The grand opening of Hilton Head Island's Whole Foods Market takes place on Wednesday, July 30. Bread-breaking will be at 8:45 a.m. with mayor Drew Laughlin. 


His hair is grayer than it used to be. He’s raised a family despite being married to a building and a profession. The megastores are spawning all around him.

Yet, as Dave Martin begins his 33rd year as the outfront man for a five-decade Hilton Head Island institution, he has never been more excited to come to work in the morning.

“You can only stack soup cans for so long without it getting monotonous,” Martin said while sitting atop a stack of boxes in the stock room of the Coligny Plaza Piggly Wiggly. “At the end of the day, the thing that still gets me charged up each day is the people and the idea that after all these years, we’re still giving the islanders something different each day.”

I recently read the results of a survey conducted by Jae Wang and Veronica Bravo for USA Today that showed that 42 percnet of the respondents thought it was more difficult to get a mortgage today than it was just one year ago.

Just 18 percent thought it was easier, while 18 percent thought it the same and 22 percent weren’t sure.

To be perfectly frank I’m concerned about their sampling methods when they have 22 percent not sure, but I’ll leave that to another month’s column.

Here we are in July 2014, at the height of tourist season on Hilton Head Island, and I thought that this might be an appropriate time to take a look back on the economic calendar.  

It is a well-known fact that if one doesn’t learn the lessons of history, one is doomed to repeat those lessons. The economic events of the last decade have had a profound impact on our community, not only in the pure destruction of wealth, but in how we view ourselves and how others view us.



When a knee gets skinned from the friendly fire of an errant skateboard, we fathers are the frontline medics who slap on a Band-Aid and send the little soldier back into battle. When hostilities break out over disputed territories in the sandbox, or when civil unrest threatens the serenity of bedtime, it is we who intervene in the name of peace.

And it’s not just the he-man stuff. Dads are taking a stronger stance in their children’s upbringing these days. A generation ago, no man changed a diaper. Now, you are rightfully shamed if you’re not down there in the trenches, co-parenting and dealing with a baby’s many messy habits. So why are diaper bags still designed as if the wife will be the only one carrying them?

Landscaping-projectn the likely event that you embarked on your personal Hilton Head Islander adventure as tourist, and if that journey began around or prior to the early 1980s, you surely recall that U.S. 278 – “The Gateway to Hilton Head Island” – beared little resemblance to the bustling corridor we see today.

Itwas a bit of an adventure in and of itself, navigating your way to 278 from I-95 because Exit 8 had yet to exist. Relying on crude paper maps (remember those?) and a few scattered directional signs that you might miss if you blinked, you finally turned eastward filled with anticipation and visions of golf courses, beaches - a veritable sub-tropical paradise - swimming around in your head.

group 46 hilton headGroup 46, A new Bluffton-based marketing group looks to use its national and local experience,  innovation and unique talents to offer businesses an all-inclusive stop for all their marketing and advertising needs.

A group of local professionals have joined forces to create Group 46, located at 1323 May River Road, at the corner of the four-way stop in Old Town Bluffton.

Group 46 is a team of creative professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience in all facets of communication and marketing including website design, content development and the creation of innovative and unique advertising and branding campaigns for print, TV, radio and digital.

Greg Critchley helps LOCAL TALENT broaden their reach

musicmay1405With a local music scene that is growing ever more professional, it’s no surprise a producer with a national presence would consider setting up shop on Hilton Head. As local acts step up their game by working hand-in-hand with bar owners, enhancing their live shows with better sound and lighting, and promoting themselves more than ever, they are finding a lucrative career right here. In the past, hungry to make it big or to get their music heard, they often found it necessary to travel to places such as New York City, Nashville or Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Greg Critchley, a producer, songwriter and musician working in New York and Los Angeles, noted the evolution during his frequent visits to Hilton Head over the past 15 years. With the music business changing and becoming increasingly Internet based, Critchley found himself in a career that no longer required him to be in L.A. or New York. He decided two years ago to move here for a three-month trial period to see what the island and its music had to offer.

He liked what he heard and decided to set up shop here permanently, opening The Sound Recording Studio and Music Production at 119 Arrow Road.


musicmay1404Self-proclaimed local living legend Jevon Daly, one of the few instructors working out of John’s Music, has been teaching for more than 20 years. He is well known for his chameleon-like talent on a number of instruments, as well as playing in a diverse set of bands ranging from the bluegrass roots of Low Country Boil, a local delicacy, to the outrageous ‘80s hair-band of Silicone Sister.

Daly wears many faces and wears them proudly, teaching his pupils to keep an open mind to all types of music.

Some of his former students are also well known in the scene, stellar rockers such as Luke Mitchell and Kevin Early of Rowdy Cloud, Tyler Dejean of Wrong Way Up, and the young and uber talented Hannah Wicklund of the Steppin’ Stones.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend my 25th annual Mid-Winter Housing Finance Conference. The “Mid-Winter” is an invitationonly gathering of senior federal policy makers, regulators and housing finance industry leaders that has been in existence for more than 40 years.

As I think back on my 25 years of participation, I cannot help but reflect on the changes that have occurred since my first meeting. It all started with savings and loan banks controlling the dialogue, then to the larger mortgage banks, then to the government-sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), then to the subprime lenders and Wall Street types.

This year’s meeting could not have come at a better time as it coincided with the announcement of the Johnson-Crapo GSE reform bill. This bill provides a pathway for the eventual wind down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and suggests a mechanism to continue the federal role in residential mortgage finance.