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PROFILES people, places and businesses in the Golden Isles

WHAT MAKES THE ISLES GOLDEN People who pursue visions Athletes with star power Historic spots to see again

219 Mall Blvd. - Brunswick, GA 912-267-6964 “Having been recently acquired by new ownership and under the management expertise of CityView Commercial, Glynn Place Mall has enjoyed a quiet resurgence with new stores, food court options, and a vibrant event schedule to reconnect with the community. Trusted anchors Belk, Embassy Suites, The Georgia Theatre Company, JC Penney, and Sears are here to serve your shopping and service needs, as are over 50 additional tenants featuring name brand apparel, gift, jewelry and accessory related retailers. Recent progress has led to an increased occupancy ratio of 90%, meaning few in-line and kiosk spaces remain. However, Glynn Place is still searching for superior retail options (offering competitive rates and agents are welcome), so please email for inquiries regarding available space. And if you are looking for the perfect place to host an event, or a professional meeting, please contact Joni Bennett at Also, refer to and for updates related to new and trusted stores, events and for a forthcoming announcement regarding the renovation and revitalization of the northern section of the facility.”

APPAREL Aeropostale American Eagle Outfitters Body Central Bonworth Athletic Outfitters, Gentlemen’s Outfitters, Lady’s Outfitters GQ Men’s Wear Love K Maurice’s Naarabeen Surf and Skate Rue 21 Seaquel’s Simple Elegance

GIFTS Pat’s Hallmark Simple Elegance Sterling Moments Jewelry Claire’s Gold Doctor Kay Jewelers Piercing Pagoda Reeds Jewelers

RESTAURANTS American Deli China Wok Cookie Time Dino’s Pizza Island Jerk

Nacho’s Ruby Tuesday Scuttlebutt Snacks & Such


PERSONAL SERVICES A Touch of Wireless H&R Block Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Lee Nails Shoe Doctor Superstar Barbershop 360 Security & Technologies

SPORTS GOODS / SHOES / APPAREL Athletic Outfitters, Gentlemen’s Outfitters, Lady’s Outfitters Boot Emporium Foot Locker Glynn County School of Baseball Hibbett Sports Journeys Narrabeen The Shoe Department Encore Shoe Doctor

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Embassy Suites Hotel Heritage Family Insurance US Air Force National Guard US Air Force Recruiting Office US Army Recruiting Office US Marines Recruiting Office US Navy Recruiting Office

2 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013


Bath & Body Works Body Rub Celltone Claire’s Game Stop Golden Isles Gaming GNC JC Penney Styling Salon The Perfume Mania Sears Post Office Shoe Doctor Simple Elegance Sterling Moments 360 Security & Technologies U Name It

NEW ADDITIONS Nacho’s opened February 2013 Island Jerk opening March 2013 Belk Home Store expansion Shoe Department Encore opened March 2013 Love K Boutique 2013 Simple Elegance opening May 2013 Scuttlebutt Snacks & Such opening March 2013 Golden Isles Gaming opening March 2013 “Meetings and More” Community Room opened March 2013

7 March 2013 16 March 2013 23 March 2013

Goodwill Fashion Show at Embassy Suites Sunburst Beauty Pageant BELK Kids Festival and Fashion Show Boy Scouts of America, Coastal District Pinewood Derby “Bottle to Brush” Children’s Art Show presented by Glynn Art Assoc.

26 March 2013 Diabetes ALERT Day 28–30 March 2013 Easter Bunny available for visits and photos 30 March 2013 16 April 2013 27 April 2013 4 May 2013 5 May 2013 11 May 2013 18 May 2013 24 May 2013 25 May 2013 14 June 2013

Easter EGGstravaganza Security Exposition BELK Charity Day American Diabetes Association “Diabetes Bites” Zombie 5K Walk Cinco De Mayo Cooking Demonstration and Dance Party “Baby and Child Fest” A Pregnancy and Parenting Expo/Diaper Dash KBGIB Electronics and Paper Shred Recycling event Corporal John R. Stalvey 5K Packet Pick-Up and Pre-Party Dedication of Military Heroes Wall and Memorial Day Tribute World Elder Abuse Day Walk-a-thon


Alpha Motors ................................................................................. 26 Altamaha Technical College ........................................................... 13 Alzheimer’s Of Glynn/Brunswick .................................................... 41 Atlantic National Bank .................................................................... 11 Beachview Tent Rentals ................................................................. 58 Bill Duckworth Tires ...................................................................... 35 Blueberry Hill Restaurant .............................................................. 52 Bluff Creek Stables ........................................................................ 51 Brunswick Country Club ................................................................ 31 Brunswick / Golden Isles Convention & Visitors Bureau ................ 15,25 Butch Paxton Insurance ................................................................. 9 Certified Electric ............................................................................ 55 Chamber Of Commerce ................................................................. 25 Christian Montessori School ......................................................... 9 Coastal Appliance .......................................................................... 24 Coastal Bank ................................................................................. 45 Coastal CPA’s ................................................................................ 72 Coastal Oral Surgery ..................................................................... 23 College Of Coastal Georgia ............................................................ 17 Development Authority ................................................................. 25 Duckworth Properties ................................................................... 24 Edo Miller & Sons ......................................................................... 83 First Coast Benefits Solutions ....................................................... 43 Frederica Academy ........................................................................ 33 Georgia Coastal Federal Credit Union ............................................ 19 Georgia Pacific .............................................................................. 78 Glynn Place Mall ........................................................................... 2 Gnat’s Landing .............................................................................. 36 Golden Isles Arts & Humanities .................................................... 55 Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove ......................................................... 36 Gulfstream .................................................................................... 76 h2o Creative Group ....................................................................... 70 Hodnett Cooper ............................................................................. 29 I-95 Toyota - Joni Boatwright ........................................................ 43 International Auto Processing ....................................................... 47 International Seafarer’s Center ...................................................... 41 Jekyll Island Authority ................................................................... 62 King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort ............................................... 7 King & Prince Seafood .................................................................. 81 Little St. Simons Island ................................................................. 61 McGladrey Classic ........................................................................ 39 Ned Cash & Associates ................................................................. 65 Okay & Associates Accounting ..................................................... 49 Okefenokee Rural Electric ............................................................. 62

Pinova ........................................................................................... 5 Primesouth Bank ........................................................................... 75 Redfern Village .............................................................................. 65 Rich Products ............................................................................... 38 Sears Manor Nursing Home ......................................................... 57 Shops at Sea Island ...................................................................... 66 Signature properties - Julie Martin ............................................... 20 Silverton Mortgage ....................................................................... 37 Southcoast Bank ........................................................................... 8 Southeast Georgia Health System ................................................. 84 Southport Academy ....................................................................... 3 St. Simons Bank & Trust ............................................................... 27 St. Simons Land Trust ................................................................... 63 St. Simons Sweets ........................................................................ 68 St. Simons Methodist Church ........................................................ 49

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 3


From C.H. Leavy IV President and Editor, The Brunswick News editor@ thebrunswicknews. com 912-265-8320

If you grew up in the Golden Isles or have moved here and found one or many pleasures of life here, you may have thought at sometime or told someone: There is no better place to live in the world. That’s a pretty bold statement, but I have said it before and know countless others who have expressed similar sentiments. There is no arguing, the Golden Isles is truly a special place. With that confidence that we have something special on this stretch of the Georgia coast, the staff of The Brunswick News has created PROFILES, a first-time publication that delves into much of what makes the Golden Isles what it is. At the heart of our community are the people who bring life to our schools, institutions, activi-

ties and businesses. In PROFILES, you will meet some of those people and explore some of those places. Whether you are a long-time resident, a relative newcomer or a visitor, I think you will find new insights into our community in the pages of PROFILES, which we have organized around eight categories that reflect life in the Golden Isles: Education & Health, Community, Sports & Recreation, Government, Religion, Arts & Entertainment, Tourism and Commerce. The people, places and businesses you will discover or rediscover include both the highly visible, many with long-standing roles in the community, and the newly emerging, rising in prominence and destined to become future community leaders.

Among the highly visible, for example, is Valerie Hepburn, who has led the transformation of College of Coastal Georgia the past five years into a baccalaureate college. But after her tenure ends, the emerging legacy of that transformation will continue in people like Jody Carter, a small business owner who gave up his print shop to enroll at the college to become a teacher, and now teaches in the Glynn County School System. Equally as important as the people, places and businesses in the pages of PROFILES are the staff of The Brunswick News, who created this magazine, and the advertisers who support it. They, too, are part of what makes the Golden Isles special – along with every individual, every place and every business you will encounter in the following pages.




Valerie Hepburn

Jim Bishop

Lee Owen

Builder of a college 9

Advocate for college 14

Connecting people 21

Shelly Hall

Jody Carter

Mike Hodges

A love for teaching 10

Teaching is caring 14

Points to success 21

Greg Griffeth

Phillis George

Ben Slade

Opening wider doors 10

Learning is serving 16

Friend of an island 22

Lorette Hoover

Maggie Bee

St. Simons Land Trust

Emphasis on skills 12

Leading to inspire 16

Preserver of nature 22

Millard Allen

Gary Colberg

Ted and JoAnn Davis

Dedicated to children 12

Looking for healthy change 18

Directors for young talent 24

Don Mathews

Health system

Missy Neu

Lessons in thinking 13

Continued expansion 18

Help for charities 26

SPORTS & RECREATION 31-40 Rob Ridings On-field success 32

Theresa Adams Success as coach, mentor 32

Davis Love III A gentleman and a winner 33

Kayaking A watery trail system 34

Frederica football First-time champion 34 4 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

Adam Wainwright Pitches include Isles 36

McGladrey Classic On PGA Tour 37

Fishing Good catches anyplace 38

Golf Good holes all around 39

Bridge run More than a race 40

Morgan Brian Totally soccer 40

ON THE COVER With the iconic Fort Frederica behind them, Elloree Chambers, 5, of St. Simons Island and Ted Johnson, a ranger/ re-enactor at the fort, walk a tabby path at the national monument on St. Simons Island.

Reg Murphy Experiences help others 27

Sharon Flores Initiator for events 28

Jack Hartman Hometown champion 28

Jennifer Broadus Drawing on area needs 30

Woody Woodside Ambassador for Isles 30


PROFILES is one in a series of annual special publications of The Brunswick News, 3011 Altama Ave., Brunswick, Ga. 31520. It is produced by The Brunswick News staff and distributed as a bonus magazine with the daily newspaper. Information on other special publications and advertising opportunities is available from The News at 912-265-8320.

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 5



Luis Haza


Brings music to Isles 53

Perfectly situated 71

Jessica Holloway


Band is focus of life 53

Reeling in tastes 71


Lady and Gentlemen’s Outfitters

GOVERNMENT 41-44 Mason and Jodi Lisa Godbey Wood Mentor shapes judgeship 42

Alex Atwood Speaks up for region 42

William Ligon Calls on experience 43

Bryan Thompson Mayor learns some lessons 44

Connie Patrick Sets standards for training 44

RELIGION 45-51 James Wigton Reaches out to connect 46

Dawn Mayes Called to serve 46

Dave Gittings Blending sports and faith 48

Wright Culpepper Putting faith to work 48

Lucas Ramirez Good catches anyplace 49

Mark Friedman Rooted in faith 50

Paul McKenzie Church grows in impact 50

David Yarborough Church looks beyond island 51

Using star-power to help 54

Service is a reward 73

Golden Isles Arts & Humanities

Frederica Adding to reputation 73

Presenter of the arts 54

Youth Symphony Starting the classic young 55

Tim and Annie Akins

Symphony Society

Good vibes together 56

Promoter of the classical 56

Port of Brunswick Continues to drive growth 74

Georgia-Pacific Roots run deep 74


Kut Kwick A niche in big market 75

Jones Hooks


Twin roles on Jekyll Island 59

New name with old links 77

Jekyll Island

Ned Cash Jewelers

State Jewel shows sparkle 59

Times change with store 77

Fort King George

King & Prince Seafood

A recreation of history 60

By sea is place to be 78

Ashantilly Center Education with a past 60

Gulfstream Aerospace

King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

High Performance Tube

Final touches take off 79

Oceanfront evolution 61

Area is employee resource 79

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Fort Dearborn Stewbilee

Hofwyl Plantation

A place to recover 62

Serving a taste of tradition 64

Connected to past 67

Sweats Furniture

Fort Frederica

Little St. Simons Island

Sea Island

Family firm thrives 80

Stars (five of them) shine 69

Unspoiled beauty 65

Lang Building Supply Builds on foundation 82 Health success continues 82

Standing guard on history 63

St. Simons Island beach

Jekyll Island beaches

St. Simons Island Lighthouse

Ocean is part of draw 64

Different names, traits 67

Icon for the area 69

Puts label on business 80

St. Simons Drug Co.

STAFF PROFILES The Brunswick News staff members who wrote, edited and photographed PROFILES

Lindsey Adkison

Michael Hall

Bobby Haven

Buddy Hughes

Lifestyle Editor

Local Reporter


Sports Reporter Local Reporter

6 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gordon Jackson

Dave Jordan

Bethany Leggett

Sarah Lundgren

Nick Nichols

Brittany Tate

Nikki Wiley

Sports Editor

News Editor

Local Reporter


Lifestyle Reporter Local Reporter

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 7


EDUCATION & HEALTH How the college is growing with the community Where teachers are changing lives

The future in tech education

PAGES 9-18



What is driving the health system


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vision for building a college quickly becomes reality

Valerie Hepburn never planned to stay at College of Coastal Georgia for five years. When she was hired as interim president of the college in 2008, as it began its transition from the two-year Coastal Georgia Community College to a four-year baccalaureate college, Hepburn thought she would be moving on to other things after a short time. Then something happened. “My sense of what was possible here made me want to stay,� Hepburn said. In the past five years, she has done more than simply handle the day-to-day administrative tasks of running a college. Hepburn has led the charge to make the college part of the core of the community, with the power to help broaden the economic base of Brunswick and the Golden Isles. Since her tenure began, every original building but one on the campus has been renovated. The final building is expected to get its makeover this year. On top of that, new buildings, such as the Miriam and Hugh Nunnally Health and Science Building, the Correll Center for Teacher Education and Learning and the Campus Center, have been built.

Buildings are not the only mark Hepburn will leave on the college when she steps down from her post in May, at the end of this academic year. Hepburn infused the college with a spirit of community service through a new service learning program, which seeks to connect students and faculty in meaningful ways to help out around Glynn County. “I think we should all do that as much as possible,� Hepburn said. “I try to live my life that way.� Hepburn has been involved with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and other area nonprofits since coming to Glynn County. After she leaves College of Coastal Georgia, Hepburn will work with the University System of Georgia to revamp employee health and benefits packages. After that, Hepburn is sure another opportunity will come along. If she had it her way, that opportunity would be the dream job for a woman who knows baseball as well as she knows how to create a new college from the ground up – Commissioner of Baseball. – Michael Hall

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The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 9



ove of teaching lasts

Shelly Hall has been reminded recently by friends that she is approaching her 30th year of teaching and will be able to retire soon. Her response is always the same: “I can’t imagine what I would do if I wasn’t teaching children,” Hall said. That attitude contributed to her being named Glynn County School System Teacher of the Year for the 2012-13 school year. It was an honor Hall has been groomed for since a young age. Her mother taught middle school for 32 years, setting an example for Hall she follows today. “She would let me read the papers she graded, and I would help her put up bulletin boards and arrange desks before the school year started,” Hall said. “It inspired me.” As the speech pathologist at Sterling Elementary School, she is charged with reaching a wide range of pupils of different levels. It is challenging, but that is why Hall loves what she does. “We, as teachers, have to get to know the students and figure out what makes them tick,” she said. “When those kids come up and they hug you, it’s great,” Hall said. “Is there a better profession? Teachers have the ability to touch thousands of people during their careers.” After 26 years of teaching, she still feels that way. The full pension teachers can collect after 30 years of teaching is not something Hall plans on taking anytime soon. – Michael Hall



ndependent school seeks to open doors to wider community

Even though Greg Griffeth is relatively new to the Golden Isles, he isn’t new to the academic community. The head of school at Frederica Academy since 2011 has served in various positions as coach, teacher and dean at several institutions, including the Darlington School in Rome and The Barstow School in Kansas City, Mo. “Outside of those ventures, it’s something I’ve known because my father founded Athens Academy (in Athens, Ga.) – it’s in my blood really,” Griffeth said with a laugh. With three sons enrolled at Frederica Academy, Griffeth gets the entire picture of what role the school plays in the Golden Isles. In its 40 years as an institution, he sees it serving many as an independent school in the county. “As opposed to Atlanta or Jacksonville or Macon, here, Frederica Academy is able to serve a niche in the community. When you think about the education community, parents should have choices; it’s only good for the community if there are options,” he said. “We definitely fill the niche of an independent school here.” By being a part of the community, Griffeth says Frederica Academy looks to the various demographics of the area for growth, which has been a steady factor the past several years as the nation emerged from a recession. 10 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

“Recently, we’ve been able to grow much more in offering programs, from athletic to academic. Football is the most visible of the additions, but we’ve added an equestrian team, sailing, swimming. They’re smaller programs, but it means more students can participate in what they want,” he said. “Because we aren’t too large, more students can participate. They aren’t forced to the sidelines.” Griffeth points to parents who volunteer their time to continue to build upon the school’s programs. At the same time, he sees the school becoming a more visible aspect of the community. “I think the community is starting to view the school as more accessible and as a community asset. As we’ve grown in programs and diversity, the community is viewing the school as being a community player,” he said. The school’s strategic plan is to foster the individual students, but it also encourages its students to participate in the bigger picture. “We want our students, teachers and parents as involved in the broader community as possible – Coastal Youth Symphony, United Community Bank Junior Board, service organizations, Relay for Life, community events. We want there to be a sense of inclusion and not exclusion,” Griffeth said. – Sarah Lundgren


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Where others have their branches, we have our roots.

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 11



rade skills are crucial

Glynn County is a long way from Germany. Just ask Altamaha Technical College President Lorette Hoover. She was born in Germany in an Army family that moved frequently around Europe and the Middle East during her youth. Eventually, Hoover’s family ended up in Columbus, where she got her first taste of the American lifestyle. She was 21 years old then and had grown up with a different educational experience than others her age. Neither of her parents was college educated and her German mother, she found out later, had not finished high school. When they came to the states, Hoover said her mother decided it was time to get a GED. It was through Hoover’s experiences helping her mother earn her certificate that she was introduced to technical colleges and found her calling. “I really enjoyed seeing regular people like me get their GEDs and learning to keep our industries running,” Hoover said. After volunteering with a GED pro-



edication lifts schools

Glynn County Board of Education member Millard Allen saw a chance to make a difference, and he’s been doing just that in the almost seven years he has been on the board. Allen wanted to change the outlook of a board that had been contentious prior to his election in 2006. “You can disagree with people without being disagreeable,” Allen said. It is a philosophy he developed when working in the computer and technology sector with companies like Honeywell and Texas Instruments. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he entered the world of private business upon his retirement from the Navy. He says the sense of teamwork and cooperation he brought with him to the board helped, when combined with other board members who felt the same as he did. He is happy with what they have

been able to accomplish. “I think we have made some progress,” Allen said. That includes progress in the classroom, he added. “Our product is the education of children,” Allen said. Since joining the board, Allen has been proud to see graduation rates rise and several key standardized test scores increase. Having no children or grandchildren of his own who were ever enrolled in Glynn County schools, Allen’s efforts to guide the school system have stemmed from his yearning to better the community he has called home since 1988. He says having a quality infrastructure for education is the best way he knows to make Glynn County a better place. A complete set of educational offerings, from prekindergarten through the college level, will support economic development, Allen said. ­– Michael Hall

12 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

gram in Columbus, she got a job as a secretary at the local technical school and began working her way up the ladder. She simultaneously worked to earn a bachelor’s degree in business. During that time she developed the philosophy that has guided her career. “Everyone has a right to a great job and a great career,” Hoover said. Employers also have the right to hire well-trained employees who are ready to fill all positions, not just the white-collar jobs. “So many Americans, especially kids in high school, don’t realize how good the skilled jobs are,” Hoover said. She hopes she can instill in the students at Altamaha Tech an attitude she gleaned from Germans. Hoover said skilled trades people in Germany are revered for their ability and are held in high regard as pillars of the community. By elevating the status and profile of those jobs in Southeast Georgia, Hoover hopes students will have a positive economic and social impact on their communities. – Michael Hall



ritical thinking is life lesson

Don Mathews is a thoughtful man. Whether it’s his personal life or his professional life as a professor of economics at College of Coastal Georgia, Mathews applies his propensity for critical thinking to everything. “I have one philosophy: the best life is a thoughtful life, and a thoughtful life requires courage and hard work,” he said. He asks the same of his students. “I want them to discover that they can, through hard work, think more deeply and rigorously about life and the world than they ever imagined they could,” Mathews said. He calls it intellectual courage. Developing a willingness to put the test of critical inquiry and evidence to all ideas and beliefs will benefit his students after college, Mathews said. He hopes students leave his class with “the willingness to reject any ideas or beliefs, even one’s most cherished beliefs, if the evidence does not support them and the willingness to defend ideas or beliefs that are


supported by evidence.” As director of the college’s Coastal Georgia Center for Economic Analysis and Student Research, Mathews applies these same principles to other work. “I accept nothing on the basis of ideology or faith. I try to think carefully and critically about questions and issues, and I insist on evidence,” Mathews said. That is why he loves the study of macroeconomics. “It’s a wild theater of ideas and phenomena, full of intricacies, anomalies, puzzles, mysteries and controversies,” he said. Mathews also works closely with economic development organizations in Glynn and surrounding counties to develop methods for attracting new industry to the area. While he enjoys the work outside of the classroom, his heart is with his students. “It’s great fun to explore with my students,” Mathews said. “I learn a lot from them.” – Michael Hall


Altamaha Technical College is honored to be involved in the Golden Isles’ continual success and progress. Our vision has steadily taken shape by encouraging more people just like you to choose Altamaha Technical College. With a job placement rate in excess of 98.2% and with some courses as short as six weeks, our students are taking advantage of classes in the medical field, manufacturing, electronics, welding, commercial truck driving and the business & service sectors. Classes are offered both day, evening and online with financial aid available through the HOPE Grant and HOPE Scholarship. For more information on our programs and courses, please give us a call today or stop by for your personal tour of our campus.

Jesup • Golden Isles • Baxley Hazlehurst • Camden County 912.280.4000 ext. 4217 800.645.8284

An Equal Opportunity Institution The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 13



dvocacy creates a college

Community service has been a lifelong endeavor for Brunswick lawyer Jim Bishop. Growing up in Alma, Bishop learned from his father to place an emphasis on improving the community in which he lived. By the time he was a teenager, Bishop was already off and running by being elected president of his high school classes and becoming an Eagle Scout. “I felt like it was in my DNA to be involved however I could,” Bishop said. He brought his community-oriented attitude to Brunswick in 1967, when he began practicing law with Anthony Alaimo, who later became Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Bishop says Alaimo was a mentor in many ways. “He was the hardest working man I’ve ever met,” Bishop said. “He helped me frame my priorities.” As Bishop became a successful lawyer, his prominence as a community leader eventually led him to an appointment to The University System of Georgia’s Board



eaching is also lesson in caring

Once the owner and operator of a small print shop in Brunswick, 35-year-old Jody Carter found his true calling after hiring a young man at his business. The shop owner and Marine Corps veteran started on a new path, helping others along the way. “I hired a kid to work for me at my shop, and I had to teach him to do everything that had to do with the business. And he just said, ‘Ya know, I’d like to see you teach. We need a strong male presence in schools.’ So I said, ‘You know what, maybe that’s a good idea,’” Carter recalled. He dove right into tutoring and discovered he had a love for teaching. From there, Carter entered the education program at College of Coastal Georgia, where his final student-teaching opportunity led him to Coastal Academy, his current location as a full-time math teacher. “I realized I love kids. I’m still a kid. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t left adolescence, and these kids are clearly still in it,” Carter said. “I can get along better with them, and I also feel I see math differently than others. I’m open to thinking outside the box, like a lot of these kids do here.” In his classes, Carter guides approximately 40 students in not just mathematics, but in everyday problem solving and positive relationship building. Many of his

students have behavioral issues, but he combats that by being more than just a teacher, but a role model. “I’m trying to form a positive relationship with them right off the bat. I’m not yelling at them, not chastising or criticizing them. I don’t care where they come from. I don’t care what color they are. I don’t care if they’re great in math or bad in math. I really just want to make a connection with them,” Carter said. “I know if I can make that connection at the start, I’ve got them hooked.” Combining a caring attitude with an engaging curriculum, Carter says he sees his students take their lessons outside the classroom, not only educationally, but in the way they interact with others. “The saying goes, ‘They don’t care what you know unless they know you care.’ And they know. I go to four different classrooms, and the first thing I do is greet them. It’s not, ‘take out your books,’ It’s high-fives, ‘I like your shirt,’ ‘How’s everything going?’ or even, ‘You look sad, why are you sad?’ – it’s time to form a relationship first,” he said. “I think that’s what these kids are here for, they’ve missed out on forming a relationship somewhere with somebody, or they just need to learn how to do that in a positive way, so that’s what I do here.” – Sarah Lundgren

14 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

of Regents, where he spearheaded an effort that is still transforming Glynn County. Bishop fought for several years and eventually was able to get the university system to turn Coastal Georgia Community College, a two-year junior college, into College of Coastal Georgia, a four-year college offering bachelor’s degrees. “I wanted people to be able to have access to get their four-year degree here in Brunswick,” Bishop said. Since changing its status in 2008, the college has added residence halls, two new academic buildings and a campus center with a dining hall. The construction will not be completed without Bishop’s name adorning at least one new campus feature. A new grand entrance to the campus on Altama Avenue will feature the Regent James A. Bishop Arch that will provide pedestrian access to the college. For Bishop, the arch is an honor that is hard to put into words. “I am really blessed to have been able to participate in everything I have done,” he said. – Michael Hall



The Golden Isles is a place where the game of golf meets one of the most spectacular oceanside settings on the East Coast. From the mainland to the islands lie 198 holes on some of the country’s most widely acclaimed and legendary courses. | (800) 933-2627

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 15



ervice is part of learning Phillis George is part of a long line of educators in

her family. It should come as no surprise then that in addition to being a a faculty member at College of Coastal Georgia, she is also director of service-learning at the college. “I’ve been on this path most of my life, shadowing my mom, who was a school principal and economics teacher for 30 years,” George said. She also has eight aunts and uncles who were high school teachers. George wanted to pursue a career in post-secondary education because it allowed her to instill in students a passion for serving their communities. “My personal and professional philosophies are rooted in a deep and fervent belief that thinking beyond one’s self, showing unmitigated compassion and acting selflessly on behalf of others are the greatest accomplishments that any human can achieve,” George said. It is a philosophy she hopes her



eadership inspires others

Even though she comes from the Illinois town of Normal, College of Coastal Georgia student Maggie Bee is anything but ordinary. The junior has a full schedule, by being Student Government Association president, a team captain of the college volleyball squad, dedicated member of the community and, yes, a full-time student. To Bee, none of it feels like a chore, but instead, a privilege. “The college is in an up and coming moment, and I chose to run for (Student Government Association) president because I felt it was nice to be able to help lead people, to be informative and be able to say, ‘OK, this is what’s happening, this is what’s going on,’” Bee said. “I would like to see people, especially females, because we don’t necessarily like to take leadership roles, realize we can take these roles, we can do this, we can do whatever we want to, as long as we’re willing to work at it. It’s nice to contribute to making college life flow easier, to listen to people’s ideas and put them into action.”

On top of working with administration and sitting on the committee searching for a new college president, Bee finds it important to be an even bigger presence on campus. “I think it’s important and nice for people to see my face and other leaders’ faces constantly at events. If they see me off the volleyball court and actually going to the events around campus, I hope they’ll see I work hard and I’m engaged,” she said. “I feel that if more students see people returning to events and just attending some, in general, they will actually want to do them.” In addition to trying to engage her fellow students, Bee reaches out – alongside her volleyball teammates and fellow Student Government Association members – to connect the college with the Golden Isles. From participating in Habitat for Humanity projects to coaching local high school girls at Southeast Volleyball Academy, she is helping to build an even better name for the College of Coastal Georgia. – Sarah Lundgren

16 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

students will adopt. “My commitment to helping students pursue their passions and maximize their potential through applied and community-based learning stems from my own educational and maturational experiences,” George said. “As the program administrator, I learned all that I could about service-learning, and I’ve been an advocate and practitioner ever since.” As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, George participated in a merit-based scholarship program that promoted community service. “The College of Coastal Georgia has a great commitment to service-learning, global awareness and engaged entrepreneurship,” George said. “As an academician with an affinity for service and engaged scholarship, I found this institution highly appealing. When you combine the appeal of working at the college with the beauty and charm of Brunswick and the Golden Isles, you become smitten.” – Michael Hall

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 17



taying in touch grows a hospital

As president and chief executive of Southeast Georgia Health System, Gary Colberg has demonstrated what it takes to run a successful health care provider. Colberg says the level of service provided by the health system is what makes it successful. In short, quality care is his priority. “I believe it is important to engage our physicians, team members, patients and guests,” Colberg said. “I try to take time everyday to walk our halls and visit with our patients and their families.” That interaction allows Colberg to gain a better understanding of how the organization can meet needs that otherwise might go unnoticed. Colberg’s philosophy doesn’t end at the walls of the hospital. As leader of the area’s largest employer and one of its economic engines, the health system’s reach extends to the community, making it a partner deeply invested in the Golden Isles. “We also work hand-in-hand with other community businesses, organizations and educational


institutions to attract new businesses and people to our area,” Colberg said. “For example, our strong partnership with the College of Coastal Georgia allows us to work together with them to offer expanded nursing opportunities and extensive hands-on training at our facilities.” Having a community mind-set also develops a service oriented philosophy. Reinvesting revenue into bringing state-of-the art technologies and advanced services means patients don’t travel for quality care. “We continually pursue opportunities to expand our services to better meet the health care needs of both residents and visitors,” Colberg said. Among those additions in recent years are the Cancer Care Center, with its CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system, the Miriam and Hugh Nunnally Maternity Center, and the Orthopedic and Spine Center. – Meghan Pittman

ealth system continues to expand in pursuit of a vision

A strong health care system in Glynn County has been a long-standing tradition in the Golden Isles. Beginning with Glynn Brunswick Memorial Hospital opening on Parkwood Drive in 1954

to the continuing expansion of what today is Southeast Georgia Health System, with facilities in Glynn, Camden, Brantley and McIntosh counties, the health care system has seen decades of changes and growth. Galloping right alongside growth has been marked improvements in the quality of care. “We have some of the best physicians, clinicians and support staff anywhere,” said Gary Colberg, president and chief executive of Southeast Georgia Health

18 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

System. “Our team can work anywhere in the U.S. but chose to work here, at Southeast Georgia Health System.” In the past decade alone, the health system has grown with the addition of new buildings, new services and new team members. Southeast Georgia Health System makes a point to anticipate the needs of the community, Colberg said. “We strategize to do our best to stay ahead of the curve so that our residents do

not need to leave our community for health care,” Colberg said. This includes the Outpatient Care Building and Medical Plaza for physicians, a constant update of technologies and new and improved services like the introduction of Wolfson Children’s Hospital to the area. Colberg borrows a quote from writer and businessman Max Depree to help explain his mission. “‘We cannot be what we want to be by remaining what we are.’ With that in mind, we continually strive to make improvements that will help us attain our vision,” Colberg said. “We don’t want to just meet expectations. We want to exceed expectations, and everyone involved in the health system is committed to doing just that.” Along with visible changes just by driving by the Brunswick hospital the past few years – a resurfacing of the entire building, construction of the Miriam and Hugh Nunnally Maternity Care Center, the Outpatient Care Building and Medical Plaza – the hospital also has added CyberKnife laser surgery, the Orthopaedic and Spine Center and its Senior Care Center skilled nursing facility. – Meghan Pittman




2524 Stadium Street Brunswick, GA. 31520

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 19


COMMUNITY How nature and history are being preserved Where helping is the reward

Why volunteering is important

PAGES 21-30

Julie Martin,ABR, GRI, CDPE Circle of Excellence

Cell: 912-258-1588 20 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013


Who is an Isles ambassador



路 Looking for properties with best value? 路 Full representation through entire transaction. 路 Negotiates price, repairs, closing costs.



inking dots helps people

Lee Owen is a people person. Her relaxed demeanor and ability to talk to anybody serves her well as executive director of the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, which seeks to improve the quality of life here by supporting local nonprofits that address major issues. Since the foundation was started eight years ago, it has directed more than $9 million to different organizations in Coastal Georgia. Owen calls it connecting the dots between people who care and causes that matter. “That is what is so exciting to me each day here,” Owen said. But Owen was not always a resident of Coastal Georgia. “I am a Connecticut Yankee by birth, but I walked the beach here for the first time when I was 9-years-old and decided I would live here when I grew up,” Owen said. She never lost that sense of wonder. Owen still feels the Golden Isles is


a special and wonderful place each time she looks over the marshes or takes a stroll on the beach. The natural wonders are just one piece of what makes the Golden Isles special. “I get to work with people who care passionately about their community,” Owen said. “They truly want to make a difference.” Which is what Owen wants. Connecting nonprofits to the money that keeps them going is something Owen says she feels privileged to do. “My work is to try to float all boats by raising awareness of critical needs, educating people to that need and then helping them direct their charitable dollars to those nonprofits who can best address the need,” Owen said. “I love working with people, delving into what motivates them and what they want to be known for in the way of a footprint left here on Earth.” – Michael Hall


successful community needs to have successful institutions

Mike Hodges is the definition of a mover and a shaker. As Brunswick market-area president of Ameris Bank, his professional involvement doesn’t end when the clock strikes 5 p.m. He’s serious about investing in his community. “These are things that if you’re a banker, and a community banker, you need to be involved in trying to help your community,” Hodges said. “I’ve always believed in paying my civic rent and giving back a little.” Hodges is finance chairman for the board of the Jekyll Island Authority, which operates the island state park, and has served on the board since 2005. He has also been a board member for nine years of the Brunswick Glynn County Memorial Hospital Authority, which oversees Southeast Georgia Health System, serving four of those years as chairman. He is slated to be the incoming chairman of the College of Coastal Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees, which raises and directs private

donations to the college. He has been a member of that board for 10 years. All of these organizations are close to Hodges. He’s the only Glynn County member of the Jekyll Island Authority, as permitted by state law, and says Jekyll is as much a part of his community as St. Simons Island or Brunswick. He is a graduate of the predecessor Brunswick Junior College to College of Coastal Georgia (he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia) and says he thinks the college can play a role in the community beyond on-campus education. Hodges also says he is fascinated by the health care system, locally and nationally. “In every community, to be successful, you have to have certain institutions that are successful,” Hodges said. “You’ve got to have a good education system, both K-12 and secondary. You’ve got to have a good health system. You’ve got to have a good business community.” – Nikki Wiley

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 21



sland’s friend helps keep it green

Ben Slade has always been a nature lover. So, it was only natural he would want to preserve the exquisite beauty of where he lives – St. Simons Island. “I began thinking about a way to set aside more land on St. Simons for parks and natural areas, almost from the time I returned to St. Simons in the early ’60s and entered a banking career,” he said. “There was a need for an organization that was not anti-development, but simply wanted to work with the entire community, developers and citizens, on a mission to maintain the special qualities that make St. Simons loved by so many people, both residents and visitors.” That’s when Slade discovered the Land Trust Alliance, based in Washington, D.C. The organization’s mission – to foster the establishment of communitybased land protection efforts – spoke to Slade. And he decided to get a similar initiative going locally. “An initial meeting of interested parties was held on May 9, 1997, in the Solarium at The Cloister. We heard from representatives of the South Carolina Open Land Trust, about how such organizations are chartered and operated,” he said.

“These plans culminated in our local group becoming an affiliate of the Coastal Georgia Land Trust in 1998 and we obtained our own charter and 501-C3 (taxexempt) approval in 2000.” Slade was elected chairman of the St. Simons Land Trust. Under his direction, the group completed transactions on Frederica Road properties, the Chevron station, the Harrington Schoolhouse and the John Gilbert Nature Trail. After serving as chairman for a number of years, Slade rotated off the board, but was asked to return as non-board member chair of the 2010 campaign to save the Old Stables on Frederica Road, on St. Simons Island. "When this effort was completed, I once more retired, until I was asked in February of 2011 to return as executive director, responsible for overall operations and the effort to raise funds for the Cannon’s Point acquisition, which was completed on September 24, 2012,” he said. “I am continuing in the capacity of (executive director) and am pleased to be working with an outstanding board and staff on plans to open Cannon’s Point to the public sometime in 2013.” – Lindsey Adkison



istory and nature are preserved

The St. Simons Land Trust has been trying for years to acquire and preserve a rare gem on St. Simons Island, and in September 2012, it realized its dream: to protect the priceless area of wilderness and historic ruins known as Cannon’s Point. Named for an early European settler, the area is a 604-acre site along the northeast portion of St. Simons Island. It features an unspoiled maritime forest as well as the ruins of an

antebellum plantation. The vision the Land Trust has for Cannon’s Point is to set aside all of it as a preserve, open to the public. “We hope to open Cannon’s Point Preserve sometime in 2013, but must raise about another $350,000 to fund clean-up and some improvements needed to provide safe access while protecting the peninsula’s fragile ecosystem and archeological ruins,” said Dana Pope, director of development of the St. Simons Land Trust.

An AmeriCorps team will build about a 2-mile hiking trail, and restorations will be made to the chimney of the overseer’s house. In the future, a non-motorized boat launch will be installed for kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. Campsites, an education pavilion, restoration of the old block building to a water quality laboratory, interpretive signage and other educational improvements are also planned. ­– Lindsey Adkison

Plantation house ruins at Cannon’s Point

22 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dr. Jeff Capes is an oral surgeon, proudly serving southeast Georgia. His practice, Coastal Oral Surgery, is located on St. Simons Island, GA. After graduating from University of Georgia, Dr. Capes then attended Medical College of Georgia, where he received his Doctorate in Dentistry. He also received his Doctorate in Medicine from Case Western Reserve University as well as completing his training as an Oral and Maxillofacial HERE FOR A REASON: CREATING SMILES. CHANGING LIVES. “I believe having both medical and dental degrees HERE FOR A Surgeon. REASON: CREATING SMILES. CHANGIN myoral ability to better care for patients�. Dr. Capes Dr.was Jeffimportant Capes isinan surgeon, proudly serving southeast Dr. Capes is an oral surgeon, southeast Georgia. and His practice, Coastal Oral SurisJeff married topractice, his wife,proudly Wendy, for 22Surgery, years twoon Jeff Capes isserving angraduating oral surgeon, proudly serving Georgia. His Coastal Oral isofhave located gery, isDr. located on St. Simons Island, GA. After from University Georgia, Dr. CapesSt. then children. They have lived in Medical the Golden 15 years. attended College of Isles Georgia,community where he receivedfor his Doctorate in Dentistry. He also received his


Simons Island, GA.Case After graduating from University of Georgia, Georgia. practice, Coastal Oral Surgery, Doctorate in Medicine fromHis Western Reserve University as well as completing his training as an is loc “It is hard to believe itDr. has been 15 years since IMedical opened practice. It was OralCapes and Maxillofacial Surgeon. “I believe having both my medical and dental degrees wasimportant important my then attended College of Georgia, wherein he Simons Island, GA. After graduating from Universi ability to better care for patientsâ€?. Dr. Capes is married to his wife, Wendy, for 22 years and have two to me to work in a community area where I could get to know my patients. The received his in Isles Dentistry. He also received hisgreatest children. They haveDoctorate lived in the Golden community for 15 years. blessing is meeting people and have gained over 20,000 newMedical friendships!â€? Workingof as Dr. IinCapes then attended College Georg Doctorate Medicine from Case Western Reserve University “It is hard to believe it has been 15 years since I opened my practice. It was important to me to work together with his highly IVarea sedation certified allows them to effectively treatreceiv intrained, a as community wherehis I his could get to knowstaff my The greatest isHe meeting people well completing training aspatients. an and blessing Maxillofacial received Doctorate inOral Dentistry. also and I have gained over 20,000 new friendships!â€? Working together with his highly trained, IV sedapatients for: Surgeon. “I believe having both medical and dental degreesReserve tion certifi ed staff allows themin to effectively treat patients for: Doctorate Medicine from Case Western • dental implants was important in my ability to better care for patientsâ€?. Dr. Capes welltoas completing his22training ashave an two Oral and Max sDENTALIMPLANTS his wife, Wendy, for years and • extractionsis married sEXTRACTIONS sWISDOMTEETHREMOVAL Surgeon. “I believe having both medical and denta children. They have lived the Golden Isles community for 15 years. • wisdom teeth in removal sFACIALTRAUMASCORRECTIVEJAWSURGERIES

sRECONSTRUCTIVEPROCEDURES • believe facial traumas / corrective jawsince surgeries was important my ability to better for patien “It is hard to it has been 15 years I in opened my practice. It wascare important • reconstructive procedures

to me to work in a community is area where I to could to know my patients. greatest married hisget wife, Wendy, for 22The years and hav “I think what I would want patients to know when they come to see me is that I am not about procedures, but people. I have never met a tooth think would patients toback. know when to see me is that am not that“Iwasn’t attached to aI person. Wewant give people their smile How awesome is20,000 that, Icome nevernew thought a small titanium dentalIWorking implant could blessing is what meeting people and I have gained overthey friendships!â€? children. They have lived in the Golden Isles community for 15 years. be so huge!â€? procedures, He and his team arebut dedicated in keeping the practice up-to-date the latestthat technologies andattached resources. Theto technology we about people. I have never metwith a tooth wasn’t a together withthe his highly IV sedation certified staff use demonstrates highest quality,trained, safety, and accuracy to properly diagnose and treat our allows patients. them to effectively treat peopleittheir back. awesome I never thought a small It w patients for:We “It isperson. hard to give believe hassmile been 15How years sinceis Ithat, opened my practice. “It is funny after 15 years I really feel like I am just starting. The new technology we are implementing into our practice will change everything titanium dental implant could be so huge!â€? He and his team are dedicated in keeping about how we do surgery and dentistry! But what will never happen is allowing technology to replace the way our patients deserve to be dentalup-to-date implants with the latest technologies and resources. The technology we treated.â€? the•practice

to me to work in a community area where I could get to know my patients. blessing is meeting people and I have gained over 20,000 new use• demonstrates the highest quality, safety, accuracy to properly diagnose extractions Fortunately, Dr. Capes’ passion and profession are one in the same, which isand helping others. “I get to live out my passion every day. and Ifriendships feel blessed to serve such a beautiful and supporting community. We know people have a choice, we believe we do things differently, we believe treat patients. • our wisdom teeth removal together IVcommunity. sedation certified staff– Jeff allows them to e we are changingwith lives, wehis believehighly we are makingtrained, a difference in this We just happen to do oral surgery.â€? Capes, D.M.D, M.D • funny facialafter / corrective jaw surgeries “It is 15 years I really feel like I am just starting. The new technology we are patients for: traumas • reconstructive implementing into our procedures practice will change everything how do surgery and Jeff Capes D.M.D, M.D.about | Coastal Oralwe Surgery CE0ARK,ANE\3UITEs3T3IMONS)SLAND '! dentistry! But whatimplants will never/Fl happen is allowing technology to replace the way our • dental “I think what I would want patients to know when they come to see me is that I am not /Fl CE patients deserve to be treated.â€?

about procedures, but people. I have never met a tooth that wasn’t attached to a • extractions Fortunately, Capes’ passion profession are one inisthe same, which is helping person. We giveDr. people their smileand back. How awesome that, I never thought a small •dental teeth removal others. “I wisdom getimplant to live out my be passion every He day.and I feel to serve such in a beautiful titanium could so huge!â€? hisblessed team are dedicated keeping The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 23 and supporting know peoplejaw haveand a choice, we believe we do thingswe • up-to-date facialcommunity. traumas /latest corrective surgeries the practice with theWe technologies resources. The technology differently, we believe we are changing lives, we believe we are making a difference in

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fforts help young musicians orchestrate their futures

After 29 years living in Columbus, Ohio, Ted and JoAnn Davis retired to St. Simons Island. But “retired� is only a technical term. There is hardly anything “retired� about a couple that is largely credited with spearheading the creation of the Coastal Youth Symphony, taking it upon themselves to see that dozens of students unable to get to practices – whether orchestral or athletic – on their own are able to do it, and encouraging scores of students to rise above expectations to succeed in college. As something akin to the unofficial “house parents� to numerous high school students, primarily at Glynn Academy, much of their assistance is directed through the youth symphony. The Davises started their musical involvement with the Coastal Symphony of Georgia, and learned that the community symphony had money set aside for some type of youth project. “We decided to explore the option of a youth symphony,� Ted Davis said. The Fiddlers of Glynn, a string program started by the late Ann Fuller, was in place under the direction of Lynn Fogarty, and the idea of expanding that group to include other instruments was well-received. “The school board was very supportive;

LeAnn Duckworth

they purchased instruments and hired instructors,� Ted Davis said. Others became involved, including members of the board of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and its fundraising arm, the Symphony Society. With a background in education, primarily in urban areas, JoAnn Davis knew that there are many children who simply need an opportunity to discover their talents. She was committed to having a diverse group of musicians – urban and suburban, rich and poor, and from different ethnic backgrounds ­– and passionate about the opportunities that music affords the young people in the youth symphony. Many of them are new to symphonic music, formal dress and social protocols. JoAnn Davis still tirelessly shuttles students to lessons and concerts, makes sure they have appropriate concert clothes, and advocates for them getting to attend summer camps and programs, both here and away, that will benefit them now and in the future. And although Ted Davis says he is more interested in quality than quantity, the Davises’ vision, down the line, includes several orchestras that will feed into the youth symphony. – Mary Starr

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 25

Time flies when you are having fun

It was 1962 when Jack Nelson opened his first automobile dealership in Brunswick, Georgia and now he is still doing what he enjoys. Selling quality vehicles and treating customers with respect and honesty. Times have changed in the auto industry, but customer service has not. That same honest attention to detail is still at Alpha Motor Sales today. Jack owned three new car franchises and at one time, three locations. His passion is in the used car business where “The Glynn Reporter” April 20, 1972 he can use his years of knowledge to manage the business with customer satisfaction at the forefront. Alpha Motor Sales offers quality pre-owned vehicles that have been carefully selected in order to give the customer the best vehicle, the best price and the absolute best customer service in the business. Jack has also instilled that business philosophy to his children Jackie Jordan and Ben Nelson who are both active in the business.



uddy Floyd helped Jack open the doors back in 1962 and has been with him ever since. Buddy was born into the car business following his father’s footsteps of being a top-notch buyer and seller of vehicles. Buddy and Jack first met when they both worked for McGregor Motors in Brunswick. Over the years Buddy has turned many customers into cherished friends. He has sold a car to the senior in the family and to their children and their grand-children. Great customer service is just Buddy’s nature. Come in to Alpha Motors today and say hello to Buddy. He will remember you forever and if you are in “The Glynn Reporter” September 21, 1972 need of a quality vehicle at the lowest price around you won’t find a better place or salesman to assist you.


ome people say that working with family is impossible. But not Jackie Jordan. Having gone to work for her father, Jack Nelson, back in the 1970’s she enjoys the family teamwork of operating Alpha Motor Sales. Jackie feels like some dealerships make selling cars too difficult for the customers. A real believer in the “Keep it Simple” style, Jackie will answer your questions in a straight forward and honest way and keeps the customer’s satisfaction in mind. Jackie stays on top of current trends in automotive financing so she can offer the most competitive finance package available. At Alpha Motors you will always “The Brunswick News” September 24, 1986 find a large assortment of vehicles, checked and double checked before they are offered for sale so the customer is 100% satisfied. Visit us today and let’s make a deal in the “Keep it Simple” style.


en Nelson handles the marine sales and service side of the business. So Alpha Motors has you covered from land to sea. With boats to fit the serious angler or the family wanting to spend a fun day on the water, Ben will fix you up with the boat of your dreams. We live in a wonderful area where we have access to not only the wide open ocean but multiple inland rivers and even fresh water lakes. The service department for boats has two well qualified technicians and can service your boat from top to bottom. Their motto – leave your worries in your wake is true. At Alpha Motor Sales you can “The Glynn Reporter” pick out a sharp looking truck or SUV and put a nice boat behind it. Come see September 21, 1972 us today – Land or Sea – we’ve got you covered.

Back L-R: Jack Nelson, Buddy Floyd. Front L-R: Jackie Jordan, Ben Nelson and Travis Nelson

Fast forward a few years, a few pounds and a few wrinkles but the folks at Alpha Motor Sales are ready for the next 50 years of great deals on quality vehicles. Come see them today.




4579 NEW JESUP HWY. BRUNSWICK, GA 26 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013


elping charities flourish is rewarding journey

As Missy Neu was leaving her position as president and chief executive of United Way of Coastal Georgia, she was overwhelmed by the progress the group has made. She says that the organization is constantly evolving and looking at the needs and challenges of the community. “The United Way brings the community together around key issues and brings both monetary and human capital resources to help make a difference. When you look at the breadth and depth of individuals and organizations that are engaged in the work of our United Way you get a true sense of how individuals and organizations from all different sectors of our community can work together to create positive change in our community,” she said. Much of that positive change came after Neu took the reins in the fall of 2008. Since then, $6.6 million has been raised through the umbrella fundraising drive for social service, health and education programs in Glynn and McIntosh counties. Neu says it has been a rewarding journey. “It was a great opportunity for me to serve my community and make a difference during a time that could have seen United Way weaken, instead of strengthen. I continue to be amazed and humbled every single day by the generosity of our community,” she said. “What I will cherish most are all the

wonderful friendships and relationships I developed during my tenure, how much I learned about our community and that I truly believe I made a difference. That is what matters most.” Over her time there, Neu has helped the group engage the community and deepen relationships to help raise funds for the numerous organizations it supports. And it was rewarded for the hard work. United Way of Coastal Georgia was given a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for financial responsibility, strong governance and impact in the community. Of course, in tight economic times, getting funds wasn’t always easy. Neu says that success can be attributed to the passion and dedication of volunteers and staff. “By making some tough decisions and through some new partnerships we became much stronger of an organization. We made tough decisions ... cut budgets, sold our building and set some hefty goals for the organization, and not just fundraising goals, and our leadership and community stepped up and reached them,” she said. “We are a stronger, more stable organization, with engaged leadership that is impacting our community and its key issues more strategically and more effectively.” Neu left United Way in February to return to the real estate field. – Lindsey Adkison



ig dreams lead to changes

It has been a long road of amazing opportunities for Reg Murphy. The St. Simons Island resident has traveled from college student to the elite circles of business, sports and politics – and back to college life. As the volunteer executive-in-residence at College of Coastal Georgia, Murphy’s goal is to provide as much as he can for as many people as he can. “If I’ve got something I can share with a professor or class or individual student, then I’ll share it. If I’ve been somewhere, had some experience that might help somebody, or might illustrate where a person might be going, I try to share it with them,” Murphy said. “And that’s the fun thing to do. I enjoy being around students and faculty.” And experiences he has certainly had. Murphy details his journey through journalism, beginning as a politics reporter and beyond, in a humble manner, including studies at Mercer University and Harvard, positions as president of the National Geographic Society and the United States Golf Association, editor of The Atlanta Constitution, publisher of The (Baltimore) Sun and editor and publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle.

After moving to the Golden Isles, Murphy has been able to do what he really loves and couldn’t be more excited about contributing to a growing region. “I’ve been in big cities all my life, and I want to live in the Golden Isles. I couldn’t find a better place,” he said. By participating at the college, he and his wife, Diana, are hoping to help take the Golden Isles into a golden age. “Many of the students I see are first-time college students who haven’t thought as broadly as I might have about where they could go, and if you help some person think bigger than he or she has been thinking, that’s my role. “For example, if they’re thinking about going back home to work at some business that’s not very good or growing, it might be better for them to go out for a few years, to think about learning their trade and what their craft is all about, then come back to their hometown as an entrepreneur – we need those brains here,” Murphy said. “My ultimate goal, and really everyone’s, is to see that this place … (is able to) offer a lot more opportunities for a lot more people. You only get that through education and thinking bigger.” – Sarah Lundgren

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 27



taying organized helps flowers and music blossom in Isles

As active as Sharon Flores is, it’s amazing she has time to breathe. The St. Simons Island resident and natural helper keeps busy with a plethora of social and civic groups around the area. Flores is president-elect of Coastal Symphony of Georgia and was a founder of The Symphony Society in 2006. She was also a co-chair of the steering committee of the Georgia Literary Festival this past November. It doesn’t end there. She is a member of the board of directors of the Members Guild of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society and was founder of the Members Guild in 2011. She served as chair of the inaugural Signature Event for the Coastal Georgia Historical Society. She is the district director of the Oleander District of the Garden Club of Georgia, which is responsible for 70 garden clubs in middle and southeast Georgia. She is also on the board of directors of the Garden Club of Georgia. Locally, she is past president of Cassina Garden Club and has served as chair of its Tabby


and Tillandsia Garden Walk — multiple times. Flores was publicity chair for the Christ Church Tour of Homes in 2012 and will take it on again this year.


eing involved is gift back to hometown

Jack Hartman takes his civic involvement seriously. A Brunswick native, his resumé includes his former position as the president of the Brunswick division of SunTrust Bank and a long list of titles in non-profit organizations, but he says staying active in his community is just a part of who he is. “That’s just the way I was brought up. I enjoy helping people,” Hartman said. “If ... everybody would give back a little we’d be so much better off.” And he is giving back. Hartman was instrumental in raising $1.3 million for the Coastal Georgia Historical Society to rehabilitate the keeper’s dwelling at the St. Simons Island Lighthouse. He’s been involved in civic groups, such as Boy Scouts, Manna House and Habitat for Humanity. Hartman says it’s about helping people help themselves.

“We’ve seen kids that were just about to drop out of school in these deplorable living conditions, and now, all of a sudden, they have a nice home and a room of their own. It makes a huge difference,” Hartman said, referring to his work with Habitat for Humanity. He has also been involved with business-oriented organizations, such as the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority and the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce. He is passionate about sharing his hometown with others, and wants to tell everyone the Golden Isles is a good place to live, work and raise a family. “If (travelers) don’t stop on (Interstate) 95 and get off, they’re gone,” Hartman said of enticing travelers to visit. – Nikki Wiley

28 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

While average mortals would be overwhelmed with all of these duties, organization helps Flores do the impossible. “As a teacher for 21 years, organization was the key to managing a classroom and developing curriculum. I keep lists and notebooks to help me try to stay organized. Sometimes it works,” she said. At the end of the day, Flores simply relishes giving back. “My husband and I moved to St. Simons Island seven years ago, and my participation in several local organizations served as a wonderful introduction to the island and great new friends,” she said. “I have remained involved because it is such a joy to support organizations that I am passionate about, including the symphony, the historical society and the garden club and to have the opportunity to work with other dedicated volunteers who are having as much fun as I am. It’s all part of an exciting journey to continue to learn and grow.” – Lindsey Adkison

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elping is an art for community

Jennifer Broadus has enjoyed a successful career in the fast-paced world of advertising, but it’s taking in the subtle aspects of the world around her that has really defined her. Broadus is an oil painter. In fact, art and photography were her first loves. “I come from a very creative family, so there were always artsy projects going on in our house all the time. My mom was really creative – wonderful at so many things. My grandparents, too. And my dad could build anything,” she said. Her art career began when she got her first set of oil paints at the age of 8. Two years later, she was entering paintings and drawings in the county fair and local art shows. Today, she’s showing her pieces at the likes of Left Bank Gallery and Glynn Art Association, both on St. Simons Island. She covers a variety of motifs, but usually emphasizes landscapes. While she isn’t busy capturing the beauty of the Golden Isles, she spends her time helping to make the area a better place. Broadus is involved in a multitude of local organizations. She lends a hand to the Symphony Society, the St. Simons Island Rotary Club and the Cassina Garden Club. She also finds time for the Library League, the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Glynn County and Amity House. There’s more. She’s also a volunteer at Glynn Art Association, a member of Coasters, a social group on St. Simons Island for residents who have “graduated” from the newcomers club, and the Jekyll Island Arts Association.


It’s a lot, but Broadus is more than willing to spend countless hours with those groups. “It’s important to give back to the community wherever you live. It takes many man hours to keep a community vital and strong, offering cultural arts, humanitarian and philanthropic efforts which greatly enrich any town or

city,” she said. “Volunteerism allows me to enjoy meeting new people and make new friends. I am constantly amazed by the caliber of leaders in our community. So many do so much. It’s really enlightening and invigorating to be a part of it.” ­– Lindsey Adkison


irst contact for business says, ‘Welcome to the Golden Isles’

When you need to know something about business in Glynn County, who are you going to call? Woody Woodside. He has been a fixture of the Golden Isles business community since he became president of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce in 1985. It is his job to be an advocate for the business community and initiate projects and programs that benefit the community. Business owners and others looking to invest in the community will frequently turn first to the Chamber for demographic information, the health of the economy and the state of the business community. Woodside’s goal is to make the area attractive for businesses looking to relocate or expand, and to foster growth for existing businesses. That’s why the membership-driven organization has been behind some of the most

30 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

notable expansions in education. Woodside, a graduate of The Citadel and an aide to former U.S. Rep. Lindsay Thomas, was an advocate for expanding College of Coastal Georgia into a four-year institution and establishing the Golden Isles Career Academy. With about 90 percent of the Chamber’s membership consisting of small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, succeeding in a county of about 80,000 residents requires business managers to build networks of contacts. “It’s not who you know, it’s who you don’t know,” Woodside said of the benefit of membership in the Chamber. He encourages individuals and businesses to become part of the chamber. “It’s not a matter of joining the Chamber of Commerce and someone is going to beat your door down. You’re investing in that voice of the community,” Woodside said. – Nikki Wiley


SPORTS & RECREATION Where the pros come to play golf in the Isles How prep coaches change lives

What outdoor activities beckon

PAGES 32-40


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Great Reception & Banquet Room Facilities! Membership opportunities available – come see what you’ve been missing! Ask about our ‘Preview Membership Program’ For more information contact Dan Hogan at 912.264.4377 x5 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 31



errors drive to success

When Glynn Academy football coach Rob Ridings takes the helm for his 10th season with the Red Terrors, it will be the longest tenure of a Glynn Academy coach since the 1960s. It is a reflection of the success the Terrors have had on the field since Ridings arrived in 2004. Ridings is 61-38 through nine seasons at Glynn Academy, with seven postseason appearances. Glynn Academy made its fifth-straight postseason appearance in 2012. “I’ve been here nine years, and this is my 28th year of high school teaching and coaching,” Ridings said. “I’ve enjoyed myself. We’ve taken this program that was in dire straights and turned it into a very competitive program, a program that’s got some pride in it. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.” Ridings is the second-winningest coach in the program’s history. Only C.M. Page’s 118 victories from 1944 to 1961 tops Ridings in Glynn’s record books. The 2012 Terrors, after going 2-1 in non-region play, lost their first two Region 3-AAAAA games, but rebounded



ports success is life success

Theresa Adams became an institution at Glynn Academy during her 36 years at the school. Starting in 1976, Adams joined the school as a teacher and coach. She made the biggest mark on the basketball court, where she led the Lady Terrors to 637 wins during her tenure. “It’s meant a whole lot to me, because I was raised here,” Adams said of her coaching and teaching career in the county. “I’ve been in Glynn County since I was 7 years old. When it comes to coaching, I was just glad I was able to give back to the kids like someone gave me when I was young.” Under Adams’ direction, the Lady Terrors won 19 sub-region titles, eight region championships and made several state playoff appearance, reaching the state Final Four once. Adams didn’t just limit herself to the basketball court. She also served as Glynn Academy’s girls cross-country coach, girls track coach and cheerleading coach. The Lady Terrors cross-country team won 24 region championships while the track team won 11 region crowns with Adams as coach.

32 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

to win their last five games to finish in a tie for second place in the region. Glynn won the tiebreaker to earn the No. 2 seed and host a playoff game for the first time since 2005. Glynn defeated Jones County 26-14 for its first home state playoff win for the Terrors since the 1964 state championship game. The Terrors were eliminated in the second round with a 34-27 loss at Whitewater. Glynn had a 27-26 lead before Whitewater scored a touchdown with 12 seconds left in the game. It was the second time in three years Glynn had reached the second round of the state playoffs. The Terrors snapped a 42-year state playoff drought when they won at undefeated Lovejoy in 2010. The success has earned Glynn more recognition around the state. “I’m most proud of the respect our program has gained around the state of Georgia,” Ridings said. “I think people now recognize that we play good football. We’re respected around the state when people talk about high school football.” – Buddy Hughes

“One thing I always say about people is that if you’re honest with them and let them know you care about them, they’ll give you the same thing in return,” Adams said. “We won a lot of games because the kids believed in themselves and the program I put before them.” More important than the success Adams’ teams attained on the field was the relationships she built with her players. Adams became a mentor. She has continued in that role after her retirement, going to basketball games around the region and talking with some of the teams. “I go from place to place and talk to the young people,” Adams said. “I’ll never stop trying to help others.” Adams’ advice to students hasn’t changed since she began coaching and mentoring. “I tell them they can be anything they want to be, but they have to stick with it and work hard. If you want to be great, you have to work hard to be great. You have to do more than the norm.” It was all of those reasons that earned Adams a spot in the Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame inaugural class in 2012. – Buddy Hughes



rand gentleman top winner

Born in North Carolina and a graduate of Glynn Academy, Sea Island touring pro Davis Love III first made a name for himself in golf as a collegian in the 1980s. Today, his name resonates not only in the Golden Isles, where he lives on St. Simons Island, but throughout golf. A three-time All-American at the University of North Carolina, Love won six collegiate titles, including the 1984 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship. He turned pro in 1985 and won his first PGA Tour title in 1987, at the MCI Heritage Classic on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He captured his one major tournament title at the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot, in New York. In November 2008, Love notched his 20th career PGA Tour title, winning the Children’s Miracle Network Classic after closing

with back-to-back rounds of 64 to finish 25 under par. He was the captain of the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team, which pairs America’s best golfers against Europe’s best, and in February received the 2013 Bob Jones Award of the United States Golf Association, that body’s highest honor. Now in his third decade of playing professionally, his 20 career victories is a number few golfers reach, and one that gives him a lifetime exemption for qualifying for PGA Tour events. Considered one of golf’s grander gentlemen, Love is one of the most respected players on the PGA Tour. His name and reputation played a key role in the Golden Isles earning a stop on the PGA Tour, the McGladrey Classic, played annually in the fall since 2010. – Dave Jordan

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 33



aterways provide natural trail system throughout Isles

Anyone looking for a scenic tour of the natural splendor of the Golden Isles, one off the beaten path, might consider taking advantage of the network of waterways that crisscross Glynn County. One of the best ways to get around is gliding across the water in a kayak. “We have a tremendous amount of water around us,” said Michael Gowen, president of Southeast Adventure Outfitters. “Almost 30 percent of Glynn County is marsh, rivers and creeks. I always say we have a huge trail system,

it’s just always wet.” Southeast Adventure Outfitters is one of the businesses in the Isles that offers guided kayak tours of the area, as well as kayak rentals. Gowen says a tour of the Isles via kayak offers multiple benefits for kayakers. “Folks are blown away by coastal Georgia and the marshes. Obviously, it’s an exceptionally beautiful area, and folks throughout history have chosen to come here when they could have gone anywhere else.” Along with trips to the marshes, some tours take kayak-

ers up the nearby Satilla and Altamaha rivers. Gowen says the most popular local kayak destination changes, depending on certain factors. “Sometimes the Satilla River is in the news and folks become fixated on it,” Gowen said. “Other times folks what to see the Altamaha and all of its history. Then there’s the marshes of coastal Georgia. It just goes through phases. Also Sapelo (Island) is becoming more popular, so we do trips to Sapelo and Blackbeard (Island).” – Buddy Hughes



Coach Clint Morgan with championship trophy

34 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

eam becomes instant champ

In the spring of 2011, the leaders of Frederica Academy on St. Simons Island decided to add football to their stable of athletic offerings and turned to veteran coach Clint Morgan to get the ball rolling. A nearly 20-year veteran of the football sidelines and the former head coach and athletic director at Bulloch Academy in Statesboro, Morgan scoured the hallways, fields and courts at Frederica for football players and found 30 teens to strap on the helmets and pads in the Knights’ green and white. The football Knights forged a bond and achieved remarkable success in their inaugural season, winning six of their eight games in a non-region schedule. That success carried over into 2012, Season 2 of the Frederica football experiment, which sent the 30-some-odd Knights up against true varsity competition as part of an actual region in the Georgia Independent School Association, intent on making the state playoffs and making their mark in the first season they became eligible for any sort of title.

The result of the 2012 season was beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. After beginning the year with just two wins in their first four contests, the Knights reeled off nine straight victories to finish 11-2 — including an improbable, come-from-behind, 34-30, win in the GISA Class A state championship game over region foe Robert Toombs Christian Academy. For a school that didn’t even own a football when it introduced its first football coach, Frederica took its football program from an idea in early 2011 to the ultimate prize by late 2012. “Our scholar-athletes understand that we can’t always control the results or who the competition is, but rather we must focus on things we can control,” said Frederica Head of School Greg Griffeth. “It has been very pleasing to see the effort, persistence and discipline of our players translate into tangible success on the football field. “There is no greater satisfaction for a teacher or coach than to see students rewarded for their great effort and attitude.” – Dave Jordan

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36 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

A two-sport standout at Glynn Academy, Adam Wainwright is quite likely the finest pitcher ever to emerge from a South Georgia high school. Drafted in 2000 by the home-state Atlanta Braves, Wainwright never played for the team, instead becoming a St. Louis Cardinal by virtue of a trade in December 2003. Once in St. Louis, the 6-foot-7 right-hander moved quickly through the CardiWainwright is 80-48 nals system, making it to the overall, with an earned major leagues in September run average of 3.15. 2005. His commitment to In 2006, Wainwright burst excellence at baseball on the scene, closing out both is matched by his dethe National League Division votion and involvement Series and NL Championin the Golden Isles ship Series with saves. community. Converted to a starting His annual golf pitcher full-time in 2007, classic that benthe man even the clubhouse efits the Fellowship boys call “Waino” went of Christian Athletes 64-34 over the next four draws hundreds of years, winning 19 and 20 area friends and fans games, respectively, in 2009 Adam Wainwright is now an as well as a number of and 2010. He finished third Wainwright teammates, ace of the St. Louis Cardinals in the voting for the NL Cy Major League Baseball starting rotation, top. Above Young in 2009 while also players and local PGA as a Macon Braves in the picking up his first-ever Tour pros such as Zach Atlanta Braves farm system, Gold Glove as his league’s Johnson and Jonathan in 2001, after being drafted best fielding pitcher. Byrd. after graduation from Glynn The following season, his “It’s God working Academy. 20 wins marked a career in this community,” high and earned him enough votes to Wainwright has said of the way his tournafinish second in the Cy Young voting, for ment has grown and been received. “This the top pitcher in the league. An elbow community has showed up in support of me injury that resulted in surgery sidelined the throughout my career in numerous things likable Wainwright in 2011, a season that I’ve done. I’m so proud to call this place concluded with yet another World Series home. To do something special here is championship for the Redbirds — with special. It means a lot to me.” Wainwright the team’s No. 1 cheerleader Drive by Historic Edo Miller Park or from the dugout throughout. some area ballfield and you may very well He bounced back from the injury to go a spot Wainwright working out with youngrespectable 14-13 in 2012 and figures once sters dreaming of the big leagues, just as again to be the Cardinals’ ace in 2013. he did. Through seven years in the majors, – Dave Jordan



ew PGA Tour event in Isles wins instant popularity

A marriage which originally developed between local PGA Tour pro Zach Johnson and the fifth largest U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services resulted in what has become one of the more popular events on the PGA Tour — the McGladrey Classic. Through Johnson, Sea Island touring pro Davis Love III was brought into the fold, and his long associations with Sea Island Co. and Sea Island Golf Club were instrumental in the PGA agreeing to a tour stop in the Golden Isles. Hosted and run by Love and his Davis Love Foundation and first contested in 2010, the tournament began as part of

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the PGA’s Fall Series and was an instant hit with players, wives, caddies, fans, the PGA and title sponsor, McGladrey. “The way our community has rallied around the McGladrey Classic has been tremendous,” said Mark Love, brother of Davis Love III and the tournament’s executive director. “We knew when we began the process of bringing a PGA Tour event here to the Golden Isles there would be challenges, but we also knew our community would pull together to make it successful. “The economic impact for businesses, the exposure that has been given to our area with the television coverage, and

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the almost $1 million generated for charity would not have been possible without the support of the entire community.” Beginning in 2013, the McGladrey Classic will be part of the PGA’s main schedule of events. This year’s McGladrey will be the fourth stop on the 2013-14 Tour schedule, Nov. 4-10. “The McGladrey Classic has quickly become one of the favorite stops on the Tour,” said Mark Love, “and the hospitality and support of the people who live here have made it possible.” ­– Dave Jordan

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nglers can cast lines in Isles for variety of fish species

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38 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

Whether saltwater catch or freshwater fare is the target, the Golden Isles offers an abundance of ways for recreational and serious anglers to enjoy themselves. The opportunities are virtually endless. If offshore catch is on the menu, there are several popular species from which to choose. King mackerel is among the more popular summer fish, with hundreds of anglers competing to land the biggest king they can in various competitions. Spanish mackerel, amberjack, mahi mahi, cobia, tuna, barracuda and wahoo are also popular offshore targets throughout the year. Anglers staying closer to shore also have a wide variety to go after. Near-shore targets include sea trout, flounder, tripletail, ladyfish, red drum, black drum and whiting. Beach anglers can even set their sights on tarpon — most from 70 to 110 pounds — and, of course, the old reliable, shark. For freshwater anglers, the rivers of the Golden Isles offer an array of bream, catfish, white perch, bass, mullet, redfish,

crappie and shellcracker. For anyone looking to make a fishing excursion, there are numerous charter companies in the Isles from which to choose, most catering trips to their customers’ needs, with prices varying from company to company. “One thing is for certain, Georgia offers a lot of options when it comes to fishing,” said veteran charter fishing captain Mark Noble, a St. Simons Island native. “We have some of the most fertile water on the Eastern Seaboard, (with) very high populations of fish here. We’re not the Bahamas with a lot of clear water, but with the fresh water mixing with the salt water here, our diversity is hard to compare to. “On any one given day, you could actually leave your boat dock and pick a direction to go: You could go one direction and catch freshwater fish and you can go another direction and catch saltwater fish. We truly have a world class fishery right here in the Golden Isles.” – Dave Jordan



eputation is far above par

The Golden Isles has become a hotbed for golf in recent years, with several PGA Tour pros and a Tour tournament calling St. Simons Island home. But even before then, the Isles had a plethora of golf courses for enthusiasts to play. There are more than 250 holes of golf to be found, in a collection of public, semi-private and private courses that dot the landscape. Each course has its own charm, whether it’s the small greens and links-style layout of the nine-hole Great Dunes course at Jekyll Island Golf Club or the marsh views on the back nine at the King and Prince Golf Club, Home of the Hampton Club, on St. Simons Island. “The fact that the courses have been established for so long, it’s just become a part of everyday life,” said Rick Mattox, general manager of the King and Prince. “Any type of golf that you would like is available right here.” A couple of Isles courses recently earned accolades from Golf Digest. The magazine named Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course on its list of America’s 100 Public Golf Courses. The course came in at No. 36 on the list. Seaside, along with its neighboring Sea

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Island course Plantation and the King and Prince, combined to come in at No. 5 on Golf Digest’s list of Best Buddies-Trip Destinations venues in the country. The Isles has received even more exposure on the golf front the past three years, since the inception of the McGladrey Classic. The PGA Tour event has been held every fall since 2010 at Seaside. “I think it’s been one of the greatest things to ever happen to our area,” Mattox said. “The exposure we’re getting on television now is amazing. I generally make it a point to ask everybody when I’m working the counter (where they heard about the area), and most of the times they say they saw it on The Golf Channel.” The event usually features several Tour pros with ties to the Isles. Nine PGA pros call St. Simons Island home including Davis Love III, Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, Matt Kuchar, Lucas Glover, Chris Kirk, Brian Harman, Harris English and Charles Howell III. Other top players train at the Sea Island Golf Learning Center, on St. Simons Island, including the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, Brandt Snedeker. – Buddy Hughes

Golfer Mike Jackson at the King and Prince Golf Club

November 4 - 10, 2013 l Sea Island Golf Club

Join us as we welcome the stars of the PGA TOUR to the Golden Isles to continue a Seaside Tradition. ƐƚŚĞŚŽƐƚŽƌŐĂŶŝnjĂƟŽŶŽĨdŚĞDĐ'ůĂĚƌĞLJůĂƐƐŝĐ͕ƚŚĞĂǀŝƐ>ŽǀĞ&ŽƵŶĚĂƟŽŶ ŝƐƉƌŽƵĚƚŽŚĂǀĞƌĂŝƐĞĚŶĞĂƌůLJΨϭ͕ϬϬϬ͕ϬϬϬĨŽƌĐŚĂƌŝƟĞƐŝŶƚŚĞĮƌƐƚƚŚƌĞĞLJĞĂƌƐ͘ The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 39




unners and walkers ascend to heights of Golden Isles

Among amateur sporting events in the Golden Isles, the annual run over and back on the Sidney Lanier Bridge draws unparalleled crowds. Sponsored by Southeast Georgia Health System to benefit the hospital’s cancer programs, the run has grown from a modest, lightly attended event to a full-blown phenomenon. This year’s run, held Feb. 16, drew more than 2,300 participants, plus spectators, the largest Bridge Run gathering to date. “It’s almost like an intense five- or six-hour festival,” Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson has said. “It pops up like a mushroom just before dawn on Saturday, and we have this intense cycle of activity with three different runs and open bridge time for people to come up after everything is done. “I believe having an event of this scope and scale – and it gets bigger every year – brings a lot of prestige to our area. It attracts very serious runners, not only from around our community, but from Georgia and neighboring states. When they come here to do the run, they stay here for a couple of days and see a community coming together on this. They don’t just see professional runners, they see grandmas and grandpas, little kids and whole families out there either running or walking or supporting runners and walkers. “In addition, all of the proceeds go to the cancer programs at the hospital, (which is) equally important.” Teams of firefighters, school children and company executives mixed with serious runners and traversed the 5-kilometer distance over the bridge and back. Community spirit is front and center each February as South Georgia turns out in overwhelming fashion to make this event as special as any the Golden Isles has to offer. Already, plans are in motion for the 2014 bridge run. “Next year’s (bridge run) will take place on Feb. 15,” said Krista Robitz, the event coordinator and the development director for the Southeast Georgia Health System Foundation. – Dave Jordan

40 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013


kills keep soccer goals in play

The accolades Morgan Brian has accrued in her still very young career as a soccer player are the stuff of legend. A perennial all-state soccer standout at Frederica Academy on St. Simons Island, Brian was twice named Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year, as well as Parade Magazine Player of the Year and National Girls Soccer Player of the Year in 2011. She was Gatorade’s National Female High School Athlete of the Year in 2011, the first time any soccer player had garnered the national award. While still a student at Frederica Academy, she was captain of the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Soccer Team and led the team in scoring during her tenure. “I think she’s the greatest competitor in the history of this school,” said Frederica boys basketball coach and athletic director Ed Wilson. “She is the epitome of what we want people to be here: She worked hard in the classroom, she worked hard in practice, you never had to motivate her, she was always the first person to get anywhere and the last one to leave..” And Brian hasn’t missed a beat in college. Now a sophomore midfielder on full scholarship at the University of Virginia, she is still adding to her trophy case. As a freshman in 2011, she finished second on the team in scoring and was named Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, Soccer America Freshman of the Year, was an all-ACC first team selection and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America first-team all-American. This past fall as a sophomore, despite missing the start of the season to help the U.S. National Team win the Under-20 World Cup, Brian made first team All-ACC, was second-team Soccer America MVP and was the ACC tournament MVP. And she just turned 20 years old. – Dave Jordan


GOVERNMENT Why being mayor changes personal perspectives How a mentor shapes outlooks

Where experience helps in decisions

PAGES 42-44

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ederal judge follows a mentor

From the time she was a child, Lisa Godbey Wood knew she would become a lawyer. What she did not know, even in law school, was her future would not be in the Atlanta area. She moved to Glynn County in 1990 after graduation from the University of Georgia School of Law to serve one year as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Anthony Alaimo, a legendary judge who spent more than 25 years overseeing the court-ordered reform of Georgia prison conditions. She quickly realized what many local residents have known for years. “I thought to myself, ‘Why would I want to live anywhere else?’” she said. After her clerkship, Wood decided to remain in Brunswick by becoming an associate in the law firm of Gilbert, Harrell Summerford & Martin. She became a partner and practiced with the firm for 14 years, primarily in areas of employment law, medical malpractice, liability, white-collar crime and death penalty cases. In 2004, she became U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, operating out of Savannah. Then, in the midst of a run-up to another contentious presidential election, President George W. Bush nominated her to



voice in the House

The timing was right when Alex Atwood decided to run for state representative in 2010, after incumbent Jerry Keen said he wouldn’t seek another term in office. “Service in the Georgia House of Representatives is something I had wanted to do all my life,” Atwood said. “As a former businessman, federal agent and Marine, and particularly as an attorney and magistrate judge, I felt I would bring a useful skill set to the General Assembly.” So call him now, State Rep. Alex Atwood, R-St. Simons Island. Atwood won his first election after emerging from a crowded Republican primary field, including a runoff against a former legislator and county commissioner. He cruised to re-election this past year with neither opposition in a primary or the general election. In his second year in the Republican dominated state Legislature, Atwood has risen quickly in the House ranks, with a seat on what is always described as the powerful Appropriations Committee that allocates spending and as vice chairman of the Juvenile Justice Committee Atwood first came to Glynn County as a young man to vacation on Jekyll Island, later

returning as a federal agent before being assigned to other locations in the Southeast. He returned to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynn County, where he eventually became chief of legal training, overseeing legal education for people in nearly 90 different federal organizations. Since his first election in 2010, Atwood says he has asked himself the same question whenever he considers proposed legislation. “If we are not fixing something that is broken, then I have to ask, why we are doing anything?” he said. His No. 1 consideration as an elected official is to make Glynn County a better place to live. But sometimes it doesn’t take an act by the General Assembly to make a difference. Atwood says one his proudest moments was when he was among a group of local elected officials who opposed state plans last year to close Harper’s Joy, an assisted living facility in Brunswick for 22 mentally disabled residents whose family members wanted them to continue living there. “Our community is at its best when it cares for those who are least able to care for themselves,” he said. – Gordon Jackson

42 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

fill a vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. She easily won U.S. Senate confirmation in January 2007, and has since become chief judge of the district. Wood credits Alaimo, who died in 2009 at 89 years old, with teaching her important lessons that helped her be successful as a lawyer and a judge. “We are all inspired by him,” she said. She learned from Alaimo to have high expectations from lawyers in her courtroom. “When you go before a judge, you have to be prepared for anything. Every case is packed with human drama. Every single one matters to the people involved.” As a judge overseeing one of the original 13 judicial districts established after the Revolutionary War, she says it is an honor serving in an area so steeped in history. “This is Colonial Georgia,” she said. Wood says her goal is to render fair, impartial decisions that will continue to make a positive difference in the community she has grown to love. “If I never went anywhere else, I cannot tell you how happy I’d be,” she said. “I’d be more than content to do this the rest of my career.” — Gordon Jackson


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xperiences give insights into effects on future

William Ligon was in college when he first became interested in public service after serving as an intern with then U.S. Sen. Mack Mattingly, R-Ga. After earning a law degree, the Glynn Academy graduate moved to Dallas, where he practiced law two years. “While that was a great experience, I quickly realized that there is no place like Coastal Georgia, and I moved back home,� he said. After establishing a successful law practice in Brunswick and serving 16 years as a Brunswick Municipal Court judge, Ligon said he decided to run for the state Senate in 2010. Today, state Sen. Ligon, R-St. Simons Island, is in the first year of his second term in office, and says his experience as a lawyer and a judge give him insights into the potential effects of legislation. “My training as an attorney helps me pay attention to details,� he said. “Legislation can have a different interpretation if a semicolon is misplaced or if the word ‘and� should have been used instead of the word ‘or,’� he said. “Little things can make a big difference.� Ligon says his philosophy is tailored after those who founded this nation. He carefully considers whether the legislation he considers is constitutional, moral, necessary and in the best interest of the citizens he represents.

“As a legislator, I am working on policies that protect individual liberties, advance knowledge about our nation’s founding principles, preserve family values, enhance economic opportunities and protect property rights,� he said. Ligon serves in the state Legislature as vice chair of the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, which has jurisdiction over the state’s criminal code and procedure, drug enforcement, sentencing, parole and pardons, and immigration. Any legislation that carries a possible criminal penalty can be referred to the committee. Ligon also serves on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, which considers a wide variety of legislation relating to law, courts and judges, as well as constitutional amendments. Any legislation that carries possible civil penalties can be referred to the committee. As a member of the Health and Human Services Committee, Ligon considers legislation that affects safety regulations and social services, as well as legal issues affecting medical professionals. He also serves on the state’s Ethics Commission. “The best part of the job is knowing that I may have had a positive influence on our community and state. The most difficult part of the job is the time away from family.� – Gordon Jackson

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eing mayor provides lesson in humility

If there’s one thing Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson has learned during his seven years in office, it is that his ego doesn’t matter. With a background in economic development in Brunswick, Thompson entered office hoping to revitalize the city he began calling home in the late 1990s. He hit some challenges when the Great Recession took hold in the Golden Isles and had to quickly learn the position isn’t about him. “I have a very strong ego. I tend to believe that I am right the vast majority of the time. This has put me in a position to where I really have to learn to listen and consider another point of view,” Thompson said. “I try to get as clear of an understanding of what an issue, or issues, might be, and then certainly

form my own opinion, but then try to build consensus.” Instead of it being a matter of personal opinion, Thompson views the job of mayor as an establishment of trust between him and Brunswick’s voters. “Here’s my whole philosophy: I am a citizen who has temporarily assumed a position of responsibility on behalf of the community,” Thompson said. Though he is originally from a small town in central Ohio, Thompson fell in love with the historic city during a business trip in 1996. He says his position as mayor has only grown his affection. “I’ve gotten to see very close up and in depth ... what an active and dynamic community we really have,” Thompson said. —Nikki Wiley



aw enforcement center is gold standard for training

Connie Patrick retired from a 20-year law enforcement career in Florida, but she knew she wasn’t ready to quit working. Still, she had no idea her second career would take her to exotic locations across the world and include the responsibility of training federal employees from 93 different federal agencies. Patrick also says she never expected her career at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynn County, begun 17 years ago, would eventually lead to her appointment as the agency’s director. “It was uncharted territory,” she said when she accepted the job at the training center. “This is a first-class, world-class training facility.” The estimated 23,000 to 25,000 students who train anywhere from 12 weeks to as long as six months at the facility in Glynn County also quickly learn to love the Golden Isles so much they are often reluctant to leave the area, Patrick said.

44 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

“I love this county,” she said. “Of all the places I’ve lived, this is a cohesive community.” Patrick, who has served as the training center’s director the past 11 years, says she is happy with her current position, but she hasn’t closed the door on accepting another job offer. “If I found an equally challenging position that would be for the good of law enforcement, I’d consider it,” she said. Patrick is the training center’s fifth director since FLETC was created in 1970, and when she retires she is confident the agency will be in good hands because of the staff. She describes her job as “the most coveted job in all of government,” and intends to remain in the position for another few years — at least until she gets 40 years in law enforcement. “FLETC is the gold standard of training,” she said. “It’s like getting an ‘A’ on your report card.” – Gordon Jackson


RELIGION How faith is working in daily lives Where sports and beliefs meet

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Who is being called to serve

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 45



hurch finds ways to connect

After a long and emotionally draining morning at the hospital, the Rev. James Wigton sits down at his desk to reflect. But he isn’t thinking about himself: One member of the congregation is to have a foot amputated because of diabetes and another is losing his battle with a terminal illness. For Wigton, as emotional as the morning has been, it is part of providing spiritual and emotional support as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Brunswick. Originally from Ohio, Wigton spent 14 years in Florida and came to Brunswick less than two years ago. “We have a strong, evangelistic mission at our church, and we try to connect with the community in many different ways. We have members that are very active in volunteering, trying to meet the needs of our people spiritually as well as materially, emotionally,” Wigton said. “I try to do the same, making it a priority to be at the hospital, the funeral home, to be with the people. And we’ve had some real needs lately.” Wigton also travels abroad to represent his church and faith. For several years, he has spent two weeks annually in India, teaching scripture



calling leads to a path to serving

All her life, the Rev. Dawn Mayes knew she wanted to serve God and help others. But like so many others, she wasn’t sure she was on a path to do it. “It would be nice if God would speak to us out of the clouds and tell us directly what he wants us to do in life, but for most of us – even ministers – it doesn’t usually work that way. My sense of call was a gradual unfolding, as I grew to understand my own gifts and how I could use them for God,” said Mayes, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Brunswick. “I always wanted to work in some type of helping profession that would allow me to serve God and help others. I love learning and teaching, and my initial goal was to teach religion at the college level.” Mayes entered seminary, but it didn’t occur to her that she would become a minister. All that changed when the calling grew stronger and her professors pushed her toward ordination. “Before I entered seminary, I didn’t know that women could be ministers. I had no female clergy role models. While in seminary, my professors

recognized that I had gifts for pastoral ministry, and they encouraged me to be open to that possibility,” she said. “I also had a female associate pastor at my church. As I prayed about it, it became clear that the church, rather than the academic world, was where God wanted me to serve.” After serving nine years as the associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Cartersville, Mayes was called to be the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Brunswick in December 2008. She is the first woman to serve in that capacity at the church. “It has been a wonderful four years,” she said. “I have the great privilege of being in a position to help others connect with the creator, redeemer, and sustainer of the world. “In planning, worship and preaching, my goal is to help people experience the love and grace of God. I love the art of preaching, both the time of preparation and study in which a sermon is crafted, and the act of preaching for the congregation, in which the written word becomes the word of life for the people.” – Lindsey Adkison

46 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

at a Christian college, set among the Hindu majority. But when asked about himself, Wigton often responds with the plural “we,” combining himself and his congregation. “We’re very Bible based. As I see the Christian faith, we come to salvation by faith in Christ, through his grace, his mercy, and we’re to be ambassadors of reconciliation the scripture says, by sharing that grace and mercy with all we can,” he said. With his congregation behind him, Wigton believes that making the Golden Isles an even better place is as simple as being there for persons in need. “The Bible says that Christ came into this world not to condemn it, but so that through him the world might be saved. So that’s my approach to all that I do. And we as a church try do the same,” he said. “We want to set an example, we want to connect with people and reach out into the community. A good church that follows scripture should raise the moral standard, the conscience of a community, and that’s one of our goals, too.” – Sarah Lundgren


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ports help convey faith message

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Dave Gittings go hand in hand. As area director of the organization that works closely with coaches, student athletes and other students. And he’s enjoyed every minute of it. “My role has been very fun. We’ve had the opportunity and privilege to assist coaches and athletes in their walk with the Lord. I have been very involved at the coach’s level, with their influence within the school as well as the community. I feel we’ve made a great difference on our various campuses by encouraging and equipping the coaches with all that God has called them to be,” Gittings said. Over just four years, Gittings and the FCA have become a featured part of every public middle school and high school in Glynn County, as well as private schools Frederica Academy and St. Simons Christian School, and College of Coastal Georgia. Three elementary schools have also introduced the program utilizing mentorships and huddles. In addition, FCA recently partnered with Southeast Georgia Health System. “We’re planning future camps and have a greater relationship with the health system’s personal train-



aith works in daily lives

It was the early 2000s when the Rev. Wright Culpepper got a bit of divine inspiration. The idea was simple – bring God to Brunswick and the Golden Isles. “I started the (social) ministry in 1995, after serving the Wesley United Methodist Church at Frederica on St. Simons for seven years. Having been in the community that long, I began to see people and needs that I did not feel the church — all churches, not just Wesley — was serving. This led me to want to develop more of a parish ministry rather than a local church membership ministry,” he said. This is how FaithWorks Ministries was born. “We began with the idea that we would be bringing God to godforsaken places. We have learned that God showed up on the doorsteps a long time before we got there,” he said. “We seek to create ways where persons from different backgrounds – socio-economic, race, religious, etc. – can interact with each other in ways that are redemptive.” Breaking down the boundaries and stereotypes to provide help to people has been the goal of FaithWorks. Outside his time as staff chaplain at the Brunswick hospital of Southeast Georgia Health System, he oversees

FaithWorks’ outreach efforts. This includes everything from community clean-ups, food distributions to managing Karen’s House of Hope, a short-term residence where cancer patients at the hospital stay free. FaithWorks also manages outreach programs including Sparrow’s Nest, a local food bank, and an initiative called Open Doors, which helps former prisoners find work. Reaching out to people from all walks of life, Culpepper says, is all part of the mission. “Most of the poor are not lazy. They want jobs. Most of the wealthy are caring people. However, the invisible lines that divide us very often lead to fear, mistrust and brokenness. When we witness people who are willing to cross those invisible lines, we see friendships formed, opportunities created and needs met,” he said. “Our job is not so much to evangelize or proselytize. Most people have very deep and/ or broad faith in God. Our mission is to offer pastoral care to those who feel disconnected or abandoned. The sick, the hungry, the homeless and the imprisoned are all God’s children. They know that they are loved by God. They are just not sure that they are loved by the church or community at large.” – Lindsey Adkison

48 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

ers so they can help even more on the campuses with FCA in the area of camps, activities and educating on injury preventative measures,” Gittings said. “We’re first and foremost concerned with their spiritual journey, but we’re also moving in the direction to be concerned with their physical and emotional journeys as athletes and coaches.” Gittings will be giving up his role as area director to take on a broader focus. “I’ll be focusing more on staff development here and in the surrounding regions, including major donor relationships within the community. I’ll also work more on coach development, with financial workshops, marriage retreats and more,” Gittings said. “A lot of coaches struggle with their own marriages, because of the nature of the job – they’re coaching someone else’s kids 95 percent of the time – and by building their foundation at home, it strengthens them. Gittings says FCA is able to be behind the scenes helping coaches become good role models with a Christ-centered compass. – Sarah Lundgren



ouths gather in faith

Lucas Ramirez has traveled a long road during his path in the ministry. The Argentinanative moved to the United States because his father was the Secretary for the Americas for an international mission. “I grew up surrounded by missions and ministry. By my sophomore year in high school, God really got a hold of my heart, and along with some friends, we launched our own peer-to-peer ministry in our area,” he said. His spiritual journey eventually led him to Brunswick. Here, he has served in different capacities, including being youth pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church on St. Simons Island. Two and a half years ago, Ramirez took on another role, becoming executive director of The Gathering Place, the non-denominational youth ministry in Brunswick. It plays host to several spiritual youth events, including the annual Main Event, a summer program that draws huge crowds every year. “The Gathering Place has been building Christian leaders since 1981. I not only work to craft programs that help shape future leaders, but I myself am a testimony

to how God uses The GP to build leaders,” Ramirez said. “I am proud to be one of the leaders that The Gathering Place has helped to develop. Through my time at The GP, I have grown in my leadership capacity, my understanding of the non-profit sector, my dependence on God and my love for students.” It’s a special place, he says, one that he feels is unique. “From my time doing international mission work in Asia, Europe and South America, working in the youth ministry field in the United States in the Northeast, out West and in the South, I have never found anything quite like The Gathering Place,” he said. “The GP is a special place for many reasons, but mainly because it is a place of new beginnings. Over the years, thousands have found new life in Christ, and turned away from destructive lifestyles as a result of God moving in them at a GP program. A person’s decision to follow Jesus is the most important decision anyone will ever make, and The GP provides places for students to connect with God.” – Lindsey Adkison

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oots of temple go deep

When watching Dr. Mark Friedman move about Temple Beth Tefilloh in Brunswick one thing becomes abundantly clear. He loves this synagogue. But while the structure at 1326 Egmont St. that was designed in 1886 is undeniably beautiful, the president of Glynn County’s only Jewish congregation knows it is so much more. “Last year we celebrated the 125th anniversary of the founding of our congregation,” he said. “Our sanctuary is now on the National Registry of Historic Places.” Friedman has served at Temple Beth Tefilloh’s president for the past three years and serves as a representative of the Jewish community. It’s an honor he carries with pride. “Jews have been a part of Glynn County since Colonial times,” he said. “We have been lawyers, doctors, teachers, judges and businessmen in our community. While maintaining our Jewish identity, we have been leaders concerned with

our community’s health, justice and economic well-being. “It is not well known, but our congregation donated the land upon which the current Glynn Academy Auditorium is built. We share with our community a sense of right and wrong and a respect for peace and tolerance. It is with pride that we celebrate our committed Jewish leaders who helped found the NAACP during the civil rights movement.” Friedman, a New York City native, discovered the Golden Isles during a camping trip on Cumberland Island. He later returned to set up a psychiatric practice and begin a family. Friedman and his wife moved to the area in 1983 and joined the temple two years later. “I consider myself a ‘Southern New Yorker.’ I relish the small town dynamics,” he said. “Here, I feel as if I am directly involved in a meaningful way with the community. I feel a part of the greater whole,” he said. – Lindsey Adkison



mall group grows to make big impact

For Paul McKenzie, being the pastor of a church is much more than sharing the gospel. He and the congregation at Bethel Evangelical Community Church in Brunswick seek to reach all aspects of the community. “Our mission statement is, ‘To share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all people by evangelizing our community as we work together to build the kingdom of God,’” McKenzie said. “We believe that, yes, it involves preaching the gospel, but it’s also being able to get out and share our gifts and talents by working with individuals to make sure we become what we call ourself – the hands and feet of Christ.” Even when Bethel Evangelical was just a group meeting in his parent’s living room, McKenzie saw it as an all-encompassing idea. He says it was less of a religious environment, but more of a place where people could hear the words of Christ and find answers to their everyday concerns. This is something he continues to encourage in the congregation as he works with members to serve organizations involved in the daily life of the community.

50 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

“We try to go out and help our community in different ways. We serve at the Manna House, we are involved with a number of local charities, like MAP International, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the school system,” McKenzie said. His own relationship with the Lord has led him to where he is – not just a job as a pastor, but a calling to ministry he feels he would pursue even if he wasn’t leading a church. He says the Lord gives everyone special gifts and talents that they work on, and it becomes a responsibility to use those gifts to give back. “I believe the Lord gives us gifts, gives us talents, gives us abilities, and we didn’t work for those. You work on them, not for them. Whatever limited gifts I have, whether it be in organization, administration, speaking, they are to be used to give back,” he said. “It’s not because this is my job, it’s a self-imposed obligation. I’m completely obligated, but it’s not because someone is forcing me to do it. The constraint comes from the call. I believe I have to do it, I don’t think that I could not do it.” – Sarah Lundgren


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hurch has hopes to reach community beyond island

From humble beginnings, great things can emerge. Take St. Simons Community Church, for example. The seeds for that church were planted on Easter Sunday in 1996, when seven families met in a home in the Devonwood neighborhood on St. Simons Island and held church. Many of those who established the church had been involved with The Gathering Place, a non-denominational youth ministry, and had become interested in establishing a non-denominational community church. Led by laypersons at first, the thriving group eventually called the Rev. David Yarborough to be its pastor in March 1999. Now in his 14th year of ministry to the congregation, Yarborough says that the church’s main goal is to help people become genuine followers of Jesus Christ. For members of the church, this means reaching beyond everyday life. People are encouraged to live to make a difference by reaching up to worship God, reaching in to grow together and reaching out to make a difference in the church, the community and the world. “I want them to think about faith, not only religious rules, but the relationship

with God that he gives us through Jesus Christ,� he said. Yarborough says it has been the goal of the church to create a welcoming environment and to be the church where people feel good about bringing their friends. “We want to encourage the people of St. Simons Community Church to be the church all over this community,� Yarborough said. “We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone we meet.� The church has a variety of small groups, Bible studies and other opportunities for worship and service. Its two worship services are at 9 and 11 a.m. Sundays. Going forward, Yarborough says, the church intends to become more missionoriented. He envisions church members will become more involved in missions throughout the community and, eventually, establishing more churches in surrounding communities. There are challenges, however. “As leaders, can we really learn to live like Jesus and reproduce more leaders to do the same,� he said. “We don’t want to do this for the sake of our church, but for sake of God’s kingdom.� — Mary Starr

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 51


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usic fills life in Isles

Luis Haza has only been a resident of the Golden Isles for a few years, but he’s certainly made an impact. With a resume that includes the National Symphony Orchestra and global performances, he has brought an international musical repertoire to Coastal Georgia. Haza has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, been music director of the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and served for 25 years as conductor of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at Annandale, Va. He was first-chair violin with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for 36 years. Since moving to St. Simons Island and becoming conductor of the Coastal Youth Symphony in 2010, he has been sharing this wealth of knowledge with young musicians. The youth symphony now has 60 student members, and support behind the scenes has also expanded.


“We have now a much larger board of directors – when I first started it was two or three people – now it’s over 20 people,” Haza said. “The orchestra itself has become of the caliber that is able to perform the classical works that they should be able to perform. They have developed immeasurably,” he said. Haza has found his own rhythm, settling into a coastal Georgia groove. “This area – the coastal region – for me, it’s my favorite place in the entire nation. After I retired from Washington, from the National Symphony Orchestra, my wife and I looked all over the country, but our heart was already here. We got married at the lighthouse here,” he said. “I find it to be the most beautiful place in the country, and the people in this community are just outstanding. “One aspect that I love very much, generally speaking, the people here love being Americans. And I do too. I feel as American as apple pie.” – Lindsey Adkison


and sets the rhythms of life

It’s never hard to find Jessica Holloway. Just follow the music. The songstress and keyboard player can often be found belting out rock ’n’ roll greats with her band, Soul Gravy. Holloway is no fly-by-night performer. It’s something she’s been working at for decades. She was just 4 years old when she started performing in church plays and school programs. Then, when she was 7, she started playing the piano. Since childhood, the singing siren has moved to the keyboard. But her love of music has only intensified. “I was raised singing in church, on top of the fact I was a ‘PK’ – pastor’s kid. That being said, we were always being watched by everyone. Good, bad or indifferent, anything I did got reported back to my dad,” she said. “Therefore, I learned to be an open book. Performing songs that I have written in front of strangers who will either like it or not is a lot less nerve-racking to me, because, frankly, I’m used to the scrutiny.” Today, she’s always happy to stand in the

spotlight – mostly because she’s not doing it alone. Soul Gravy includes other members — Will Gore, Scott Bachman, Dan Vashaw and, occasionally, Jeff Montaigne on percussion. Holloway says the guys have become a surrogate family. “I love performing with Soul Gravy, because it is every beat of my heart,” she said. “I wake up in the morning thinking about Gravy and go to bed thinking about Gravy. “We are getting to a point where we just know. There are moments on the stage where something magical happens, and we all just look at each other and smile. I love it. There is a cosmic energy that I have never felt with any group of people before.” The band has taken the magic into the studio and is working on its first CD. Holloway says it’s been a labor of love. “We are finishing up our fourth song for our CD. We have about four more songs we want to lay down before we consider our options on how we want it circulated,” she said. “We want everything done right.” — Lindsey Adkison The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 53



tars perform for charity

For Mason and Jodi Waters, giving back to the community is part of life. The St. Simons Island couple is involved in a number of fundraisers, and the largest is also closest to their hearts. Rockstar Karaoke, a performance-driven event held for five years at Ziggy Mahoney’s on St. Simons Island, has raised approximately $130,000 for the American Cancer Society. It’s special because Mason’s father, Vic Waters, has battled the disease. Mason Waters, a banker at Atlantic National Bank in Brunswick by day and musician by night, is the front man of the band Mason Waters and the Groove Allstars. Waters says the formula for success has been simple. “I think it was successful for the simple reason that Jodi and I worked hard to make it simple and fun,” he said. “It was fun for the participants as well as the audience. It turned into the kind of charity event that people looked forward to and wanted to be there, as opposed to feeling like they had an obligation to attend.” Instead, Rockstar Karaoke always lets the public shine. Backed by local musicians,

brave teams of souls donned elaborate costumes to sing in front of a large audience. The teams put a lot of effort into the shows. And, as a result, everyone from the audience to the performers had a blast. “The main key to success, year in and year out, however, had to be the people we recruited to sing with the band. Those people worked hard raising money, and they also stepped way out of their comfort zones to perform in front of a sold-out venue,” Mason Waters said. For the Waters, bringing an entertaining spin to fundraising just seemed to make sense. Jodi Waters is thrilled that the simple idea had such a huge outcome. “All of our volunteers who agree to perform each year end up saying by the end, ‘that was so much fun – I want to do it again,’ and that makes me happy that they find it to be as much of a rewarding and memorable experience as Mason and I do,” Jodi Waters said. “Really, all of the people who have been involved over the past five years feel like a big, extended Rockstar family, and it’s been a great ride.” – Lindsey Adkison



ulture has a name in Golden Isles

From musical productions to art exhibits to film series and stage productions, Golden Isles Arts & Humanities does a little bit of it all. Regardless of the event, executive director Heather Heath says the mission is always the same – to further arts education in Glynn County. “Our mission is to provide distinctive cultural events and education that engages, inspires and celebrates our community,” Heath said. Of course, to fulfill their purpose Heath and her staff must be creative themselves. And that they are. Throughout the year they serve up a variety of interesting and educational programs. Some of these offerings include the Annual Performing Arts Series at the Ritz, Jazz in the Park, Cinema Gourmet and Summer Classic Movies, monthly exhibits in the Ritz Theatre Gallery, arts education programs in Glynn County schools and summer theater and film camps. Many of

Heather Heath

these events are held in the Ritz Theatre, downtown, which serves as the home base of the organization. Heath can’t help but be proud of what they do. “A significant cultural life is an essential component of a vibrant community. It can have significant impact on local economies, because the arts is a business like any other that provides jobs and tax revenues,” she

54 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

said. “But of course it is much more than that. Art is about people. It is about you and me. It astonishes, energizes, empowers, inspires, motivates, surprises and teaches.” Through Golden Isles Arts & Humanities, Heath and her group have helped expand the knowledge base in the community. It’s something they have been doing now for two decades.

“Art touches lives for the better and art benefits communities. The need of art in our lives and in our world is extremely important. “And as we have done for more than 20 years, Golden Isles Arts & Humanities will continue to provide a variety of great art and humanities experiences for the entire community,” Heath said. – Lindsey Adkison



Kate Lane, left, and Elizabeth Graiser

oung musicians bring classic notes to audiences

For Elizabeth Graiser and Kate Lane, playing violin comes naturally, and it’s apparent when they perform with the Coastal Youth Symphony. As concertmasters of the orchestra, their concert roles are as important as the practices. “This is my second year as a concertmaster,” said Elizabeth, a junior at Glynn Academy. “I tune the orchestra and coordinate the bowings of the strings section so that all the bows move in the same direction. I also make a solo entrance at concerts to greet the audience on behalf of the orchestra.” Kate’s responsibility is a bit different. The Glynn Academy sophomore’s role as concertmaster requires that she pay close attention to the smaller details of her section. “As co-concertmaster with Elizabeth, I am in charge of making sure all the players in the violin section are on the same page,” Kate said. “(Conductor Luis Haza) might make certain changes in the pieces we play, and I am in charge of making sure everyone in the section is aware of these changes. My role also calls for me to lead the violins while playing, so it is important for me to always be on top of things during rehearsal.” While they enjoy assisting Haza and be-

ing role models for the younger members, both love providing live classical music to first-time concert-goers and seasoned fans in the Golden Isles. “Some of the pieces we play are so expressive, and hearing the music can bring out many emotions,” Kate said. “When I play or hear certain classical pieces, I am able to get lost in the music, which is actually very stress-relieving. I think more people should experience listening to classical music, because it can definitely surprise them.” Whether they are playing for a small group or for an audience of more than 100 people, their talent and roles in the orchestra have helped them become better musicians and have helped to bring music to the Golden Isles. “When friends of mine attend a Coastal Youth Symphony concert for the first time they are amazed at not only how well we play, but also how much they actually enjoy the music,” Elizabeth said. “They are familiar with many of the tunes from commercials and even cartoons but have never viewed them as serious classical music. Many people develop a love for classical music once they give it a chance.” ­—Brittany Tate

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usic forms a bond for life

Tim and Annie Akins share a common love: music. The husband and wife, equally devoted to one another, have been making beautiful music together for a long time. “We started singing together years ago at The Cloister. Tim was part of the house band and I got hired on Valentine’s Day to be the ‘chick singer.’ We met as I was walking on stage, calling my songs and telling the band what key to play in. We got married a year and a half later, and have been making beautiful music ever since,” Annie Akins said. Tim Akins also recalls their first meeting. “The first time I ever heard Annie sing, I fell in love with her. She’s got the voice of an angel, and it’s like a fine wine — it gets better with time,” Tim Akins says. “I’ve been playing piano since I was 5 years old and took lessons for 12 years, including training in classical piano,” Tim Akins said. “I was even a Mozart Society winner. I took up playing bagpipes about 14 years ago when I discovered my Scottish heritage.” The couple, known in the music world as Timandannie, has produced five albums (and four children) together. The duo just released its third CD, “That Night,” a collection of Christmas hymns and songs. “Our first CD was ‘In His Service,’ featuring 12 of our original Christian songs, followed by ‘Grace Renewed,’ our take on 11 favorite

hymns,” Tim Akins says. They also have a group called After Hours, a seven-piece band that performs for weddings, private parties, concerts and festivals. “We’ve recorded two CDs as ‘After Hours,’ our secular music, ‘Nightcap,’ a studio album of mostly cover songs, and ‘Mess of Blues,’ a compilation of songs and bits from our live blues shows.” Whether on stage or in the studio, the two are able to play off one another, prompting the creative flow. “I enjoy working with Tim, because he’s so creative,” Annie Akins said. “He’s always thinking, ‘What if I played it this way instead of that way?’ Plus, he’s the only one in the world who can understand me musically. We’ll be working on a song and I’ll say something like, ‘That needs to be more joyful,’ or ‘Make that section more colorful,’ and he’ll translate that into music, into just what I wanted to hear.” Tim Akins says it’s a combination that works well. “I like working with Annie, because she’s so enthusiastic. When she’s singing, doing her thing, talking and joking with the audience, it’s a joy to be part of that,” he said. Annie Akins feels the same about her husband. “It’s great to be able to work with my husband. I know that idea makes a lot of folks shudder, but it really works for us.” —Lindsey Adkison



Conductor Vernon Humbert

56 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

elpers keep music playing

The Symphony Society has one goal — to support the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and the Coastal Youth Symphony. The organization has been doing it for seven years. Here are five things to know about it: • Fundraising is its major goal. It costs a lot of money to put on four Coastal Symphony of Georgia performances per year. The society’s two major fundraisers help pay for the concerts, including conductor and musician salaries, marketing and advertising and administrative costs. • Cabaret and the Golden Elephant Flea Market are the two major fundraisers. The Flea Market is held in early November and the gala event, Cabaret, is in January. • Aid for the Youth Symphony includes lessons. Funds are also chan-

neled to the Coastal Youth Symphony to provide music lessons, instrument rental, summer camp, adult salaries and administrative costs. The annual summer music camp gives many members of the youth symphony an opportunity for concentrated instruction. • It’s been successful. Since its founding, the Symphony Society has raised more than $750,000 for the symphonies. For 2013, it hopes to direct upwards of $100,000 to the symphonies. • The society always wants more members. The Symphony Society, which has 290 members, is always looking for more. The entire group meets three times a year. Annual membership fee is $35 and includes invitations to all society events. To join online visit: — Lindsey Adkison

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TOURISM What brings visitors to the Golden Isles How history stays up to date

What gives area beaches personality

PAGES 59-69

58 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013


Where turtles go for some R&R



ekyll ‘mayor’ balances roles

Jones Hooks is a man of many hats. He’s not just the top employee of an island state park. He also functions essentially as the mayor of a town – a state park with full-time residents and seasonal visitors. As executive director of the Jekyll Island Authority, Hooks says his job is a balancing act. The island has to remain financially selfsufficient by attracting visitors to maintain a balanced budget, but keeping its low-key environmental assets in tact is essential to bringing those people to Jekyll. “We’re basically the stewards of this island for the people of Georgia. That’s a huge responsibility,” Hooks said. Originally from Metter, Hooks was tapped in May 2008 to become the island’s director and lead its revitalization


effort to bring people back to Georgia’s Jewel. He wants to see Jekyll thrive and prosper without losing the serene atmosphere for which it is known. “I often say you either understand Jekyll Island or you don’t understand it. You either get it or you don’t,” Hooks said, noting that some people go to the island overjoyed by the prospect of spending time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life while others are disappointed at the lack of nightlife. And, of course, for Hooks, the view of low-hanging, moss-draped oak trees and rolling sand dunes doesn’t make work the tough chore other professions can become. “Where I work every day is pretty amazing, and certainly the envy of many of my colleagues,” Hooks said. – Nikki Wiley


eorgia’s Jewel shows its sparkle

Just beyond the Downing Musgrove Causeway is an island rich in history and miles of undisturbed maritime forest and beaches. Jekyll Island, once a playground of the rich and famous that hosted the likes of Joesph Pulitzer and the Rockefeller Family, is a protected state park that attracts visitors from across the nation. Some come for the miles of beaches. Some come for the history. Some for the golf. But they all come to get away, says Jones Hooks, executive director of the Jekyll Island Authority, which operates the island park. “If you look at all of those activities, they’re all connected to the beauty of Jekyll Island,” Hooks said.

The island is well into a massive revitalization project, the aim of which is to bring crowds back to the place dubbed Georgia’s Jewel. Great Dunes, unveiled in September 2010, is a beachfront park that features covered pavilions and other facilities. A new, 128,000-square foot convention center followed in May 2012. A 200-room Westin hotel, 120-room Hyatt Place hotel and retail village are expected to break ground later this year. Hooks stresses the revitalization won’t compromise the island’s character. After all, that’s what it’s known for. – Nikki Wiley

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 59



ort remains true to times

Jason Baker believes in the phrase “what was once old, is new again.” As a park ranger at Fort King George in Darien, Baker certainly sees how the past comes alive for people who visit the reconstructed 300-year-old site. “I feel the biggest draw we have here at Fort King George is the complete, accurately reconstructed buildings that make up the fort itself. This allows visitors to roam and explore much more so than if the buildings were actually 300 years old. Children young and old alike are invited to open doors, climb ladders, sit in the chairs and at the tables,” he said. Baker says it is a way for everyone to walk in the footsteps of those who first built the first British fort on Georgia’s coast. From 1721 until 1736, Fort King George was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America. A cypress blockhouse, barracks and palisaded earthen fort were constructed in 1721 under the guidance of Col. John “Tuscarora Jack” Barnwell.

For the next seven years, His Majesty’s Independent Co. garrisoned the fort. It endured incredible hardships from disease, threats of Spanish and Indian attacks, and the harsh, unfamiliar coastal environment. After the fort was abandoned, Gen. James Oglethorpe brought Scottish Highlanders to the site in 1736. The settlement, called Darien, eventually became a major export center of lumber until 1925. Today, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources manages the fort and conducts special events throughout the year. “We always strive to remain true to the historical importance of this fort, but we do our best to present it in ways that make it easily accessible and understood by people today,” Baker said. The fort is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. It is closed Mondays, except for holidays, but is closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission ranges from $3.75 to $6.50, depending upon the age of the visitor. – Lindsey Adkison Jason Baker


Harriet Langford, center president

60 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013


ast is ongoing restoration

There is a hidden jewel in Darien. Ashantilly Center, the private home of Thomas Spaulding in the 1800s, is now an educational center. It previously housed artist and printer Bill Haynes, who operated a printing press at the location. Five key things to know about Ashantilly. • Ashantilly Center was known as “Old Tabby.” Constructed of the lime and cement material, the 34-acre site was the mainland home of Thomas Spaulding, an early Georgia planter, legislator and McIntosh County landowner. The original home, circa 1820, burned in 1937, and the current house was an ongoing project of the Haynes family. The William G. Haynes family purchased Ashantilly in 1918, and Bill Haynes Jr., an artist, letterpress printer and environmentalist, later established the Ashantilly Press studio there and, along with his two sisters, established the center in the early 1990s. • Today, the Ashantilly Center is a non-

profit site. The center hosts cultural and historic events and workshops. • The mission of the Ashantilly Center is conservation. An army of volunteers works to organize and implement a program of conservation, including Ashantilly property, to provide a vehicle for continuing education, scientific advancement and charitable endeavors which focus on the natural environment of the Georgia Coast. Haynes’ print shop is currently being restored. The original Ashantilly press is close to being restored. The letterpress will be used for printing classes. • To get to Ashantily from U.S. 17, turn east on Ga 99 (beside the courthouse). Travel approximately 1.5 miles, turn right onto St. Andrews Cemetery Road. At the cemetery, turn left onto a dirt road that leads to Ashantilly, on the left. • It’s open to the public. To arrange a time to visit, call 437-4473 or go online to —Lindsey Adkison



pdates keep evolving

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort has seen its share of changes. And not just inside the walls of the expansive Mediterranean-style resort at 201 Arnold Road, St. Simons Island. The changes also have been in the world around it, from wartime to new generations of visitors. Located on the southern beach of St. Simons Island, what was the King and Prince Club opened as a seaside dance club in 1935. Six years later, on July 2, 1941, the main hotel building opened to the public as the King and Prince Hotel. During World War II, the hotel served as a naval coast-watching and training facility, reopening to the public in 1947. Along the way, the hotel underwent extensive renovations and expansions. It was named to the Historic Hotels of America in 1996, and to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. But the hotel is still evolving. Each winter season, the resort undergoes a bit of a facelift as improvements are made. “Last year we did the outdoor pool area,” said Michael Johnson, executive director of the King and Prince. At the end of 2012 and into the 2013 off-season, the hotel management took on yet another task — updating the many function rooms, including an expansive ball room. The front desk portion of the lobby was also being renovated. “We do something every year, but it’s not always something major, but we do something. Next year we’ll do this portion of the lobby,” Johnson said, pointing to the back and side tiled portions of the lobby. “All of this tile will be going away.” While there are always changes taking place at the King and Prince, it’s always recognizable to the multitude of guests who return every year. “It’s been here for 75 years, and over that time it’s become a home for families who come to St. Simons Island. There have been third and fourth generations of families,” Johnson said. — Lindsey Adkison

Michael Johnson in new ballroom

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 61




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urtles have place to go for R&R on Georgia coast

There’s a place on Jekyll Island where injured sea turtles go to rest and recover, and where people go by the thousands for an up-close look at one of nature’s remarkable creatures. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center sees more than 100,000 visitors a year, who leave having learned the importance of conservation and what it takes to keep a species alive and protected. Dr. Terry Norton, a veterinarian and director of the center, says conservation is at the core of the center’s mission. That takes on multiple forms. It’s all about education and rehabilitation. Staff members work to educate beachgoers and island visitors about keeping sea turtles safe. They remind everyone that flashlights on the beach during nesting season can confuse turtles and that nests should never be disturbed. Other programs give visitors a chance to see a nest hatch or a turtle making its way to the shore to lay eggs. But rehabilitation is equally as important. Veterinarians rehabilitate turtles and release ones that are healthy and indepen-

dent enough to return to the ocean. The center takes in all types of sea turtles, from the most common loggerheads and leatherbacks to the less common green and Kemp’s Ridley. It’s not all about sea turtles, though. The center has established a research program to determine the traveling patterns of diamondback terrapin turtles. The goal is to decrease the number of turtle fatalities during nesting season, when the animals are most likely to attempt to cross roads. It’s all of these things that draw people to the center, Norton said. “It’s a thriving facility where people can see all of those functions,” he said. “Hopefully, when people leave the center they’ll know more about the turtles and know more about ... how they can help.” The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is at 214 Stable Road, Jekyll Island. It is open, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays during March through November, and during December through February 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission prices range from $5 to $7. —Nikki Wiley



emains are silent sentinel to a colony

From 1736 to 1758, Fort Frederica and its surrounding town were home to almost 1,000 British colonists. Today, the remains of the fort and building foundations stand to tell the tale of some of Georgia’s first settlers on St. Simons Island. Here are five things to know about Fort Frederica: • The town and fort were named after Frederick, the Prince of Wales. However, the English were not the first to settle in the area – Spanish missionaries and Gualdalquini Indians lived around the property prior to the British arrival. • Fort Frederica and the town hosted many important figures from Georgia’s early history including John and Charles Wesley, Mary Musgrove and James Houston, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. With no church at Frederica, the Wesleys preached under trees and occasionally in storehouses. Some remnants of the homes of Houston and Musgrove still stand on the property. Other original and

restored features include the bastion, the barracks, a small cemetery and a canon from the fort’s time period, donated by Jamaica, another former British colony. • Fort Frederica played a part in the Battle of Bloody Marsh on July 7, 1742 during the War of Jenkin’s Ear. A British victory over the Spanish meant that St. Simons Island as well as important sea and inland water routes remained in British hands. • Fort Frederica offers special programs for children and families, including Regimental Drill and Musket Drill days with Colonial re-enactors, history lessons and musket firings. Children can also be a part of the fort’s Junior Ranger Program or attend its history day camp during summer. • Fort Frederica is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and closes on some holidays. Entry fee is $3 for ages 15 and up and group reservations are available at 638-3639. – Sarah Lundgren

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 63



easide part of area lure The beaches of St. Simons Island have been a booming tourist destination for

decades. Families gather along the 31⁄2 miles of coastline to soak up the sun and play in the surf. From the sands surrounding the St. Simons Island Pier Village to the trendy East Beach coast, there is something for everyone. County spokeswoman Candice Temple understands the appeal of the community’s Atlantic shoreline. “I think the appeal of St. Simons beaches has to do with the amenities of our area overall. There is so much to do and see on the island and surrounding areas. “When they come here they are getting the whole package – wonderful weather, friendly and helpful local people, easy access to public beaches and unique local businesses. It really allows them to see us as a home away


from home, and the beach is our backyard.” There are plenty of activities to keep visitors busy. On the beaches there’s plenty of room for kitesurfing, bicycling, sand-sculpting or just basking in the sun. Four-legged friends can get in on the act, as well. Of course, there are a few rules that apply on the beach. The animals must obviously be friendly. There are certain times when the sand is reserved for bi-peds only. “Dogs are not allowed on the beach during peak season – the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Temple said. “During the off-season and allowed peak season hours, dogs are allowed on the beach without a leash, if they respond to voice commands. As always, everyone must pick up after their pets.” – Lindsey Adkison


nnual festival builds on Brunswick’s tasteful tradition

While Brunswick stew holds a long-standing place in the hearts (and tummies) of Golden Isles residents, it has helped spur on another, well-loved tradition: The Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee. Co-chair Ron Adams says the annual event has flourished over the years. He explains: Question: For those who don’t know, what is Stewbilee?

Answer: Stewbilee is a family-friendly event centered around Brunswick stew, but it also includes a road race, a pooch parade, a car show and live music, all held on the beautiful waterfront in historic downtown Brunswick every year.

How has it been able to make itself a tradition in the area?

We’re taking what is a traditional food for this area, that we believe was originated here, and we have added on things to make it a fun event for people to attend and participate in. We’ve kept the cost to both attend and participate at a very reasonable level, so it has economic viability.

64 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

How does Stewbilee make a positive impact on the community?

First, we highlight the best stew in the world that’s made right here in Brunswick, and we pick who has the best. We highlight local talent that plays our music. We show off people’s dogs and collector cars. We even have a Junior Stewbie Central for the kids to enjoy. Basically, we’re highlighting our area for the rest of the world.

How does the community itself make Stewbilee a success?

It takes a lot of work on the volunteers’ part but it’s a beautiful day in the heart of downtown in the fall. This works because a lot of local businesses and volunteers get together and celebrate what we do better than anyone else in the world. It’s a true testament to what we can accomplish when we work together. When is Stewbilee this year?

Oct. 26 at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, in downtown Brunswick. – Sarah Lundgren



atural habitats abound

With its unspoiled land, beach and abundant wildlife, Little St. Simons Island is a living classroom. While the beauty of Little St. Simons is well-known, its history and what it continues to offer are just as interesting. Here are five things to know about the privately owned island, which is open to the public by reservation, that wraps over the northeast side of St. Simons Island: • Guale Indians were its first inhabitants. The piles of discarded oyster shells they left, called middens, are among its oldest historic sites. • In 1907, the Eagle Pencil Co. purchased the island after discovering its abundance of cedar trees, ideal for pencil making. A year later, its president, Philip Berolzheimer, visited, fell in love with the island’s beauty and purchased it from his own company, making a private retreat for family and friends.

• In 1979, Little St. Simons Island was opened to the public, welcoming its first overnight guests. Today, its 10,000 acres and seven miles of beach are only reachable by boat and open to a limited number of day trip and overnight guests. Overnight rates include transportation to and from, accommodations, three meals daily, evening cocktail receptions, all beverages and unlimited use of all facilities and gear. • The only area not left in its natural state is the main lodge and a collection of guest cottages that comprise comprise the small, creekside compound. • Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and his wife, Wendy Paulson, became involved in the island’s ownership in 2003, expanding conservation programs. To learn more about the island, go online to – Sarah Lundgren Naturalist Stacia Hendricks, left, and island visitors

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istinctive areas spread along Atlantic Ocean shoreline

Historically, Jekyll Island served as a tranquil escape for some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and families. Today, it’s 10 miles of beach provide a respite for all who visit its shores. Anna Hall, communications specialist for the Jekyll Island Authority, says there are a variety of beach locations for visitors to enjoy.

“Our beachscape is divided into several areas, located throughout the island with easy access and parking to all of these beautiful seashores,” she said. Among them are Great Dunes Park, St. Andrews Beach and Picnic Area, Driftwood Beach and Glory Beach. “Great Dunes Park is Jekyll Island’s mainstay beach for family recreation and wave-jumping, providing visitors with miles of wide shoreline adjacent to a 20-acre park, complete with picnic


pavilions, bocce ball court, bike trails and volleyball court,” she said. St. Andrews, on the south end, has a two-story birding platform that is also a good spot for dolphin watching. The Wanderer Memorial is here, erected in 2008 to memorialize survivors of the last slave ship to land in America, on Jekyll Island, in November 1858. “Next to St. Andrews Beach is Glory Beach, which may be the island’s most Hollywood-esque of beaches. Famed as


the location for the popular Civil War film ‘Glory,’ this portion of Jekyll beach is located next to our Jekyll Island Soccer Complex,” Hall said. On the north end is Driftwood Beach, which Hall says is likely the most photographed of Jekyll’s beaches. “This beautifully gothic stretch of sand and water is home to hundreds of (weathered) trees, upturned with exposed root systems,” Hall said. ­– Lindsey Adkinson

istory mixes with nature

Even after more than 150 years, there is still a mystique about Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation. The expansive property at 5556 U.S. 17 N. in Glynn County played a big part in the history of the area. “Hofwyl’s appeal has a lot to do with the many oak trees that dot our site. Many or most of them have been around long enough that they witnessed the history that we talk about. The combination of the nature and history are irresistible to most people,” Bill Giles, site manager, said. There is a lot to know about the historic spot. Here are five: • It was established in the early 1800s. The first owner was William Brailsford of Charleston, S.C., who bought the land for a rice plantation. • Brailsford established a dynasty. The family continued to live on the land and cultivate rice through the Civil War, until 1913. Years later, the estate passed to Brailsford descendents – the Dent Family, who used it as a dairy farm. Ophelia Dent was the last descendant, and she left the plantation to the state of

Georgia in 1973. • Today the plantation is managed by the Department of Natural Resources and is open to the public. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The last main house tour is 4 p.m. It is closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is $3.75 to $6.50. • Ticket prices include admission to the plantation’s museum. It features silver from the family collection and a model of Hofwyl-Broadfield during its rice producing days. A brief film on the plantation’s history is shown before visitors walk a short trail to the antebellum home, that more resembles a Midwest farmhouse than Tara of “Gone with the Wind.” A guided tour allows visitors to see the home with many family heirlooms, 18th and 19th century furniture and Cantonese china. • Birders can enjoy the spot. A birding trail provides an excellent spot to look for herons, egrets, ibises and painted buntings. A nature trail leads back to the visitors center along the edge of a marsh where rice once flourished. – Lindsey Adkison

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 67

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Long a symbol of Southern elegance, the Sea Island resorts on St. Simons and Sea islands have evolved into global destinations. The flagship The Cloister, on Sea Island, and its Georgian Room restaurant and the Spa at Sea Island, along with The Lodge, a golf-oriented resort on St. Simons Island, have maintained an impressive run of fivestar quality. “Receiving four Forbes Five-Star awards in one year is extraordinary, and yet the team members at Sea Island have managed to do just that for five years in a row,” company president Scott Steilen said. “In addition to having great pride in their achievement, we are also extremely grateful to every member of the team for the hard work and gracious hospitality shown to our guests and members every day.” Only one other hotel in Georgia, Four Seasons Atlanta, received the top five-star

The Cloister



tars shine brightly on resort designation this year. Sea Island entertains some of the nation’s most influential citizens. In the past year, both former President Bill Clinton and Ann Romney, wife of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, paid a visits to the island. In 2004, The Cloister, then undergoing a massive rebuilding program, was the site of the Group of 8 meeting of world leaders, from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia, plus a representative of the European Union. The resort’s golf courses have received more notoriety since the Seaside Course, on St. Simons Island, became home to the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic. Additionally, the Plantation Course, which winds through marshlands and a maritime forest, attracts golfers from across the country while the Retreat Course offers a design created by Davis Love III and Mark Love. – Nikki Wiley


ight beams as symbol of area

The St. Simons Island Lighthouse and its predecessor has stood as a beacon for more than 200 years. Located on the south end of the island, it is one of the iconic symbols of the Golden Isles. Here are five things to know about it: • Construction began Oct. 17, 1804. That was when John Couper, a plantation owner on St. Simons Island, deeded four acres of land to the federal government. It costs the United States only $1 to buy the land, known as Couper’s Point. • Confederates soldiers fleeing the island destroyed the original structure 1862. They didn’t want the Union Army to be able to use it as a navigational aid. After the Civil War, the U. S. government ordered the construction of a replacement lighthouse just west of the site of its predecessor. This is the lighthouse that stands near the Pier Village. • It is one of four Georgia lighthouses. The structure is a 104-foot tower, with a 129-step cast iron spiral staircase and an adjacent keeper’s house. In 1890, a fireproof brick oil house was constructed beside the lighthouse. The 9-by-11-foot building held

up to 450 five-gallon oil cans. • Electricity came to the lighthouse, replacing the kerosene lamp in 1934. The lighthouse keeper’s house served as a home for the lighthouse keepers from 1872 until 1950, when the lighthouse was fully automated. The last lighthouse keeper was David O’Hagan. After O’Hagan retired, the passageway separating the lighthouse from the keeper’s house was removed. • The Coastal Georgia Historical Society manages the lighthouse and museum associated with it. Renovations totaling $330,000 were completed in 2010. With the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the light continues as an aid to navigation every night and during inclement weather. The St. Simons Island Lighthouse and Museum of Coastal History, 12th Street and Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sundays. The last climb to the top of the tower is at 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children, 6 to 11 years old. Admission is free for Coastal Georgia Historical Society members and children under 6 years old. – Lindsey Adkison The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 69


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Branding Advertising Web Photography Video 70 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013




easide is good for business

As a designer and manufacturer of systems for navy ships, proximity to the sea seems ideal for Jered, a PaR Systems company. Daren Pietsch, director of business development, says the company on Sidney Lanier Drive in Brunswick is able to take advantage of just more than ocean-worthy inspiration. “Geographically, being here works very well, because we do quite a lot of business with U.S. companies, our two primary customers being located just north in Virginia and then in the Gulf, in Mississippi, both a part of Huntington Ingalls Industries,” Pietsch said. “Another big customer, General Dynamics Bath Ironworks, is located in Maine, and we’re able to easily ship our product to these places from Brunswick.” Jered is also able to do business on a worldwide scale from the area. Pietsch says access to the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport, as well as the nearby Jacksonville and Savannah airports, is very convenient. But that isn’t all.


“It’s also a great area to bring customers to when we have meetings and similar events. There’s a lot to do here,” Pietsch said. “We’ve even taken advantage of events like the McGladrey Classic (PGATour event), which is a great venue for our customers to see and to attend.” Though Jered doesn’t see customers in the immediate area, Pietsch says there is great support from the community. Local material suppliers as well as the area colleges lend a helping hand. “We have many suppliers located in the area, and our economic development board has been supported by the Chamber of Commerce. They’re all very welcoming,” he said. “The primary education institutions provide a source of qualified labor and management talent to help support our business. We try to participate and attract more businesses to come into the county, as well, because it’s better for us and the community to have other industries.” – Sarah Lundgren


orld gets taste of Golden Isles

Since 1945, Rich’s has been among the nation’s major familyowned food companies, with more than 2,000 products distributed in 110 countries. After acquiring SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Co. in 1976, the Consumer Brands Division of Rich’s has called St. Simons Island its home. Jack Kilgore, president of the division, says that from St. Simons Island and another plant in Brunswick, Rich’s brings consumer brands to grocery and club stores across the United States. Recognized in 2011 as one of the fastest-growing frozen food suppliers, the corporation also ranks among the top 20 branded suppliers in the frozen food aisle. “The success and growth of these brands can be attributed, in part, to outstanding associates based right here in Glynn County. Our Brunswick and Waycross manufacturing facilities are also very important to Rich’s U.S./Canada business,” Kilgore said. “We have an outstanding work force in place from this area and continue to invest a significant amount of capital into these operations, which produce many of our appetizer and snack

products.” Kilgore added that the St. Simons Island location delights both customers and suppliers alike when they visit the coastal community. “We’re fortunate to live and work in the Golden Isles. It’s an area filled with passionate people who work tirelessly for a number of great causes,” he said. “The Golden Isles community has served as an inspiration to our associates, providing them myriad opportunities to volunteer their own time and talents.” Guided by a set of core family values encouraged by the corporation, many associates of Rich’s contribute to making a positive impact in the Golden Isles. “You’ll see Rich’s associates at work with nearly every cause in Glynn County. In 1995, we were a proud founding sponsor of the first Relay for Life in Glynn County, and we’ve been supporting this outstanding community event ever since. We are privileged to support the United Way, the STAR Foundation, Amity House, Cystic Fibrosis, Communities in Schools and many other worthwhile causes,” Kilgore said. – Sarah Lundgren

Jack Kilgore

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 71

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ustomer loyalty is reward

For siblings Frank Still and Elizabeth Jordan, April is going to be a very special month. It will be the 30th anniversary of their business – Lady and Gentlemen’s Outfitters. Jordan says the store has evolved and changed during the past three decades. “We bought an Athletic Attic franchise from Bob Scales. Our two original stores were in the Brunswick Mall – the mall burned in September 1983 – and then we moved to Glynn Place Mall, when it opened in February 1985, and in Retreat Village, on St. Simons Island,” she said. “In 1991, we opened Gentlemen’s Outfitters in the Glynn Place Mall. In April 1995, we opened Gentlemen’s Outfitters and changed our athletic stores name to Athletic Outfitters in the Shops at Sea Island, and then in 1997, we opened Lady Outfitters at the Shops at Sea Island.” The stores offer customers a wide variety of merchandise. At the mall location, the focus has been more on the athletic to urban items for the whole family, as well as a large selection of University of Georgia merchandise. At the store at Shops at Sea


Island, on St. Simons Island, several men’s lines range from preppy East Coast to classic Southern-style clothing. This store also offers women’s shoes, handbags and accessories, as well as athletic shoes. “At both locations, we have tuxedo rentals available, as well as a huge selection of sunglasses and gifts for every occasion,” Jordan said. The years have been both fun and challenging for the brother-sister team. And through the times, their link to family and faith have kept them strong. “Our father, Frank Still Sr., who had been in management with Belk since he was 16, was our mentor, and our mom, Martha Still, has always been our greatest cheerleader,” Jordan said. “One of the best things about having a business in the Golden Isles has been the loyalty of the customers and the lifelong friendships that have come from them. Our faith in God has always had a strong impact on how we run our business, and we have been blessed with employees and customers who share our same faith, values and ideas.” – Lindsey Adkison

Elizabeth Jordan and Frank Still


olf community playing out new course of development

With 18 holes of golf, a clubhouse, two tennis courts, a swimming pool, boathouse, gym and a 400-acre lake, Frederica is a picturesque postcard of the Golden Isles. Since 2004, the club and golf course community on St. Simons Island has made both a social and economic impact on the area. The golf course has been the site of a Southeastern Conference championship and the club and community have attracted a number of PGA Tour pros, including Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd and Brandt Snedeker.

Frederica was created by the former Sea Island Co. and is now owned by Huizenga Holdings, a family company with past or present interests in other resort communities, consumer and industrial businesses and services, and professional sports franchises. Since acquiring Frederica in 2010, Huizenga Holdings has added a golf learning center – giving St. Simons Island a second state-of-the-art training center, along with the Sea Island Golf Learning Center – and has widely marketed property sales. Originally envisioned as a community of estate homes,

where land prices began at about $1 million, Frederica has maintained its definite upscale character while introducing some land and home prices of about $1 million. Many homes in Frederica are priced in a range of about $2 million, with some approaching $10 million. Under Huizenga Holdings, Frederica has resumed traveling a course interrupted by a national recession, with construction again adding to the regional payroll and new residents bringing expertise and involvement to the Golden Isles. – Sarah Lundgren

Frederica boathouse

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 73



orld’s vehicles and other products travel through harbor

Only people with vision had an inkling that the Port of Brunswick would become the world class port it is today. What a transformation it has undergone since the early 1980s, when two authorities – one local and one state – vied for business along the almost idle banks of East River. A merger that saw the Brunswick Port Authority meld into the Georgia Ports Authority was the spark that subsequently led to a new Sidney Lanier Bridge with greater vertical and horizontal clearance and a deeper channel. Both were necessary to facilitate the large vessels that call on the port. Facilities along the East River now include Marine Port Terminals, leased by Logistec USA and handling both

bulk and break-bulk materials at its 145 acres, and the newer Mayor’s Point Terminal, a repository for break-bulk materials like wood pulp, liner board, plywood and paper, close to Mary Ross Waterfront Park on Bay Street. The greatest expansion of the Port of Brunswick has been on Colonel’s Island, on the southside of the Brunswick River. Colonel’s Island and its three berths for vehicle transports – for passenger vehicles and heavy equipment – is the arrival or departure point for thousands of imports and exports. International Auto Processing was the port authority’s pioneer, becoming the first vehicle processing facility, in 1986. It showed what Colonel’s Island was capable of becoming and set the Port of Brunswick on a new course



rigins support new growth

A good labor supply, vast forest reserves, a proximity to the ocean and rail lines, all in a cooperative community were something essential to beginning the Brunswick Pulp and Paper Co. in 1938. Randal Morris, public affairs manager at Georgia-Pacific Cellulose, the successor company to the Brunswick legacy, says those factors have continued to play a crucial role in the company’s growth, from its beginning to its Georgia-Pacific Cellulose operation. What was started by the hands of George Mead, Mead Corp., and Thomas McCabe, Scott Paper Co., has now transformed into the largest single-site producer of fluff pulp in the world. Many other milestones have marked the plant’s history. “In August of 1988, Brunswick Pulp and Paper was purchased by Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific Corp., and represented GP’s first pulp and paper mill purchase in its own

state,” Morris said. From there, the mill was purchased by Koch Industries of Wichita, Kan., and became Koch Cellulose. Morris says that shortly after, Koch Industries purchased all of Georgia-Pacific and, with that acquisition, became the largest privately held company in the United States. “The Brunswick facility was integrated back into the wholly owned subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific and today as part of GP Cellulose, the Brunswick cellulose mill continues to excel in capital reinvestment, technological and environmental advances, and the production of world-class Golden Isles Fluff Pulp used by many of the world’s leading manufacturers of absorbent products,” Morris said. Georgia-Pacific is the largest manufacturing employer in Glynn County, Morris said, with more than 580 employees. – Sarah Lundgren

74 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

of history and success. Today, four other vehicle processors have joined International Auto Processing on Colonel’s Island – Amports; Atlantic Vehicle Processors; BMW of North America and Mercedes-Benz USA. Vehicle nameplates using Colonel’s Island are Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Freightliner, GM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Maserati, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, Nissan, Saab, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen. Heavy equipment is transferred from Caterpillar, Daewoo, IHI, JCB, John Deere, Komatsu, Tukeuchi and Volvo. This past calendar year, Colonel’s Island processed 612,489 vehicle and machinery units.


• Refinance at historically low rates • Up to 100% financing on purchase of home (to qualified buyers) programs offered USDA, FHA, Conventional and VA • Refinance to pay off debt • Construction loans • Consolidate 1st & 2nd mortgages


Robert Torras

mong national companies, firm cuts out its own niche

For 71 years, Kut Kwick Corp., a manufacturer of commercial mowers, has called Brunswick its home, as a leader in its industry, spreading its concepts across the country. Company president Robert Torras Sr. shares how Kut Kwick got started and what continues to make it stand out in its field.

Question: What did Kut Kwick Corp. first produce after its founding in 1941?

Answer: It started manufacturing a saw for harvesting pine trees. The saw was re-designed to make the first-known rotary mower. These mowers over the years evolved into large special purpose machines that mow steep slopes, clear forest land and stop forest fires. What are some of the reasons behind the corporation’s continued success from here in Brunswick?

The smaller manufacturers in this business have all either gone out of business or been bought out by big national companies, with the exception of Kut Kwick and a few others who have survived by completely changing their product. Kut Kwick designed, patented and now produces machines that are known as a ‘niche market’ product. The new machines are having very successful acceptance and sales nationally to governmental users. The company has plans to build a new facility in the near future to facilitate substantial growth. What are some of the unique commercial mowers offered by Kut Kwick?

These unique commercial mowers include the SuperSlopeMaster, BrushMaster, RoadMaster and the MegaSlopeMaster. – Sarah Lundgren

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 75



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Patrick Grozier


nvolvement runs deep

Pinova, the specialty rosins and polyterpene resins manufacturer, can trace its Brunswick roots back almost a century, to the Southern Naval Stores Construction Co. and Hercules Powder Co. “Beginning with our employees, many of whom were born and raised here – some for generations – to local small business owners, utility providers, city, county and state governments, all have played a key role in supporting our history and are vital to our future,” said Patrick Grozier, Pinova vice president. Pinova’s Brunswick plant creates numerous specialized products, services and raw materials for various industries worldwide. Grozier says many of these include resulting products that are used or seen by consumers every day – citrus sports drinks, adhesive bandages, warning signs at crosswalks, tapes and labels and asphalt roadways. While Pinova works on an interna-

tional scale, its location in Brunswick is dedicated to making a positive economic impact at home. Grozier says management meets regularly with a panel of community residents to share safety and environmental performance information and to discuss community expectations and concerns. With a commitment to sustainability and environmental care, the company is also able to provide skilled job opportunities while purchasing millions of dollars in local goods and services. Pinova has also created lasting relationships with many in the area to help the Golden Isles continue to grow, encouraging volunteer work to employees, among other things. “The site supports local schools through its partnership with the Communities in Schools programs and supports colleges through internships, scholarships and volunteer support,” Grozier said. —Sarah Lundgren


tore sees times change downtown

The large clock on the east side of Newcastle Street has for decades been a symbol of a company that makes being a part of the downtown community a priority. Ned Cash Jewelers has been a downtown Brunswick fixture since the 1940s, and its owners don’t see any of that changing. “We survived urban renewal and we’ll survive this,” said Ned Cash, co-owner of the company, referring to the business’s ability to hold its own throughout whatever the national economy throws at it. As the clock in front of the store turns through year after year, employees are seeing not only returning customers, but children of long-time customers shopping for engagement rings, wedding bands and jewelry. “We truly do have generations of customers,” said Peggy Parrish, co-owner. The owners like it that way. “I wouldn’t be anywhere else. This area is so magical,” Parrish said. “We’re not only downtown merchants, we’re a family of merchants.” She is a resident of Old Town, the neighborhood adjacent to downtown, and board member of the Downtown Development Authority, and says the business is invested in making downtown a bigger attraction. “Our whole image fits into a downtown,” Parrish said. “Customers like being able to park and walk in and see familiar faces.” – Nikki Wiley

Ned Cash, Peggy Parrish and Mitch Parrish

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 77



ocation helps cast global net

The Golden Isles is known for its diversity of delectable seafood. And among those that know that seafood best is King & Prince Seafood in Brunswick. Since 1949, the company has been providing area favorites to numerous food service customers, including restaurants and institutions. Mike Tigani, director of marketing for King & Prince Seafood, says the Brunswick location works together with other corporate plants to satisfy seafood lovers everywhere. “Being in the Golden Isles is a privilege, from having the nice weather in January or February to being able to hire locally to fill positions,” Tigani said. “We are owned by Nissui, the second largest seafood company in the world, which gives us the global resources to compete in today’s marketplace. Also, we have plants on both coasts – the other is in the state of Washington – to be able to better serve our customers.”

Utilizing the coastal collection of foods isn’t the only thing King & Prince Seafood does. With involvement in organizations such as the United Way, Relay for Life and others, the employees like to give back to the community in which they live and work. “In May, we helped to paint the Boys and Girls Club in Brunswick during the United Way Days of Caring, with volunteers taking time off work. We also host canned drives, blood drives and even collect coats,” Tigani said. The company also encourages its employees to live a healthy lifestyle while helping out the Golden Isles. “We also have supported many local running races as a healthy initiative led by Jane Lafferty, our director of human resources,” Tigani said. “The goal is to get as many employees either walking or running in the events to win the team award.” – Sarah Lundgren Mike Tigani



78 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013



usiness jets have finishing touches added at Isles airport

One name has become synonymous with aviation in Glynn County: Gulfstream. Gulfstream Aerospace is based in Savannah and has been in operation at the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport for decades. The company is a Federal Aviation Administration authorized repair station that does large-cabin maintenance and refurbishment projects.

Brunswick employees perform completion work on Gulfstream aircraft. “We’re the world leader in business aviation and we build actually five different aircraft models,” said Steve Cass, vice president of communications. Gulfstream’s contributions to Glynn County go beyond its well-known name. The company is a major employer and maintains a staff of skilled personnel.


Robert McMahan


“These are manufacturing-type jobs. A lot of the completion work is really skilled labor,” Cass said. “These are great jobs for the particular area.” The local facility has more than 85 technicians, fabricators and crafts workers who perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. ­­– Nikki Wiley

eople are key resource

From Brunswick, High Performance Tube ships its products all around the world. The 42 employees manufacture integral low-fin heat exchanger tubing, specializing in hard-to-form materials, such as titanium and stainless steel. The tubes are used in products ranging from home air-conditioning and refrigeration to massive power generation and offshore oil production platforms. Plant manager Robert McMahan says being in Brunswick is a key to its success. “Since we sell our product worldwide, being close to ports is a great benefit. We get a lot of our raw materials from a sister plant in Tennessee, but this is also a central location to the other corporate facilities,” McMahan said. High Performance Tube also benefits from another resource in the area: people. McMahan says the com-

pany works closely with Altamaha Technical College. “We recently did a project with the college’s machinery class where we used some of their parts and gave their students real world projects to work on, in exchange for some applications they worked on for us,” McMahan said. “We donated funds in the fall to the program, as well, because we’re interested in having qualified technical people as our employees.” McMahan says most of the employees have local roots, and at least 12 have worked 25 years or more at the company. But the company doesn’t just look to the area for resources. It likes to give back, too. “I’ve been working with the manufacturing committee at the College of Coastal Georgia, talking about the needs of the community, mechanicalwise and beyond,” McMahan said. – Sarah Lundgren

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 79



irm puts its label on area

Expanding from a small press shop in 1925 in Chicago to a nationwide distributor of high-impact labels, Fort Dearborn Co. has made a name for itself in its industry. The company eventually made its way to the Golden Isles in 2002, upon acquiring Coastal Sleeve Inc. in Brunswick. The plant, which had begun operations in 1998, was an ideal location for Fort Dearborn to produce a wide range of label products, general manager Allen Rigdon said. “Fort Dearborn Co. is a leading provider of high-impact decorative labels – cut and stack, pressure sensitive, roll-fed, shrink sleeve — for consumer products companies in the beverage, food, household products, nutraceuticals, paint and coatings, personal care, private label/retail and spirits markets,” Rigdon said. “Specifically, our rotogravure-printed shrink sleeves are produced in our

Brunswick plant.” To remain competitive, Rigdon says Fort Dearborn Co. has turned to area residents and local sites with great success. “We have benefitted by the available work force in the area that has allowed us to be competitive in the marketplace,” he said. “The local area attractions are a plus for Fort Dearborn’s customers when they visit our plant.” In turn, the company dedicates resources and volunteer efforts to local charities and higher education facilities. It’s a continuous cycle that benefits both the company and the community. “We support the Altamaha Technical (College) and participate in local charity work — American Cancer Society, food drives, Chamber of Commerce — and we also support local hotels and restaurants through our customer and associate visits for training and business reviews,” Rigdon said. – Sarah Lundgren


Ward Sweat, seated, and Dwight Sweat

80 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013


hanks grows success

Even as large chain stores continue their march throughout the nation, one family-owned furniture store in Brunswick is holding its own. Sweat’s Furniture, 3630 Community Road, has been in operation for 52 years, but the owners don’t take that success lightly. Brothers Ward Sweat and Dwight Sweat are thankful to the community, which has supported the business, and want people to know it. Each customer who shops at the store receives a hand-written thank-you note. “We are local people. We are a local family-owned business,” Ward Sweat said. He notes that the business wouldn’t be successful without loyal customers. “We’re the oldest furniture store in the area, for sure,” Ward Sweat said. The brothers have built relationships with their customers

and are seeing generations of families returning to purchase home furnishings. “There’s nowhere anybody can go and find that kind of relationship with an entire staff,” Ward Sweat said, adding that most of the staff has been at the store for at least 10 years. The company is more than what is on display in its showroom. Community involvement is just as important as making a sale, Ward Sweat said. In addition to being at the forefront of a shop-local campaign, he has been involved with the former junior Chamber of Commerce group, St. Simons Island Kiwanis Club and the Georgia Home Furnishing Association. Involvement is a sentiment shared by Dwight Sweat, who is engaged in local youth athletics. “You just become known for who you are,” Dwight Sweat said. – Nikki Wiley

Register Now for the 4th Annual COASTAL GEORGIA 4 mile Trail Run & 2 Mile Walk Saturday April 13th. See for details. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society

Softball game to benefit United Way of Coastal Georgia

We pride ourselves with our attention to quality, service, and a strong commitment to our community

SGHS Bridge Run

King and Prince Logistics Team

Our plant hard at work while having fun!

To learn more about King & PrinceŽ Seafood, visit our website, follow us on facebook, stop by our offices, or meet us at a local 5k or community event. We’ll see you there! 1 King and Prince Boulevard, Brunswick, GA 31520 (912) 265.5155

The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013 81



irm builds on its foundation

Lang Building Supply in Brunswick has been providing the materials for Glynn County houses since 1905. John Lang and brother Hubert Lang III are the company’s fourth-generation owners. John Lang says the 108-year-old business could never have survived without its own foundation of dedicated employees and loyal customers. “We have had a lot of loyal customers over the years,” John Lang said, something he attributes to one-on-one customer service. “When they pull up here, somebody is there to help them.” The Lang’s great-great-grandfather, Ward Lang, started the company when he and his partner, L.M. Orr, expanded their lumber company, Lang and Orr, and purchased the Georgia Sash and Blind Co. The purchase included a move from Mansfield Street in downtown Brunswick

to the company’s current location at 1500 Prince St. By 1911, the business was operating a planing mill and saw mill and was producing doors, windows, blinds and other building materials that furnished products to places like The Cloister hotel, Jekyll Island Club Hotel and the old Glynn County Courthouse. The company is still going strong on Prince Street, coming through a recession that saw home building plummet. Even though the company has fewer employees than it did four years ago, John Lang does not plan to let the business slide. Maintaining a spirit of quality customer and community service is paramount to ensuring the Langs can pass down the company to their own children. “Maybe one day there will be the fifth generation to run it,” John Lang said. – Michael Hall

John Lang



ealth is family matter Medicine is in Tommy Bryan’s

blood. The owner of St. Simons Drugs followed in his father’s footsteps as a pharmacist and owner of the store at 209 Longview Plaza, St. Simons Island. Now, his children are following suit, and completing pharmacy or dental degrees. The drug store dates to the 1920s, and was purchased by Bryan’s father, Thomas, in 1977. Tommy Bryan acquired the business in 1999. Family has always been a large part of the business and that translates in his everyday work. Now, he’s seeing families grow up from behind the counter. “A lot of my friends’ kids are coming back, now as adult members of the community,” Bryan

said. Bryan is proud of the community he grew up in and wants to see it grow. He’s on the board of South Coast Bank and Trust and the Brunswick County Club, and he’s been involved at Wesley United Methodist Church and with Ducks Unlimited. “I think it’s important to be a part of the community and give back,” Bryan said. “You want to give back to what you’re a part of.” Bryan may have been born into the business, but he wouldn’t change a thing. “You always hear people say, ‘if you could do it over what would you do differently?’” Bryan said. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Anybody can count pills, but I enjoy the relationships I’ve made.” – Nikki Wiley

82 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tommy Bryan

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84 The Brunswick News / Saturday, March 23, 2013

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Profiles 2013  
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