By Lanier Laney
Jessica Rockwell’s parents knew she wanted to be a vet from 3 years of age, when they watched her trying to save hermit crabs at the beach. Jessica recently found plans that she drew on construction paper when she was 10: She was going to buy all of Lemon Island and turn it into a huge veterinary hospital and sanctuary for unwanted animals.
Today, years later, Jessica’s husband, Hampton Long, is secretary of the board of trustees that is building the Maritime Center on Lemon Island, dedicated to preserving the area’s delicate marine ecosystem and educating children about the fish and crustaceans that live among the salt marshes. Although their backgrounds are different, Jessica and Hampton’s combined desire to do their part to help has come full circle.
A passion for animals and a love of medicine made becoming a small animal veterinarian an easy choice for Jessica, who has been a popular vet at Sea Island Animal Hospital for the past 10 years, after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Georgia Veterinary School.
Her family is originally from Minnesota, and moved to Beaufort in 1975 to the Cuthbert House, before it was a bed and breakfast. Her mother, Judy Rockwell, was a captain in the Navy and now is program manager for SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. Her father David Rockwell, was a teacher for 40 years and the technology coordinator for Beaufort County School District.
Hampton Long grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Conn. His parents, Catey and T. Michael Long, both had Southern roots. They longed to return to the South when they started contemplating retirement, and bought a house on Spring Island in 1998. The family quickly became enchanted with the beauty and history of Beaufort.
Hampton is a Harvard graduate, has a law degree from Vanderbilt and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Finance and Accounting from Wharton School of Business. After a stint in Frankfurt, Germany, as a financial analyst, he developed his skills in the field of venture capital while working in Philadelphia, where he found it to be very rewarding assisting innovative early-stage companies along the development curve. But he disliked the winters there, so he was elated in 2010 when his father — a general partner at Brown Brothers Harriman & Company — and he were presented with the opportunity to start their own healthcare and energy-focused venture capital firm, Caswell Investments, LLC, in “Beautiful Beaufort.” As senior vice president, Hampton oversees all the research, financial analysis and due diligence for Caswell’s perspective investment and advisory opportunities.
Says Hampton, “Professionally, to sit at the right hand of one of the very best and well-respected investment practitioners in the industry was a compellingly unique opportunity. The fact that my co-founder would be my best friend and father made it a true blessing. The experience has been everything I hoped and so much more.” He adds, “I particularly enjoy that as venture capitalist investors and advisors — from where we sit — the future is a very exciting place with significant steps forward coming in both medical technology and energy.”
Jessica recalls how she met her husband: “Alison Guilloud and Melanie McCaffree did us the biggest favor of our lives four years ago by deciding that they should set us up. The McCaffrees are dear friends of the Longs and invited Hampton over for dinner. Alison asked me to come along. He called me a few days later, and the rest is history. I married the most amazing man! We are so blessed to have found each other. He is the kindest, wittiest man with a fierce loyalty for anyone or anything he loves. I can’t wait to get home to him. We just genuinely enjoy each other!”
Hampton adds, “In addition to being beautiful inside and out, Jessica is easily among the smartest people I have ever met in my life and truly my confidant and best advocate. We have experienced many of the same up’s and down’s in life and are blessed to be able to draw great strength from each other’s perspectives. Ultimately, to be able to call Jessica my wife will always be my greatest accomplishment.”
They both are fans of Beaufort. Jessica says, “We love being close to family and friends. Growing up here, I never thought I would return to Beaufort. That’s what most native Beaufortonians say when they leave, and yet, here we all reside!”
Says Hampton, “I love Beaufortonians’ warm and welcoming nature, their care and responsible stewardship of the area’s rich history and natural beauty and their strong sense of service to their neighbors — both through faith-based and secular charitable organizations. Having lived in many places, it is truly a wonderful combination that is rarely replicated anywhere else.”
In their giving back to Beaufort, Hampton has been involved in several charitable organizations besides board secretary of the Port Royal Sound Foundation since 2012. He’s been a council member at St. John’s Lutheran Church since 2013 and recently became a board member of the Open Land Trust. Jessica has been a member of the Junior Service League of Beaufort since 2005 and is currently co-chair of the Sustainer’s Project. She chaired a committee for Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Valentine’s Ball this past year, and provides ongoing support of the Hilton Head Humane Association and Beaufort County Animal Shelter.
The couple avidly supports the nonprofit Port Royal Sound Foundation and looks forward to the new Maritime Education Center being constructed at the old Lemon Island Marina site on S.C. 170 that is due to open later this year. Among many other initiatives, the center’s programs will provide a place for area students to learn about the sound’s rich ecosystem and all the fish, crustaceans and wildlife that make their special home there. To find out more, or to get involved, visit www.portroyalsoundfoundation.com.
• Sea Island Animal Hospital is a full service animal hospital located on Lady’s Island just behind Sonic in the Professional Village that offers annual wellness and preventative care, urgent care, surgery, dentistry, digital radiology, boarding and basic spa packages for your pet.
• Dr. Rockwell-Long and Dr. Horn are proud of their new advanced, state-of-the-art ultrasound machine for which they are both extensively trained. Ultrasound is a non-invasive approach to examining your pet’s internal structures and requires no sedation. It’s extremely useful in evaluating heart conditions and identifying changes in abdominal organs. Ultrasonography is also very useful in the diagnosis of cysts and tumors and is used to perform echo cardiograms, the only real way to evaluate the heart, and do live color Doppler images of the organs and vessels.
• They also carry heartworm, flea and tick preventatives as well as prescription diets. This year Sea Island Animal Hospital has improved pricing as well as “Paw Plans” which are wellness packages that allow clients to provide their pets with all the recommended veterinary care for a significantly discounted cost and pay small amounts each month as opposed to all at once.
• Get 50 percent off your first exam if you are a new client: Mention that you saw the article in The Island News!
• Sea Island Animal Hospital is located at 40 Professional Village Circle, SC, 29907. Call 843-548-0741 or visit www.SeaIslandAnimalHospital.com.