NATIVE ISLANDER HONORS TIES TO THE PAST BY MAINTAINING TINY CEMETERY

Finding time to tend to Braddock’s Point Cemetery is a no-brainer for Richard “Skeet” Williams. The grandmother who raised him, Ella Williams, lies there, as do other relatives.

“It is all about family,” he said during a tour of the tiny cemetery. “Everybody here is family. Somebody has got to keep things going because we are family.”

“Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.” – John F. Kennedy 

LENA SELLS
The Real Estate Specialist

Lena Sells may be the chief operating officer of The PIP Group, a real estate investment firm, but a while back she moved out of her top-floor office and into an open desk near the firm’s entrance. From there, she can easily spot the sign that is a reminder of her mantra: “Work like a captain and play like a pirate.” 

Misael GarzonMISAEL GARZÓN
The Soccer Coach

Looking back, Misael Garzón should have been excited about immigrating to the United States during one of the most economically prosperous times in recent history, but he was 6. 

He was excited about going to Disney World.

“And you know, for the record,” the 31-year-old soccer coach said, “I’ve been here for 25 years, and I’ve yet to go to Disney. So that hasn’t panned out.”

Martin McFie

MARTIN MCFIE
The Arts Enthusiast

Talking with part-time Hilton Head Island resident Martin McFie can feel like a treasure hunt. You’ll be chatting companionably and, then boom, without warning, you find yourself in the midst of a riveting story from the London-born expatriate’s life.

For example, a recent semi-technical and mundane discussion of immigration practices in the European Union became a brief account of McFie’s 8,000-mile solo sojourn into the deepest reaches of the vast Sahara, his only method of transportation a 1950s-era London taxi cab.

Swati DebRoySWATI DEBROY
The Math Professor

“When people from India think of the United States, they picture New York and L.A., but when I describe the Lowcountry I like to say it’s more like ‘The Notebook,’ with the Spanish moss and everything,” said Swati DebRoy with a laugh. A native of Kolkata, India, her new home is a world apart.

Andrew SummersANDREW SUMMERS
The Golf Entrepreneur

For Andrew Summers, life is about the long game. During a Thanksgiving round of golf with students from International Junior Golf Academy, he described his swing as “lousy. And yet I probably scored better than all of them. A lot comes down to course strategy,” a fitting metaphor for a well-lived life.

Mayra RiveraMAYRA RIVERA-VÁZQUEZ
The Political Activist

When Mayra Rivera-Vázquez’s husband started looking for jobs in the U.S. as a federal employee, she had one requirement: the new assignment had to be near the East Coast, so she could look at the ocean and know that it connected her with her home in Puerto Rico.

“I needed that,” she said. “To know we’re joined by the same water.”

Munjid YousifMUNJID YOUSIF
The Chef

Tracking Munjid Yousif’s background is a bit like sampling the menu at his restaurant, Olive & Fig Mediterranean Kitchen, where he crafts his dishes around the flavors of Lebanese and Greek cuisine. But just like his Lebanese heritage, there’s more to both the chef and the menu than meets the eye.

CHAMBER PARTNERS WITH SCHOOLS TO GRANT TEACHER WISHES

The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce’s business education partnership committee helps enhance the quality of education in the Lowcountry by creating and supporting partnerships between local businesses and schools. Project Connect is a community-wide program that connects community businesses and individuals with teachers and their wish lists for classroom supplies. Since the program’s inception, over $35,000 has been used to purchase needed school supplies. If you would like to donate an item from a teacher’s wish list, contact 843-785-3673.