Family: Two sons, Trey and Will Barnes, daughter-in-love, Emily Barnes; mother, Frances Mitchell; and dog, Champ, the golden doodle.

Occupation: Associate broker with Signature Properties Group Inc.

School: Troy State University

Years in the Golden Isles: 28 years

What is a selling point for buying a home in the Golden Isles? Location and condition! You might not have an ocean, marsh, or golf-front home to enjoy the beautiful scenery, but we do have the ability to create an oasis with a fun view of whatever kind of lot we have. It is easy to create that with landscaping and privacy, whether it’s a pool with palms and exterior lighting, fire pit area, or a nice porch with a pretty garden! Don’t forget because we have so much time, we enjoy living outdoors in the Golden Isles, our outdoor space can be a really favorable extension and a selling point for buying a home here! Our home is not just the inside the interior walls!

Who or what inspired you to become a Realtor? When my sons were young, I had a real desire to do home decor type projects and was lucky enough to be published in a few special interest magazine publications. I love making a house into a home for my family and friends to feel comfortable hanging out. So I became intrigued about how I could help others find their special place to call home. I’ve loved getting to know both buyers and sellers and helping them with their real estate needs! Phoebe Hoaster and Dee Wright, both awesome and hugely successful Realtors here, were mentors and instrumental in guiding me in my early years in this business. Both gave me wonderful advice and guided me along the way! I’m so grateful for them both!

What is your favorite landmark in the Golden Isles? Christ Church, hands down. It’s serene beauty, historical presence and sound of the whispering wind creates almost a timeless historical feel the people who gathered there to worship way back years ago. The quaint, but rich, heritage of our forefathers and all of the rich Christian heritage that goes with it. What a great pleasure and opportunity to call St. Simons Island home.

Tell us about a “silver lining” moment from the past few months: Seeing my youngest son, Will, and his beautiful and sweet bride, Emily, get married just before all the pandemic got kicked up. It was an amazing and beautiful wedding and with all the many people who helped us get there! My loving and devoted friends and neighbors helped me get things together, including masks and hand sanitizer and all the wedding stuff in a crazy but wonderful time in their lives!

A local you admire: Head football coach Brandon Derrick at Frederica Academy (more to follow at www.coastalillustrated.com).

A local you admire: Coach Brandon Derrick, head football coach at Frederica Academy. I got to know him and his family when they first moved here from Tennessee in 2008, back when he was the offensive coordinator at Glynn Academy. Within a few days, he had the attention of my oldest son Trey. He would come home in the evenings after football practice talking about this Coach Derrick and what the coach was doing and saying and how he (Trey) needed to be more responsible through his actions, all the while I was thinking, “I don’t know who this coach is, but I like him already because he is having a positive and profound impact on my son,” so I set out to get to know his family.

As a parent it doesn’t get any better than that, having a wonderful coach with a positive impact on our children. I have known him as a football coach to both my sons, both Trey and Will played football for him at GA and Trey is presently an FA Assistant football coach and coached with Coach Derrick for the last seven years. He is a good man and a well-rounded person. First of all, the way I see it, it takes a whole lot of winning personality to capture the attention and desire of young men who WANT to work hard and develop themselves to play football. All the workouts and dedication to being a good athlete and person, I mean what young boy WANTS to do that? Wouldn’t it be easier to sit at home or travel in the summer or goof off, play golf or go to the beach rather than be committed to grinding it out on the football field every day?? But Coach Derrick has this dynamic personality of persuasion and brings them in. As we all know sports mimic life and he teaches them about life while they are playing football through personal responsibility, responsibility to their school, team and family, commitment, good work ethic, development of good character, determination, honesty with themselves and others, positive attitude, being coachable, respect for themselves and others, focus, direction, compassion for others, humility, being accountable, being a good husband and father to his own two daughters, a proven successful leader and winner and most importantly living it out. Simply put, he’s a hard worker and is a great example to others, I’ve seen it first-hand. Watch and see for yourself! After all, there will be few NFL players we will see play on Sundays from the Golden Isles, but all students will be American citizens in our community one of these days, and they need to see and learn what being a responsible person looks like, what a good mother and father looks like, good employee, entrepreneur, business person or whatever vocation, and mimic that. I see he has made a huge impact on many people! He is not only a teacher (not just PE.... but, college prep classes) and coach but has his own successful construction business as well that keeps him very busy!!

Describe a perfect Saturday for you in the Golden Isles: Going to Sweet Mama’s to pick up a few pork pops, getting drinks and heading to the beach for the day with family and friends, topped off by heading home for an ice-cold watermelon and washing off the sand and sunscreen. Then I would end the day with dinner at one of our fabulous local restaurants!

What advice would you give to someone looking to buy a home in the Golden Isles? Find a knowledgeable Realtor who will help you find your home that fits your needs and lifestyle here! Enjoy your life to the fullest, we only get one!

What is one thing every visitor must do before leaving the Golden Isles? For every visitor to grasp the essence of Golden Isles they must see, smell and experience the live moss-draped oaks with the beautiful resurrection ferns growing on them after a summer rain …