan Park Circle, Suite # 2, Bluffton

budgetblinds.com/hiltonheadisland
bbhiltonhead@budgetblinds.com
843-837-4060, 843-256-1543

Since 2006, Bob Enger’s Budget Blinds of Hilton Head Island has been the go-to source for custom window treatments, including blinds, shades and shutters, complemented by free in-home consultations. Bob’s team specializes in crafting personalized solutions that enhance any space, offering innovative options like cordless and motorized window treatments. Beyond transforming homes, Bob is committed to enriching the Lowcountry community, supporting various charities, local causes and junior sports. Through the Heart & Home initiatives, Budget Blinds partners with Homes for Our Troops as its official window coverings supplier and backs Working Wardrobes, aiding job training and placement services for those in need.

Local since: 1996

Words to live by: You have to do things you need to do before the things you want to do.


Andrea Antunes McGilton

Andrea Antunes McGilton

Distinctive Granite & Marble
516-A Browns Cove Road, Ridgeland

DistinctiveGraniteandMarble.com
AMcGilton@distinctivegraniteandmarble.net
843-379-3237

Andrea Antunes McGilton has adeptly managed her role as COO of Distinctive Granite & Marble, a family-owned business. Leading a diverse team that includes project managers, sales associates, installers and fabricators, she oversees all projects, maintains machinery parts and ensures efficient operations. The company operates out of Hilton Head, Beaufort, Ridgeland and Savannah, featuring an impressive inventory of over 20,000 slabs and 250 varieties of natural and engineered stones like granite, marble, travertine, limestone, quartz and unique materials from specialized quarries. Committed to philanthropy, Andrea actively supports the Children’s Relief Fund among other charities. Additionally, she marks a significant milestone of 30 years sponsoring local sports teams, celebrating the company’s long-standing presence in the Lowcountry since June 1994. In a personal touch, Andrea is pictured in her kitchen with her son, Jack.

Local since: 1994

Words to live by: You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.


Andrea and Ray Bragg

Andrea and Ray Bragg

Forsythe Jewelers
The Shops at Sea Pines Center, 71 Lighthouse Road, Suite 311, Hilton Head Island

forsythejewelers.biz
andrea@forsythejewelers.biz
843-671-7070

In 2015, Andrea Bragg became the leader of Forsythe Jewelers, an esteemed New York-founded company (1927) that moved to Hilton Head in 1981. Andrea’s global collaboration with premier designers ensures Forsythe’s offerings stay ahead in fashion, blending tradition with trend. The 2020 addition of Ray further solidified their commitment to unparalleled quality. As American Gem Society members, Forsythe Jewelers is recognized for upholding high ethical standards and excellence in education, positioning them among the world’s top jewelers. The Braggs’ boutique is celebrated for its elevated designer fashion brands including Roberto Coin, David Yurman, Marco Bicego, LAGOS and more and extends to a comprehensive bridal collection as well as beach-themed Hilton Head souvenir charms. Deeply rooted in community, Andrea and Ray actively support local charities in the Lowcountry, embodying their philosophy of reciprocating the support that has fueled their success.

Local since: 1992 (Andrea), 1991 (Ray) 

Words to live by: Treat people the way you would like to be treated.


Scott and Jennifer Hastings

Scott and Jennifer Hastings

Lulu Kitchen
890 William Hilton Parkway,
Hilton Head Island

LuluKitchen-HHI.com lulukitchenhiltonhead@gmail.com
843-648-5858

Award-winning chef Scott Hastings started his culinary career at 11, squeezing filling into donuts at a bakery in The Hamptons. Today, he leads the innovative Lulu Kitchen on Hilton Head, acclaimed by Southern Living as one of the region’s top dining destinations. Together with his wife Jennifer, Scott offers exceptional service and a unique fusion cuisine that highlights fresh, locally sourced ingredients and inventive cocktails. Lulu’s standout dishes, like the Surf & Turf Ravioli featuring handmade Wagyu ravioli and cold water lobster in a creamy béchamel, consistently draw in food enthusiasts. Additionally, Scott and Jennifer are committed to supporting charities dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s, a cause close to their hearts.

Local since: 2019

Words to live by: Until we see you again, stay well and be sure to eat well.


Mike Ruegamer

Mike Ruegamer

Group 3 Designs and Pyramids
1600 Main Street, Hilton Head Island

Group3Designs.com
Mike@Group3designs.com
843-689-9060

Group 3 Designs, led by Mike Ruegamer, excels in transforming visions into reality, whether it’s renovating historic homes or crafting contemporary designs. Ruegamer draws upon the rich cultural and architectural essence of the Lowcountry to ensure each project embodies authenticity and a deep sense of place. His approach is highly collaborative, marrying clients’ aspirations with functional, aesthetically captivating designs. Beyond architecture and interior design, Group 3’s Pyramids stores offer an exclusive collection of home décor, gifts, jewelry, accessories, skin care and gourmet foods. Ruegamer extends his impact by supporting the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and Lions Club, which is dedicated to humanitarian service that impacts lives locally and globally. 

Local since: 1984

Words to live by: It takes a lot of time to achieve instant success.


Marc Stuckart

Marc Stuckart

Atlantic Investment Advisory Group
12 Palmetto Way, Suite A, Bluffton

AtlanticInvestorsHHI.com
marc@atlanticinvestorshhi.com
843-341-3300

Marc Stuckart, the visionary behind Atlantic Investment Advisory Group, possesses a keen understanding of how global economic fluctuations and market dynamics impact investment portfolios. He dedicates his expertise to meticulously evaluating clients’ long-term aspirations and risk profiles, devising tailored wealth management plans that navigate the complexities of financial growth. Beyond finance, Marc’s commitment to his community shines through his active participation on the boards of notable organizations, including Hospice Care of the Lowcountry and The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island, as well as the Town of Hilton Head Parks and Recreation Commission. Furthermore, as a devoted board member of the United Way for the Lowcountry, he passionately supports the Read Indeed! initiative, a program focused on enhancing early-grade literacy through in-person tutoring in Beaufort County and Jasper County schools.

Local since: 1980

Words to live by: “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” – Henry David Thoreau


Tavla Osterstock

Tavia Osterstock

Coastal Skin Studio
1 Marianna Way, Suite 103, Bluffton

coastalskinstudio.com
Tavia@coastalskinstudio.com
843-422-0217

Tavia Osterstock, a business owner and aesthetician, blends her passion for skincare with a commitment to combatting childhood hunger. Through her Coastal Skin Studio, she not only enhances clients’ skin confidence but also supports Bluffton Self Help, a nonprofit aiding 21,000 food-insecure residents in the Lowcountry. The organization provides education, basic needs, and access to community resources. Motivated by her own past struggles as a young mother, Tavia aims to eliminate such fears for other mothers, ensuring no one faces food insecurity, especially after a week of hard labor.

Local since: 1993 

Words to live by: Trust God.


Nunzio Patruno

Nunzio Patruno

Nunzio Restaurant + Bar
18 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island

NunzioHHI.com
info@nunziohhi.com
843-715-2172

Chef Nunzio Patruno, originally from Italy’s Puglia region, refined his culinary skills in the Italian Riviera and Monte Carlo before founding Nunzio Restaurant + Bar on Hilton Head Island. Recognized as one of the top 10 percent of restaurants worldwide by Tripadvisor, Nunzio’s establishment offers a seamless blend of classic and contemporary Italian cuisine. His dishes capture the essence of southern Italian cooking through the use of locally sourced ingredients, presenting a fusion of regional flavors that embody the culinary connection between South Carolina and Italy. Additionally, Nunzio’s Restaurant actively engages in and supports various community organizations and causes, enhancing the lives of local residents and families.

Local since: 2019

Words to live by: Stay the course in what you believe in.


Jennifer and Ken Tosky

Jennifer and Ken Tosky 

Kenneth Scott Builders
254 Red Cedar Street, #12, Bluffton

kennethscottbuilders.com
jen@kennethscottbuilders.com
843-247-1025

Jennifer and Ken Tosky helm Kenneth Scott Builders, a distinguished commercial and residential construction firm based in Bluffton. Jennifer, whose local roots run deep, and Ken, an avid triathlete who relocated here in 2000, bring over 25 years of expertise to their business. They have cultivated enduring partnerships with local architects and contractors, driving their commitment to exceptional construction across the Lowcountry, Charleston and Coastal Georgia. Their unique approach, termed “partnership construction,” focuses on educating and collaborating with clients throughout the construction process. The couple also dedicates time to philanthropic efforts, supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Jennifer was instrumental in supporting Ken through his leukemia treatment, exemplifying strength and resilience. Together, they continue to inspire others facing similar challenges, demonstrating that it is possible to triumph over adversity.

Local since: Lifetime local (Jennifer), 2000 (Ken)

Words to live by: Do better!


Tami Bream

Tami Bream

Equity Payment
7 Pendergrass Court, Hilton Head Island

EquityPayment.com
Tbream@equitypayment.com
843-628-0503, 877-909-4968

Tami Bream’s favorite community cause is the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island where members live by the Four-Way Test: First, is it the truth? Second, is it fair to all concerned? Third, will it build goodwill and better friendships? Fourth, will it be beneficial to all concerned? They’re tenets that Tami, the President and COO of Equity Payment, Inc., employs when managing her merchant service provider that’s built with customer service in mind. Her company builds community by offering essential credit card payment solutions with fair pricing and fully transparent practices to retail, e-commerce, service industries and nonprofit businesses.

Local since: 2000

Words to live by: Got my big girl panties on, and I’m dealing with it.


Doug Langhals

Doug Langhals

Hilton Head Christian Academy
3088 Bluffton Parkway Bluffton, SC

hhca.org
dlanghals@hhca.org
843-681-2878

Doug Langhals is the Head of School at Hilton Head Christian Academy, a private, Christian K-12 college preparatory school located in Bluffton. It’s where more than 600 students blend hands-on learning with a commitment to excellence in academics, athletics and the arts. An advocate of Christian education, Doug has been actively involved in HHCA for nearly 20 years. He feels the younger generation desperately needs a foundation of truth to build their lives upon. “Without a coherent worldview, a student will never fully understand their identity, purpose and hope,” he said. “Our goal is to send students out into the world to impact those around them for eternity.”

Local since: 2004

Words to live by: “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” – Jesus


Selina King

Selina King

Jewelry designer
Rockefeller Center, New York

selinaking.com
info@selinaking.com
212-641-0254

Selina King’s jewelry brand has made its mark in four Lowcountry boutiques and across national jewelry stores. Her pieces, known for their sparkle, are meticulously crafted from sustainable materials, including recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced diamonds and upcycled stones from vintage jewelry. However, it’s the Selina King Empowerment Project that truly displays her brilliance. Inspired by her parents’ dedication to philanthropy, Selina uses her success to lift up others, donating luxurious jewelry to women who exemplify selflessness and extraordinary kindness. This initiative is her tribute to those who prioritize the well-being of others, acknowledging and celebrating their compassion and sacrifice.

Local since: Lifetime local

Words to live by: You will never know unless you try.


Allyson Rogers & Richard Canestrari

Allyson Rogers & Richard Canestrari

Pour Richard’s
4376 Bluffton Parkway, Bluffton

pourrichards843.com
PourRichards@gmail.com
843-757-1999

At Pour Richard’s, Allyson Rogers and Richard Canestrari champion the joy of local dining with a menu that evolves seasonally, celebrating South Carolina’s freshest produce, meats and seafood. They prioritize sourcing from local farmers, purveyors and artisans, embodying their commitment to responsible dining. Beyond their culinary endeavors, they support Grace Farm Animal Rescue and other local animal rescue organizations and the South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement Program, initiatives focused on animal care and habitat restoration. Pour Richard’s not only delights with its food and wine but also exemplifies a deep commitment to community support and environmental stewardship.

Local since: Lifetime local (Allyson), 1990 (Richard)

Words to live by: Two chefs, no magic … meaning it’s just talent and teamwork.


Allen Patterson

Allen Patterson

Allen Patterson Builders
211 Sams Point Road, Beaufort

AllenPattersonBuilders.com
Info@allenpattersonbuilders.com
843-470-0400

Allen Patterson can trace his family tree back hundreds of years to “Tuscarora Jack,” who defended the colonies and started a family building tradition. Allen and his wife Julie founded Allen Patterson Residential in 2004 (now Allen Patterson Builders). It leads the region in building exemplary custom homes and commercial projects with a focus on tradition and quality workmanship. Allen is a NAHB Certified Master Builder and Certified Master Graduate Remodeler, was named Southern Living Custom Homebuilder of the Year in 2019 and Builder of the Year for Hilton Head Area Homebuilders Association for 2023. He and his team believe philanthropy is a core value of any successful company and support numerous nonprofits throughout the Lowcountry. Allen and Julie are proud to pass on this impactful legacy to their son Joseph Allen Patterson, V in the future.

Local since: Lifetime local

Words to live by: Always treat your clients like you would like to be treated.


Christopher Corkern

Christopher Corkern 

May River Financial Group
1278 May River Road, Suite 300, Bluffton

MayRiverFinancial.com
christopher.corkern@prudential.com
843-706-2100

Chris Corkern, originally from Hilton Head Island, is the president of May River Financial Group. Celebrating its 25th anniversary under his leadership, the firm specializes in business, investment, retirement and estate financial planning on Hilton Head and in Bluffton. Corkern ranks on Forbes’ top 250 financial security professionals wealth advisor list in the U.S. and is a Top of the Table member of the Million Dollar Roundtable (MDRT). An avid golfer, he enjoys playing at Harbour Town. Chris serves on the board of trustees for the Heritage Classic Foundation, which has donated nearly $53 million to various Lowcountry charities. He has held executive board positions with several local organizations, including Bluffton Jasper Volunteers In Medicine, the Hilton Head Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and The Hilton Head Hospital Auxiliary.

Local since: 1967

Words to live by: Life happens. Being prepared makes all the difference.


Eric Turpin

Eric Turpin 

Native Island Business & Community Affairs Association
539 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island

gullahcelebration.org
GullahCelebrationHHI@gmail.com
843-255-7303

Once a corporate director and vice president of human resources at Coca-Cola, Eric Turpin now serves as the executive director of the Native Island Business & Community Affairs Association (NIBCAA). This organization, founded by minority business owners and community leaders, seeks to stimulate economic growth and enhance life on Hilton Head Island. It promotes Gullah culture through the annual Gullah Celebration, a dynamic event showcasing the rich heritage of the Gullah people. Eric and his wife, Landier, have been Hilton Head property owners since 1994 and are active community volunteers who enjoy golf, sailing and jazz. Hilton Head, renowned for its serene beauty, also thrives from diverse corporate skills and leadership brought by individuals like Turpin, who enrich this community, making it a cherished locale for everyone.

Local Since: 1994

Words to live by: We all stand on the backs and shoulders of the men and women who have come before us.


Kelly Broome-Smith

Kelly Broome-Smith

Lowcountry Spoiled Creative
Hilton Head Island and Bluffton

lowcountryspoiled.com
843-683-8386

Kelly Broome-Smith, the driving force behind Lowcountry Spoiled Creative, excels in public relations, digital marketing and event management. Her boutique agency specializes in supporting nonprofits and small businesses. Kelly’s philosophy focuses on leveraging individual strengths and upholding the core values of each organization. Committed to community enrichment, she collaborates with pivotal groups such as the David M. Carmines Memorial Foundation, the Native Island Business & Community Affairs Association, the Gullah Celebration, the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival and various Beaufort County School programs. Her deep understanding of the local environment and commitment to charity events have significantly impacted both corporate and social spheres, enhancing brand identities and fostering innovative community developments.

Local since: 1984

Words to live by: “Invite people into your life that don’t look or think like you.” – Mellody Hobson


Angle Evangellsta

Angie Evangelista

Bluffton Candles Gift Shop
54 Bridge St., Suite 101, Bluffton

blufftoncandles.com
info@blufftoncandles.com
843-304-3989

Amidst her battle with breast cancer, Angie Evangelista found solace and strength in candle-making, a hobby that blossomed into Bluffton Candles Gift Shop. This endeavor, born from gratitude and resilience, crafts clean, non-toxic candles and bath products. The shop donates a portion of its sales to cancer research and support and local nonprofits. Through its Giving Back Program and daily candle-making workshops, Angie’s business fosters community involvement in the fight against cancer, offering a beacon of hope and a tangible way to contribute to the cause.

Local since: 2007 

Words to live by: I am able to do all things through HIM, who strengthens me.


Chef Lynn Michelle

Chef Lynn Michelle

The East Coast Chef

ChefLynnMichelle.com
letseat@ChefLynnMichelle.com
843-422-5480

Chef Lynn Michelle, known as The East Coast Chef, passionately believes in the power of food to unite people. She offers cooking demonstrations and classes, caters to both private and corporate events and serves as a personal chef, crafting delicious, healthy, restaurant-quality, multi-course meals in clients’ homes. A member of the American Private and Personal Chef Association and ServSafe certified, Chef Lynn handles everything from menu planning and grocery shopping to cooking and cleanup. Beyond the kitchen, she champions youth involvement in sports. As a committed supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton, she sponsors an annual basketball tournament organized by esteemed Syracuse University player, coach Abraham “Tony” Bruin.

Local since: 1996

Words to live by:  Focus! Don’t burn the biscuits!


Catherine Scarminach

Catherine Scarminach

Novit & Scarminach, P.A.
52 New Orleans Road, Suite 400, Hilton Head Island

ns-lawfirm.com
cascarminach@ns-lawfirm.com
843-785-5850

Hilton Head native Catherine Scarminach is a partner at Novit & Scarminach, a general practice law firm where she focuses in residential real estate, estate planning and probate law. Before her legal career, Catherine was a teacher at Sea Pines Montessori Academy on Hilton Head, fostering her commitment to quality education. Now, as a mother of two, she continues to advocate for educational excellence by volunteering at her alma mater, Hilton Head Preparatory School. She contributes her expertise and passion as a member of both the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association Board, influencing positive changes and developments. “I believe the greatest investment you can make in life is in your children, so that’s where I put all my spare time and energy,” she said.

Local since: Lifetime local

Words to live by: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”– Maya Angelou


Michael Hrizuk

Michael Hrizuk

Content developer/photographer

Throughout his creative career, Michael Hrizuk has excelled in visual storytelling across various fields, including restaurant hospitality, travel, leisure and television. His approach is deeply immersive; he lives the stories he captures, engaging fully with his subjects and collaborating with like-minded enthusiasts. This method has not only taken him around the world but also allowed him to build lasting friendships with those who cherish life as much as he does. Sharing these moments reaffirms the thrill of his work. Photography for Michael is more than a profession — it’s a source of continual inspiration and a compelling reason to explore. His journey is a testament to the power of living the stories he tells.

Local since: 2012

Words to live by: 

“Life is a song — sing it.
Life is a game — play it.
Life is a challenge — meet it.
Life is a dream — realize it.
Life is a sacrifice — offer it.
Life is love — enjoy it.”

— Sai Baba

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