Review Category : Profile

NOC project manager dedicated to improving young lives

Photo above: John Leadem, NOC project manager, impacts so many in Beaufort. The Neighborhood Outreach Connection’s mission is “to help all individuals in the community achieve…economic independence and personal fulfillment.” At the same time, John Leadem, project manager of the Beaufort NOC, is finding his own personal fulfillment helping the local branch of the program grow and become sustainable. While working with AT&T, John was responsible for community outreach and it soon became the favorite part of his job. When he moved to Beaufort, he was eager to do his part to enrich the community and focused his efforts on getting an NOC started. “I really want to see the NOC become an integral part of the community,” says John. “My goal is to see the NOC kids make it to college and be successful in life.” NOC connects with community members through a strong presence in low-income neighborhoods. They establish program centers that provide educational, health service and workforce development support by bringing resources, services and technology into the neighborhood.... ...

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A fitness and nutritional trainer for all ages

Photo above: LifeFit Wellness Coach motivates others to keep trying. By Molly Ingram As many of you know, I decided to try the Body Makeover program that is provided by LifeFit and Beaufort Memorial in an attempt to begin to live a healthier lifestyle. And so far, so good. The program participants are divided into groups that have a set three days where they meet at the same time. My group is led by a stellar trainer and team captain named Amy Mulnix who is just an amazing young woman and mother of two youngsters. Amy is originally from Wilkesboro, NC and graduated with a degree in Exercise Science from UNC Wilmington. Her formative years were very sports centric with a family who supported her involvement in basketball (Division I), swimming, soccer and track. By now you have figured out Amy is an excellent athlete. Tall and lanky, she has the physique of a swimmer but her long red hair gives you a hint about the competitiveness that simmers just below... ...

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A military life makes a big “Flash”

Photo above: Paying tribute to a longtime Army Veteran, “Flash.” By Molly Ingram Meet Howard Born, known as “Flash” to his friends and cohorts. And Flash seems to be the best single word to describe him. Soon to be 76, Flash has spent almost his entire career in the military or in military related private industry. Born into a military family that seemed split between the army and the navy with an occasional flyer thrown in for good measure, Flash could salute and sing “Anchors Aweigh” — his Father’s college fight song — long before he could do most other things. Flash was born in the Naval Hospital on the US Navy Submarine Base, in Coco Solo, Canal Zone, Panama where his Dad was stationed. Anne, his lovely wife, reminds him that he was shipped stateside on a “banana boat” to settle at a Florida base where his Father had been transferred. As a youngster, Flash remembers “getting a ride to school in 1st grade in the Navy mail truck” which was... ...

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A General Manager’s devotion to Beaufort’s waters

Photo above: From boating to managing BJWSA, Ed Saxon knows his water (pictured with his wife Melanie). True to his engineering education (he completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of South Carolina), Ed was thorough and articulate as he answered questions thrown at him from The Island News. The folks who are served by Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority can rest assured they are in good hands with Ed as General Manager. Born and raised in Columbia, Ed joined BJWSA in 1989 as Chief Engineer. Prior to the move back to his home state, Ed worked all over the United States in both the petrochemical and nuclear fields. He eventually moved into sales, which kept him on the road 60 percent of the time. South Carolina was calling him home and Beaufort was the city that won him over. After serving as BJWSA Chief Engineer for 24 years, Ed was named GM in 2013. According to Ed, “I was always interested in math and science and knew... ...

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Big ideas equal a big mess!

Photo above: Local yoga instructor believes that laughter is the best medicine. Photo by John Arthur Photography. By Molly Ingram I came away from an afternoon chat with an amazing young woman which was part “get to know you” and part “doggie play date” with an incredible sense of wellbeing. Being with Brittney Hiller is simply exhilarating. Brittney owns Brittney Hiller Yoga and she is an accomplished yoga instructor, published author, outstanding massage therapist, and a breath of fresh air all rolled into one. “Anyone who is willing to change their life will change their life and I am elated to help them get started. I am a catalyst for their overall health change for those who want it.” Have you ever heard of Laughter Yoga? I hadn’t either. It is a real thing and Brittney teaches it on a regular basis. The idea is that clients get more oxygen, and a way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety all while laughing. We have all heard the expression, “Laughter is the best... ...

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Southern transplant brings new flavor to local hospital

Photo above: BMH Executive Chef changes the stigma of “hospital food.” By Molly Ingram My, how times have changed. Last time I was in a hospital, you got Jell-O served three ways. Today, at Beaufort Memorial, you simply pick up the phone and order whatever you like, however you want it, whenever you want it. Finally feeling better and craving an omelet at 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon? No problem. Just call and request one with cheese and mushrooms. Seems more like room service in a nice hotel than standard patient food at our local hospital. Such are the changes Executive Chef Eric Sayers has instituted in his tenure at Beaufort Memorial. Try and name another hospital which has an award winning, internationally trained chef leading their food preparation and delivery? Nope, I couldn’t think of one either. Chef Eric is from Southbury, CT just outside of Hartford. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Chef Eric worked in several restaurants in CT and NY. But... ...

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Periwinkle? No, Hollyhocks is the place to shop!

Photo above: Hollyhock’s shop owner defines success. By Molly Ingram What does it take to be a successful shop owner in Beaufort? Well, let’s see. You need business acumen, creativity, tenacity, stubbornness, and maybe luck in the form of good timing and an owner who can do it all. Hollyhocks has been a Beaufort staple for over 16 years and is continually touted as one of our best local successes. Perri Chapman Flaherty, the driving force behind Hollyhocks’ success, embodies all those adjectives and a few more to boot. Perri graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in marketing and began her business career at the Ritz Carleton in Atlanta where she worked her way through many areas of hotel management. The key training she received while at the Ritz was their approach to customer service. And nobody does it better than the Ritz. “Their goal is to anticipate a guests every need before the guest even knows they want it. And you need to do it with a... ...

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Meet a retired marine who’s retirement lasted four weeks

Pictured above: LowCountry Habitat Executive Director discusses his career path. By Molly Ingram Sometimes you run across someone and something that just seem meant-to-be together. Meet Chet Houston, the Executive Director of LowCountry Habitat for Humanity. Chet, and his lovely wife of 24 years, Marcy, were high school sweethearts back in Kansas where they are from. Chet headed to college on a track scholarship but soon learned college just wasn’t the place for him. But the Marines might be. So began a career that spanned 26 years and only ended last April when Chet retired. “I couldn’t stay a Marine forever. The time had come for the next phase, the next chapter, the next adventure,” he chuckled. His Marine tenure was filled with duty postings on both coasts of the US, a few in the middle, as well as in multiple areas of Asia. His jobs included being a drill instructor, teaching motorcycle safety, and three combat deployments. Mixed into the various jobs, Chet got his Bachelor of Science degree from... ...

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Local minister gives back in more ways than one

Photo above: Crystal Clean, LLC owner shares her past and future dreams. By Molly Ingram It isn’t often that you get to meet someone who embodies all those qualities that you wish all your friends had – courage, compassion, empathy, honesty, total dedication and a drive to succeed that outstrips most people. Meet Crystal Dewar, owner of Crystal Clean, LLC. Crystal was raised in Charleston where she was the co-captain of the cheerleading team and Homecoming Queen. Because she found herself unexpectedly pregnant, she took her senior year off to get her first son, Matthew, off to the right start. She returned to Garrett High School the following year to complete her studies and graduate. From high school, Crystal began a long career working for Fidelity Investments in Raleigh, NC where she was a member of the Human Resources team. Here she worked with new hires to get them acclimated and comfortably situated in their new company. She took full advantage of all the training that Fidelity offered their employees to... ...

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Jamaican native Graham shines as a Beaufort firefighter

Photo above: Firefighter Arvel Graham is always on call. By Molly Ingram “We’re just here to help people.” That pretty much sums it up. It clearly identifies what it means to Arvel Graham to be a member of the Beaufort Fire Department. And honestly, it probably defines many of our local firefighters. They hold a job that isn’t for everyone. It carries huge responsibilities and stresses that each member learns how to handle for themselves. It requires intelligence, determination, courage, humor, patience and skills – lots of skills most of us have no idea of their complexity. All of those traits show through in Arvel, a new member to the force as of last April. Arvel’s journey started in his home country of Jamaica and finally deposited him here in Beaufort where he stayed with his Aunt in Yamanssee. When he first arrived in Beaufort, he worked at Sherwin Williams Paints and helped coach a Beaufort County P.A.L.S. soccer team for his niece. It was here that a father of one of... ...

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