Ten years ago, you could have counted on one hand the number of women in construction or “nontraditional” jobs — occupations in which women make up 25 percent or less of the total workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Today, however, that’s changing — which is not only great for women, but great for businesses throughout the Lowcountry and beyond.

DEMONSTRATES FLEXIBILITY OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND'S REVISED LMO

Blues, food, drinks and laughter now fill a former warehouse in a blighted section of Hilton Head Island widely known for its deteriorating vacant buildings.

Ruby Lee’s South, a restaurant locally owned by former Hilton Head Island High School football coach Tim Singleton, is now firmly ensconced in the former warehouse at 19 Dunnagans Alley, thanks to a major renovation of the structure that likely would have been impossible several years ago.

Dianne KostoSINGLE MOTHER ENSURES FAMILY AND BUSINESS GO HAND IN HAND

Dianne Kosto is a successful entrepreneur, overseeing six locations of BrainCore U.S.A. in three states. But the reason she entered the neurofeedback industry was to help her with her ultimate goal, which had nothing to do with business yet is still her biggest accomplishment:  Raising her two boys. 

ONE LOCAL COMPANY LOOKS TO BRING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MARIJUANA TO THE ISLAND — WITHOUT THE HIGH.

Tim McDougall doesn’t look like someone you’d buy marijuana from. With his Captain America good looks, close-cropped blond hair, thick-rimmed glasses and crisply starched white shirt, he appears more likely to sell you a high-end yacht than an eighth of pot.

But then the edibles come out — neon green lollipops and kaleidoscope gummies infused with Nerds candy. Then the crystals and the wax, powders and apricot-scented clumps designed to be smoked through a vaporizer.

COUPLE WITH LOCAL TIES GIVE GRAVELY ILL CHILDREN ANOTHER REASON TO SMILE

When Holly and Peter Ranney decided to combine her background in interior design with his talents in construction to give back to their community, it only took one project for them to realize they’d found a calling.

The military-style bedroom makeover they completed for 11-year-old cancer patient Mathew Majka in 2012 was done with their own money, time and talents. The Ranneys also contacted Robins Air Force Base in Georgia on behalf of the preteen who dreamed of joining the Air Force; they gave him a specially sized uniform and flew him to the base for lunch while the makeover was being done.

Hilton Head woman invents a bra with pockets

Sherry Goff’s interest in running her own business was sparked in the mid-1980s when she earned her master’s degree in business administration and entrepreneurial studies from the Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.

“I got very interested in entrepreneurism, but life got in the way; I wanted to start my own business, but I had kids instead,” says the proud mother of three.

HOW A LOCAL CUSTOM SHOP SET A WORLD RECORD AT BARRETT-JACKSON IN SCOTTSDALE.

When Lot No. 1103 rolled up in front of the auction stand at Barrett-Jackson Auction Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, no one knew history was about to be made and a world record would soon fall.

Socks Appeal: THE UNLIKELY STORY OF HOW A TRANQUIL SEA ISLAND FOSTERED HIGH-OCTANE ACTION SPORTS BRAND FUEL CLOTHING CO.

We’ve all seen the Fuel logo, plastered on bumpers and rear windows of mud-caked trucks and salt-battered Jeeps winding their way around Lowcountry roads from one adventure to the next. We’ve seen Fuel-branded hats, shirts and socks — so many socks — on the heads, backs and feet of the Lowcountry’s many eternally young fun junkies.

ENTREPRENEUR BILL WINANS BUILT HIS EMPIRE ONE OUTRAGEOUS PARTY AT A TIME.

We’ve all been there.

You want to throw an absolutely epic party for a few hundred of your closest friends that will include, but not be limited to: a live pirate ship, a complete sports bar fabricated onsite, go-kart races, Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics and Hollywood-quality set pieces. And possibly a live-action samurai stunt show.

Photo: David Nelems, executive director of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation

Since its launch in May 2012, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation has been a leader in transforming our regional economic development

“Empowering innovators and accelerating innovation is our mission,” says David Nelems, the center’s executive director. “Creating primary jobs and a diverse economy is the true measure of success.” Indeed, every regional plan for the past decade has focused on primary jobs, diversity, knowledge and technology business formation.