Arthur Blank

Arthur Blank’s love for Hilton Head Island runs deep. In 1974, he and his family were living in Savannah, where he was running a chain of successful drug stores that were originally a pharmaceutical company founded by his parents, Max and Molly Blank. When Arthur Blank and his family moved from Savannah to Los Angeles, he met Bernard Marcus, who was running a chain of home improvement stores, and the two men co-founded The Home Depot in 1978. But Blank still felt the call of the salt water.

They come from different places and backgrounds, and they work in different corners of the Community. What do these 15 Locals have in common?


When your friends, colleagues and even your professional adversaries describe you as respected, balanced, insightful, trustworthy, discerning and exceptionally professional, you must be doing something right.

Allen Kupfer2Allen Kupfer is one of the lucky ones.

The Sun City resident and Holocaust survivor has experienced more loss, pain and cruelty in his 92 years than most, yet the experiences have left him with an open heart and an abiding faith in humanity.

Marion Conlin

Hilton Head Islander Marion Conlin has worn many hats. She’s a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and the author of a cookbook. She’s the former program director of World Affairs Council of Hilton Head. And, even at nearly 90 years old, she’s not slowing down.

Sheila Morgan

“I grew up in the most gorgeous place on earth,” Sheila Morgan says. “Water comes pouring out of the mountains and it’s just the cleanest, prettiest water. Well, of course I don’t know if it’s the cleanest, but I know it’s the prettiest.”


Karen Dembiec was looking for something new.

Her husband, Walt, is one of nearly one million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease, which affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Dembiec, a retired AT&T executive originally from New Jersey, has lived with Parkinson’s for the past 15 years, but things were getting tougher as the disease progressed.

Mike Schlotman

Mike Schlotman is chief financial officer and executive vice president of the Kroger Co. He envisioned and helped engineer the Kroger superstore and revitalization of Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island.

Alex Brown

Alex Brown is a sixth-generation native islander, Camp Hilton Head business executive, mentor at Central Oak Grove Church and the chairman of the Town Planning Commission. If Brown wrote a book, he would call it “Sense of Place.”

Debby Grahl

Due to a retinal degeneration disorder, Debby Grahl has spent her life gradually losing her sight. Luckily she has enough vision, imagination and resilience to not let the growing darkness stop her from pursuing her dreams.