When most people retire, they choose to relax, take it easy and chill.

Not Mary Waterfall. In fact, the Hilton Head Island resident found a completely new career using her artistic skills.

She and her husband, Gene, both originally from Wisconsin, had a condo on the island since 2001. When Waterfall retired as an executive secretary after 18 years on the job, she started to focus on her arts and crafts skills.

 John Morris Russell2HILTON HEAD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA FLOURISHES AS OTHERS FADE. 

With every passing season, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra improves musically and financially, something that is not true with many orchestras.

In fact, over the past 20 years, more than a dozen U.S. symphony orchestras have declared bankruptcy, with five major orchestras seeking court protection during the 2008 economic recession.

Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival Director Jeff Gerber.

If you’re looking for a reason why this year’s Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival is going to be even better than last year’s event, Jeff Gerber can give you a few. To be precise, he can give you 335 reasons.

“I got about 335 more days to prepare than I did last year,” he said with a laugh. The sizable difference in prep time is due largely to the fact that Gerber wasn’t named festival director until 30 days before last year’s event.

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.”

Walt

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.