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Russell Fredericks Makes Dramatic Career Transition

Russell Fredericks, a brand new Bluffton resident, has made a subtle, but dramatic career transition.

Two months ago the 49-year old New Jersey native was tending to historic fountain sculptures, dealing with cranky TV film crews, and making sure tons of debris were swept up daily. There was also the occasional dead body fished by his team from the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in the heart of New York City's world-renowned Central Park.

Many families have made the Lowcountry their home over the years, but few family trees are as deeply rooted in area history as the Kirk family, who originally owned Bluffton’s Rose Hill Plantation in the 1800s. Today, Eleanore Leavitt De Sole — a descendant of Dr. James Kirk, who died in 1858 — relishes her connection to the area and to the past.

Each month this column profiles Lowcountry citizens who offer fresh insights and a deeper sense of connection to our community.


Jamie Berndt, 52, is the mother of four children: Ian, Ali, Marisa and Keira, ranging in ages from 27 to 17. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where her father coached football. Her husband, Eric Wojcikiewicz, is a retired trader, entrepreneur and philanthropist who co-founded an initiative to build a rural school in Haiti and provide college scholarships for underprivileged kids in Chicago. Before they moved to Hilton Head Island six years ago, they lived in suburban Chicago for 20 years.  

Dolphin trainer, vet tech and diver  moved from Pennsylvania to Hilton Head, wiggled into her 30-pound silicone tail and became a full time mermaid after the surprising success of her book, “Sammy the Sand Dollar” in 2016.  

“I wanted to teach kids how to identify dead or alive sand dollars and encourage them not to take the live ones home,” Leipold said. “And I wanted to write children’s books that educate kids about conserving marine life. I’ve always felt an affinity for the ocean.”

Pictured left to right; Chief of Security Willie Rice, Golf Course Superintendent Ashley Davis, Community Service Director Harold Sauls, Fire Marshal Joheida Fister, Assistant Chief of Security Johnny Young, General Manager Leon Crimmins, and Battalion Chief Jeffery Hartberger

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” - Khalil Gibran

San Luis Potosí, named after Louis IX of France, also known as the "City of Gardens,” was founded in 1592. Silver and gold mines were the main reason people flocked to the area. Located halfway between the U.S. border and Mexico City with an elevation of 6,070 feet, the city's historic center was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010, due in part to its colonial architecture. The city's metro area has a population of well over 1 million. Victor Garcia was born and raised in San Luis Potosi.


Nate Jones will now oversee ZipLine Hilton Head, Aerial Adventure Hilton Head, Broad Creek Marina & Up the Creek Pub & Grill. He has been with the Organization for almost a decade, having graduated from the College of Charleston with dual major in both hospitality and tourism management and business administration.

Don Colcolough pioneered some of the key forensics and countermeasures used by investigators to identify Internet criminals. As AOL’s former Director of Investigations and Cybersecurity, he still consults with the FBI and intelligence agencies such as the NSA, CIA, and DARPA, which develops emerging technologies for the military. Some of his work required Top Secret security clearance, and he has testified in more than 300 criminal trials involving presidential threats, kidnappings and homicide, child pornography, securities fraud, and domestic and international terrorism.

Following genealogical bread crumbs leading us into the mysteries of the past can be a fascinating way to look into the lives of others. A genealogical paper trail that reveals the past can provide an important context for present realities; it allows you to know people differently.

Ask Frank Babel, one of Hilton Head Island’s most prominent cycling advocates, and he’ll tell you. The history of our island was written at 14 miles an hour. Cycling is as much a part of our DNA as golf, tennis and the feel of sand between your toes. It’s just that this part of our culture historically hasn’t received as much attention.

Maureen KorzikMaureen Korzik’s first job on Hilton Head Island was feeding people’s bodies as executive director of Second Helpings. Now, her job is to feed people’s minds.

Since January, she’s taken on the role of executive director of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head. She replaced director Joan Apple Lemoine who retired after seven years. Korzik joined the council in November, receiving on-the-job training from Lemoine.