Family: Wife, Jennifer; and children, Madden, John Porter, Stiles, Harlow
Occupation: Fommy (Full-time dad and laundry gladiator)
School: Georgia College, B.S., Business Administration
Years in the Golden Isles: 33 blissful years
Describe your perfect Saturday: The perfect Saturday is in Athens cheering on the Dawgs!!!! But here on the island, the perfect Saturday starts with a morning devotion, brewing my wife coffee, cooking link sausage for Stiles, playing tennis with Madden, John Porter, and Hart Smodic (our dearest family member), returning home to a pool party, with kids listening to music and having a water balloon fight under blue skies and a gentle Atlantic breeze. I would also need an incoming high tide at 4 p.m.with 2 — 3 foot waves for body surfing with the kids (giving Mrs. Robinson quiet time from hearing “Mom” every 10 seconds!) The day wouldn’t be complete without a Brogen’s South Mushroom-Swiss Burger with all the fixin’s and their fried shrimp (local secret, they’re scrumptious!), then movie night with the “little’s” (Stiles and Harlow) watching “Zootopia” (again!!). The BEST part would be the last tuck-in of our children, saying our prayers and seeing them drift off into peaceful sleep (and knowing I gave them my best effort to make their day perfect).
A local you admire: I’m going to give you two out of my list of 500!
1. Scott Steilen: I had the pleasure to serve under his leadership at Sea Island during the time of transition and after he accepted the position of president. He is the epitome of a servant leader and a “palms-up” life-value driven man. His passion to lead others to success is contagious! We are blessed to have him as a “local” in our community now!
2. Jef Hildebrand: I call him the Pizza Guru. We served together in the hospitality industry many years ago, and I always knew his dream was to open his own restaurant one day. Today, he unlocks the door of Hildy’s Pizza, HIS restaurant, and pours his heart and soul into making the BEST pizza pies!! He never lost his vision of his ultimate goal and he followed his dream!! I’m super proud of him!
Give us your elevator pitch for someone looking to move to the Golden Isles: Take a wander through Gascoigne Bluff and the grounds of Epworth by the Sea. Be mesmerized by the Spanish moss that reaches for the ground from Live Oak trees that root into time. Notice the resurrection ferns that burst into life from the water oak trees. Watch the serene movement of the Frederica River as it fingers through the marsh grass-lined waterway to the Atlantic Ocean. Be part of the history of Golden Isles and grow your family with us!
What is your favorite landmark? Neptune Park is the synergy of the island since it attracts kids, parents, grandparents, locals, and tourist to play, bike, cookout, workout (F3) and hangout. It’s a beautiful blend of God’s people next to the ocean!
What is your favorite part about being a “local?” My favorite part of being a local is knowing where to go when the crowds hit the island!! (Oh, and being recognized by other locals and let out in the Frederica traffic).
Tell us about a “silver lining” moment from the past few months: We’re a tight family and home is our sanctuary, so we didn’t mind staying home. The silver lining reveal for me has been that we fill our children’s days with stuff (dance, sport practices, social activities, etc.) when all they really want to do is be with YOU!!
Do you have a life motto or daily inspiration? Every day starts with memorized Bible scripture, Matthew 6:33. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto to you.” Then I spend time reading the InTouch Ministries’ morning devotion. PassitOn.com daily inspires me with life-living values. My current inspire from PassitOn is “Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize” — Elizabeth Harrison 1807-1955. That’s powerful!
What is your favorite time of year in the Golden Isles? I truly appreciate all the seasons of coastal Georgia living, but if you were to hold me down and tickle me, I’d say October. Ocean temps are cool and refreshing after the hot days of summer. It’s a great time to enjoy beach days building drip castles. And of course, an added bonus is hurricane season could produce some nice waves. Not to mention football season is in full swing and the Dawgs are playing on Saturday!
What is one thing every visitor must do before leaving the Golden Isles? Every visitor needs to experience the Village and Neptune Park. It’s iconic to the culture of the island and St. Simons. It was the original gathering place and it still rings true today!