Q: How long have you lived in Beaufort?
A: I was born in Beaufort. I moved back with my wife, Amy, and our (now 3.5 year old) daughter, Evelyn, nearly three years ago after having lived in Charleston for 8 years. I’ve been working here for the last four years.
Q: What organization do you represent?
A: I currently serve as the Director at Large and as a member of the Finance & Military Affairs Committees for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, and I also serve on the board of the Exchange Club of Beaufort. I am currently in the Chamber’s Leadership Beaufort Program (Go Blue). In addition, I coordinate litter cleanups for my Exchange Club at the Broad River Boat Ramp as a part of the Adopt a Highway program.
Q: How did you first get involved with these organizations?
A: As a business banker, it is essential to be involved in the area Chamber of Commerce, as it is the best way to gain understanding of the local economy and have an impact on its progression. Blakely Williams, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce President, personally extended an invitation to me and my company soon after I started working in Beaufort, and I’ve been increasingly involved ever since.
Ron Voegeli of the Exchange Club of Beaufort asked me if I’d like to come to one of their meetings. The timing was good, as I’d been considering joining a civic club. The factors that led me to join the Exchange Club were three fold: 1) The members are so nice and down to earth; 2) The club is very active in volunteering and raising money for important organizations, like CAPA; and 3) I could tell that the club would support my efforts and take part in keeping our environment clean and beautiful.
Q: Describe one of your most memorable experiences as a volunteer.
A: One experience that stands out to me was the time I spent volunteering at a local food bank, as part of a Leadership Beaufort assignment. I was struck by the vast need that exists in our own community for one of the most basic elements of survival. Nearly every recipient was appreciative of the food they were receiving, and it was clear that they’d all come to be in their particular situation from different points of origin. The experience was a great reminder of how fortunate our family is, and also how it only takes one or two strokes of bad luck for many of us to end up in a similar situation.
Q: When not volunteering, what other activities do you enjoy?
A: I love going to Hunting Island with my wife, Amy, and our daughter, Evelyn. The three of us have a fondness for nature, and there’s a variety of ways to explore the great outdoors at Hunting Island State Park. I also enjoy surfing, boating, and riding bikes with my brother, Robert.
Q: What do you like best about Beaufort?
A: Being from Beaufort, I’m obviously a little biased, but what’s not to like? The people are friendly and open, and come from all sorts of backgrounds. Our small town has a multitude of activities to enjoy, including outdoor adventures, cultural and dining experiences, and an event or festival nearly every week of the year. But I think that part I like best of all, is our natural surroundings. We really do live in a tranquil setting.