2018 CITY GUIDE BEAUFORT COUNTY: Community Service

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MICHAEL COVERTMICHAEL COVERT ENJOYS GIVING BACK TO THE LOWCOUNTRY

Since moving to Bluffton in 1996, Michael Covert has dedicated himself to the community. The owner of Covert Aire, he represents Bluffton on Beaufort County Council — a position he became interested in after serving as a capital improvement sales tax commissioner.

“I got to see the inner workings of the county,” he said. “A lot of stuff kind of turned me the wrong way. I didn’t like what I was seeing. I didn’t like what I was hearing.”

Covert’s children were adults and his businesses were running well, so he said he decided to run for office. In the year leading up to the election, he attended every committee meeting he could so he could hit the ground running after the elections.

“I knew I was going to win,” he said. “I wasn’t doing this to come in second. But I knew I didn’t want there to be this huge learning curve.”

And now, after two years on County Council, he’s planning ahead for his next political move.

He has a team in place gathering support and fundraising — and while he hasn’t announced his plans, he said he’s still focusing on Beaufort County.

SERVICE IS THE RENT WE PAY FOR THE AIR WE BREATHE.

– MICHAEL COVERT

“This is where the work gets done. I have something to offer the citizens of the state of South Carolina — something they haven’t had in a long time,” Covert said. “We’ll let that out of the bag when January rolls around.”

Covert said his success in the business world has encouraged him to get so involved in the community.

“Service is the rent we pay for the air we breathe,” Covert said. “I really believe in that. So, whether it’s sponsoring the high school football on TV or the United Way or the American Heart Association, that’s how we can give back to do the right thing. It’s very rewarding not just for me. I see it in my employees.”

Recently, Covert announced his company would be sponsoring the high school football Bowl Series on WHHI-TV again.

“They had their program sponsors but it was kind of fledgling, so I spoke to the owners and said I wanted to do it,” he said. The role evolved and Covert, who has a sports broadcasting history with NASCAR, jumped in with both feet.

“I’ve had a blast with it,” he said. “Now people in the area know high school football and Covert Aire go together like peanut butter and jelly,”

His company also has created Operation Warm Up & Cool Down, which assists nominated families or individuals with repairs or replacement of an air-conditioning system free of charge.

“One particular family had a kid with cancer,” he said. “It was brutal. Her life was miserable. We put an air conditioner in and the child was able to control her temperature better. There’s no price tag you can put on that.”

Colvert is a past president of the Bluffton Rotary Club, a former board member of the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the HVAC Advisory Committee for Technical College of the Lowcountry. He’s supported Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Backpack Buddies, The Children’s Center of Hilton Head Island, HELP of Beaufort, Bluffton Self Help, and Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic.

Covert is originally from Virginia. He and his wife, Theresa, live in Hampton Hall. He has four daughters, and loves being “Pop-Pop” to his grandchildren — that’s one reason he sponsored the construction of a new playground in Oscar Frazier Park in Bluffton. He said funding the playground was an easy decision.

“I’m not going to be around forever,” he said. “Having the Covert Aire logo on the imagination train — it’s something generations beyond me will be able to enjoy, and that’s satisfying.”