MEET JOHN TOLLY, THE MAN BEHIND SUNNY DAZE CUSTOM SURFBOARDS

Like many small business owners, John Tolly started Sunny Daze Surfboards with a mix of knack, necessity and passion.

“Buying surfboards can be very expensive, so I forced myself to make my own equipment,” Tolly says. He made his first board in 1997, and opened Sunny Daze Surfboards in 2000. “It began as a hobby and a passion, and it is still my passion today.”

HARGRAY COMMUNICATIONS RECENTLY CELEBRATED THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ITS LOWCOUNTRY BROADBAND PLAN AT AN EVENT AT ITS HEADQUARTERS ON HILTON HEAD ISLAND.

Government and community leaders from Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort were among those in attendance to acknowledge the growth of Hargray’s fiber-fueled network over the past year.

Kathy Chiarella was thrilled when her son Michael graduated college last year, but the excitement began to wane when January rolled around and he was still struggling to find a job.

Fearing he had lost confidence and needed some help, she called CompleteCandidate, a career service for recent college grads co-owned by Bluffton resident Nancy Thomas.

Melissa Christian’s biscuit business started from a somewhat selfish place: She wanted better treats for her dogs.

“We were shopping at Christmastime for our dogs’ Christmas stockings, and every package we looked at had more chemical-sounding ingredients than actual food ingredients,” she says. “We were pretty shocked. I kept saying, ‘This is gourmet?’”

Robotic science

Robotics kids: Back row (left to right); Breonia Wallace, Da-Zarriah Bush, Brandon Brantley, Janiah Orr, Brianna Smith, Alannah Bryant, Ayana

Grant, Middle row; Jayden Nunez, Kenneth Johnson, Hazella Jeffcoat, Axel Zepeda. Front row; Angel Gant, Nichelle Patrick, Jaela Gant.

Jackie O’Bannon can’t help but overflow with joy when she thinks about her 14 “babies.”

LATINA ENTREPRENEUR MAKES HER DREAM COME TRUE WITH HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION

There are some things Maria Velez de Berliner can’t tell you about her life — classified information she’s been privy to as part of her role with the U.S. Department of Defense and Homeland Security, and through her teaching on strategic and tactical intelligence with the U.S. Air Force’s Special Operations division.

FOR BEVERLY O’CONNOR-MARTIN, BUSINESS HAS NEVER BEEN BUSINESS AS USUAL

When she was just a young woman attending boarding school outside of Paris, Beverly O’Connor’s headmaster imparted to her father what turned out to be a pretty on-the-nose prediction.

Owners of A Floral Affair have adjusted to Lowcountry pace

A Floral Affair is a bride’s one-stop shop when it comes to making her wedding flower fantasies bloom true, mostly thanks to shop owner Dawn Kiritsy. She and her husband, Stephen, opened the shop in 1997 on Dillon Road a year after relocating to the Lowcountry from New Hampshire. They were sick of the North’s snow and were ready for warmer weather, so their favorite vacation spot — Hilton Head Island — soon became their home, and their new place of business.

Everything falling into place for Hilton Head Island businesswoman Donna D’Amico

Having a son with cystic fibrosis means Donna D’Amico understands the importance of health insurance and adequate preventive care.

Thanks to a career shift she attributes to “divine intervention,” the savvy Hilton Head businesswoman now gets to help healthcare providers make sure their patients have access to those things as well.