March 2014

CH2's Best Boss in the Lowcountry Contest!

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Best Boss: Jeff Prekop
Business: Groomingdale’s Pet Grooming
Nominator: Teresa Sirico
Jeff is always smiling and laughing. He makes me laugh even when I don’t want to. He is always understanding and caring. He loves what he does and is very talented. I look up to him as a co-worker and friend. He’s always there for his staff and always gives 100 percent, except when he’s hungry. We have to throw him food sometimes. Jeff is the best!

Best Boss: Franny Gerthoffer
Business: The Hilton Head Humane Association
Nominator: Maggie Mueller
I think my boss Franny Gerthoffer deserves the title of the “Best Boss of the Lowcountry” for many reasons. Her title is director of the Hilton Head Humane Association. She has an open-door policy in which she listens to her employees and always respects their input on the daily operations at the shelter. You will find her at her desk from early morning to late at night, going the extra step for an owner who is distraught over a lost dog. Behind the scenes she has given countless hours to the annual fundraiser that greatly benefits the non-kill shelter. Going to work daily at the shelter is a fun place filled with happiness. My boss Franny Gerthoffer makes it that way. She truly is a compassionate and loving boss.

Best Boss: Cynthia Beiler
Business: Adams Outdoor Services
Nominator: Ashley Hart
Cynthia is the best boss in the Lowcountry, because she has brought our small market billboard company into an almost $5 million company within the past three years. She started with about five employees and now has a staff of 17. Not only is she great in business, but she makes our office and team feel like family by treating her employees with respect and recognizing everyone’s hard work. Now don’t get me wrong; she is tough when she needs to be. She has to be to hold the position she is in. She sticks up for our entire office to corporate and continues to help us succeed and grow. She is a hardworking, successful businesswoman who is compassionate enough to drive people to the next level. Her motivation, determination and compassion make us who we are.

Best Boss: Jennifer Beckley
Business: Hilton Head Island Senior Center
Nominator: Lydia Anne Chojnacki
Jennifer Beckley, director of the Hilton Head Island Senior Center, is the best boss I have ever known. As the part-time receptionist and her administrative assistant, I have come to respect her for her loyalty to our clientele, her ability to handle challenging situations with grace and poise and her dedication to her job as well as to those who work for her. I remember last September during a phone call in which she was telling about the duties of the job and what I could expect. Her last words before we hung up were, “Lydia, we are going to have fun.” And she was right. Not a day goes by that we are not laughing at ourselves or something that is going on around us. She is beautiful on the outside and on the inside. She cares about everyone she comes into contact with, and it shows in every conversation with each individual. She’s smart, loving and has a head for business. All the seniors drop into her office just to say “Hi,” if they don’t see her attending to various duties throughout the Senior Center. Theses duties include serving food during the socials, providing information for countless questions or heading out on trip in the van with 12 fellow travelers. Like Joseph and his Technicolor Coat, Jennifer wears many different hats during the course of her day as the director, and she easily takes charge of the various roles required of her.

Best Boss: Michelle Ervin
Business: Wells Fargo – Bluffton Branch
Nominator: Shaquera Alls
As store manager of Bluffton’s Wells Fargo Bank, Michelle Ervin’s guidance, vision, and exemplary leadership keep the busy Arley Way branch afloat. Michelle is a Lowcountry gal, born and bred, and serves her community well! She knows the names and faces of the bank’s ever-growing clientele and goes out of her way to treat each customer with respect and fairness. No matter how fat (or thin) their wallet may be, Michelle treats each person who walks into the doors at Wells Fargo like “a million bucks!” On a personal note, being a new bank teller can be extremely stressful. So, when the company hired me back in October, I was beyond nervous. However, in the last three months, Michelle’s patience, encouragement, and model behavior has given me a new lease on my professional life and confidence in my abilities both as a bank teller and as a person.

Best Boss: Jeff Prekop
Business: Groomingdale’s Pet Grooming
Nominator: Brigitte Eigenmann
My place of work, Groomingdale’s Pet Grooming is the best job. What makes this job awesome is not only our dog clients, whose personalities are endless entertainment, but the staff (myself included). We make the silliest team, Jeff being our captain. As the owner, Jeff plays all bases, his main one being the most experienced groomer. Although, he is quick to throw on an apron and help back of house, he mainly spends his time upfront assisting clients and cutting hair and being professional. However he’s always back and forth between front of house/back of house. My favorite line of his is “and scene” after he comes through the door to do some ridiculous skit (Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy impressions lately). This is no job. It’s a place we go every morning to play with some crazy pups and entertain each other since dogs don’t speak English. He makes our jobs fun, light, and entertaining. Jeff is a cool boss.

Best Boss: Dr. Mark Dusek
Business: Broderick & Dusek Orthodontics
Nominators: Pauline and Staff
My boss is the best for many reasons! He is genuine and sincere. If there is a way to improve working conditions, staff morale, and overall value of each employee, he’s interested in helping. A while back, we thought we were having an office meeting to discuss how we can improve individually as employees. Little did we know a trolley awaited outside to take us all (27 employees) on a relaxing historic tour of downtown Savannah! Who would have imagined? That’s only one example! Many of us have experienced personal setbacks and losses in our lives. It reveals just what type of boss he is when he goes above and beyond office hours to encourage and support his team. He constantly helps by teaching us new material as he is informed. A plus is that he believes in us—that we can do all things! What a wonderful, awesome boss we have!

Best Boss: David Sulak
Business: Regus
Nominator: Terri Strouse
I not only have a wonderful boss, but have the opportunity to be employed by a wonderful company, Regus. Since my employment began in November, my boss, David Sulak, has been amazing with his patience in training and support. We truly have been able to work as a team! Coming to work each day is a pleasure, and I look forward to the continuance of enjoying not only my job, but my overall work environment. Our business center is growing and I am proud to be a part of David’s team!

Best Boss: Dave Miller
Business: Superior Heating & Air
Nominator: Anita Cheap
I have worked for Dave for six years now. Before I came to work for Dave, I worked at several places and had lots of bosses. He has been the fairest boss across the board that I have ever had. He appreciates his employees, listens to them and has a heart. To my notion, these are the things that make a great boss.

Best Boss: Mark T. Goulas, MD
Business: Low Country Eye Associates
Nominators: Jenni Chapman and Kim Catlett
Can you say your boss is someone whom you respect or even like? Do you work for someone you believe in, and who believes in you? I do. My boss Mark Goulas, MD is an ophthalmologist. He left a large successful practice because he was pressured to cut his time with patients and do more surgeries. He came to Bluffton because he wanted to grow as his community grew. He does not advertise. He told us that if he does good work, then he won’t need to. He always tells people who are nervous about their surgery that he is going to treat them like his grandmother. Sometimes a patient will hug him on the way out and thank him for helping them to see again and for how they were treated, and he will turn to us and say, “See? That’s why we do this.”

Best Boss: Dave Miller
Business: Superior Heating & Air
Nominator: Michael Guzman
I have worked with Dave for over seven years, and in that time he has always been there to help me and the other employees. I was first hired as an outside salesman, but due to the economy and my abilities, I was not performing at the caliber I knew his company deserved. I expressed my concern and expected to be fired. But he saw potential in me and decided to take the time and money to groom me into what I am today—project manager and estimator.

Best Boss: Robert Howard
Business: Law Offices of Robert W. Howard, P.C.
Nominator: Rebekah B. Shoup
Robert Howard is the best boss ever. As his legal assistant, I never expected to find such a challenging, exciting, and enjoyable position. Every day, I am eager to work because of this outstanding individual. With over 30 years of legal experience, Rob’s expertise is inviting, instead of intimidating. Quality is our standard, yet I always have the utmost support in a relaxing environment. In the sometimes stressful world of law, Rob’s even temperament is often tested, but never shaken. He is consistently calm and respectful to all. Rob never dictates, but leads by example. No task is below him, as he can often be found cleaning or making coffee with a smile. Rob regularly encourages me to further myself professionally, and imbues in me the belief that I can and will do great things. I am blessed to have such a wise mentor and constant compass in my life.

Best Boss: Eric Thompson
Business: CQ’s Restaurant
Nominator: Jayme Greco
A good boss is a person who knows how to keep his employees happy with their work. He keeps them in sync with one another in order to get their best performance as well as getting the job done to the best of their abilities. My boss Eric Thompson is a matter-of-fact, skillful, intellectual expert in the food, beverage and hospitality field. He possesses a great personality and a good sense of humor, too. I have found that cooperation among workers is imperative for everything to run smoothly, especially in the restaurant business. Eric makes sure we are all team players, and this keeps our customers returning to dine. He never second guesses his staff and gives credit where credit is due. He’s absolutely the best boss.

Best Bosses: Board of Directors
Business: Hilton Head Humane Association
Nominator: Franny Gerthoffer
My boss is the best: Monster Boss. But it’s not what you may think! Describing my boss makes for a horror movie. My boss has 13 heads, 26 arms and legs and the mouths are always moving. Our business is open every day of the week, and I am the emergency contact 24/7. One would think I should run and hide, but in this case, descriptions can be deceiving. I actually have the best boss around. My boss provides the support, the means, the encouragement and the commitment to help those that cannot help themselves; to help those that have been abandon and abused; to help those that are hungry and tired; to help those that are sick and dying. My boss is the board of directors of the Hilton Head Humane Association, and we work together, with other organizations, 24/7 to save the cats and dogs of the Lowcountry.

Best Bosses: Beth Henzler and Bob Hawkins
Business: The Vacation Company
Nominator: Tiffany Woollacott
I work for two of the most amazing people on the island at The Vacation Company. I’ve worked for Bob and Beth since 2002, and you would be hard pressed to find more generous and just overall great people to work for on this island. They certainly deserve to be the Best Boss(es) on the island!

Best Boss: Dr. Joseph Haven
Business: Main Street Health Center
Nominator: Anna Cole
Not many bosses would take a chance on a 20 year old, but two years ago, Dr. Haven gave me the opportunity to start my career. The timing was perfect. I was learning how to do basic secretarial duties when the office manager was preparing to leave. Dr. Haven saw every question I asked as an opportunity to teach, and I was eager to learn. After I mastered a specific duty, Dr. Haven would call a meeting and give me another responsibility, teaching every detail. We spent many lunches in the office (which he treated me to) going through files, and brainstorming ideas to make the office more efficient. I have learned so much; through Dr. Haven’s efforts, he now has me handling marketing, office finances, business relationships and so much more! Thank you, Dr. Haven.

Best Boss: Scott Adams
Business: Old South Golf Links
Nominator: Bonnie Ridgely
There is no contest. Our boss Scott Adams is the best boss in the Lowcountry! Since before opening day in November 1991, Scott has been the keystone to making Old South Golf Links the success it is today. Our success is validated by winning the Readers’ Choice Award for best public golf course for the past five of six years and the longevity and stability of core staff at Old South. This success is due in large part to Scott’s ability to manage his staff in a manner that has gained him loyalty, friendship and 45 employees who are willing to go above and beyond to exceed his expectations. Scott, in turn, exceeds our expectations of a boss with his leadership, fairness and friendship. Scott’s loyalty and passion for Old South are second to none and have made him the great boss he is to all our employees.

Best Boss: Eris Esquival
Business: La Isla Magazine
Nominator: John Prater
I have the best boss in the Lowcountry. I’m also lucky to call him one of my best friends. Eric Esquivel is a super guy who does much for the local community, and especially the Hispanic community. I feel privileged to work for and with him, see what he does, who he helps, how he connects people and constantly charges forward to do the right thing while having fun. He is full of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to new projects or just simply moving to the next month with La Isla Magazine. One of his great attributes is how he consistently asks me for input and is really open-minded regarding ideas that I and the other staff put forward. I have an incredible amount of creative freedom, and Eric makes sure I have the proper tools to do the job. “Work hard, have fun, and keep an open mind” is his work philosophy and these ideals are why he is the best boss in the Lowcountry!

Best Boss: Ed Fishel
Business: ?
Nominator: J.R. Swoap
Rather than a boss, my leader is a friend who makes my job fun and interesting. It is always we and ours, especially regarding objectives, which he helps us obtain. I look forward to work; it is a rewarding experience. Perhaps, above all, he listens.

Best Boss: Dr. Kathleen Corley
Business: Red Cedar Elementary
Nominator: Jennifer Williamson
I would like to nominate my boss Dr. Kathleen Corley, principal of Red Cedar Elementary School for the best boss in the Lowcountry! Dr. Corley is a dynamic leader, a kindhearted soul, tough as nails to get things done and a lot of fun to be around. She brings out the best in her employees and her students, she makes anyone she is around just want to do a better job and be a better person by just being a presence in their life. She can be seen at any given time walking the hallways playing one of her musical instruments or playing piano in the cafeteria while the students eat lunch. She cares about her employees and their family members. She is supportive in hard times and celebrates accomplishments and happy times. She fully engages herself in the happiness of everyone she works with. She is very generous.

Best Boss: Joni Banks
Business: J Banks Design Studio
Nominator: Anna Ruby
Joni touches the lives of her staff, community, and family on a daily basis. She is a true mentor. She provides support and continual opportunities for her employees that allow them to soar. Joni puts her employees in positions where they can use their personal gifts. This results in a thriving and motivating workplace full of energy, creativity, and encouragement. Joni is a business owner, wife and mother. She juggles all of her responsibilities with grace, and still makes time to speak at women’s, church and industry groups. She is also heavily involved in local and international non-profit organizations. Joni’s focus is on teaching, providing feedback and sharing candid personal experiences—both triumphs and mistakes—to foster growth. Joni furthers our company and employees instead of furthering herself. She gives credit where credit is due. One example is within her furniture line, The J Banks Collection. Each of her designs is named for an employee. Joni’s caring nature, mesmerizing mind and beautiful heart are inspiring. If you are to know Joni, you will take something away from her that will change your life.

Best Boss: Jerome Moe
Business: ?
Nominator: Asiasi Floyd
In June 2013, I was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure and lupus. I was in the hospital for a week, back and forth to multiple doctors, and now on dialysis. My boss told me not to worry—I’m covered. I had no insurance at the time, but he made sure I never missed a paycheck and never deducted money even when I missed days. He allows me to alter my schedule and makes sure everyone works around my schedule. The best is that he offered to give me a kidney. Each Sunday we pray that I get a kidney. He said that my Sunday shift is very important so that we can do this! He brought purple lipstick and kissed the kidney card and put it in his bible. He always makes me say I’m number one and I will live. It is a blessing that I’m able to keep my job. Most places would have replaced me, especially after I had to cut hours because of dialysis. He deserves the best boss because he is the reason I’m alive today.

Best Bosses: Randy Smith & Bill True
Business: Lancaster Real Estate Sales
Nominator: Christina Galbreath-Gonzalez
I work for a company that has two owners, so in my case I have two bosses and am lucky to have them both. While ultimately they are businessmen, they understand that happy employees equal happy customers. I have been with them eight years now, and they have helped me with flat tires, dead car batteries, doctor recommendations, insurance questions, remodeling advice, and even gave me tissues when I was crying. (Two men who don’t have daughters handling a crying woman definitely deserve some recognition!) I could send them a thank you note every day for a year and still be indebted for gratitude. They are respectful, funny, kind and smart and the world would be a better place if everyone had bosses like mine!

Nominator: Jason Mullis
Business: Crane’s Tavern
Best Boss: Sean Cavanaugh
My boss is the best boss ever because he is the kindest, most honest, and hard working person I know. Sean is the head chef at Crane’s Tavern, and I am the sous chef, and if you have ever worked in F&B, you know most chefs are sometimes mean and very controlling. Sean is not like this. He has taken time to teach me things and has become one of my best friends. He has helped me through hard personal times and hard work times. He recently let me purchase his 2008 Honda Accord, and instead of taking out a loan, he is allowing me to pay him payments. He did this for my fiancé and me out of the kindness of his heart. I also have seen him donate money for numerous occasions. Sean is also the best chef on the island. He is an all-around great person and the best boss I have ever had!

Best Boss: Sahra Al-Rashed
Business: Sea Pines Resort
Nominator: Cindy Tuttle
My boss is the best boss, because he exhibits the core values of honesty, integrity and sincerity and leads by example. My boss exhibits true passion for helping our resort guests and fellow teammates. My boss shows accountability by honoring obligations and exceeding both resort guest and staff member expectations. My boss actively demonstrates care for our resort guests and staff and has earned a great deal of respect from them all. Through teamwork, my boss is always learning and improving as she trains and nurtures her staff to be the best of the best in the hospitality industry. To be the best boss is a true gift that Sahra-Al-Rashed, reservations manager of The Sea Pines Resort has been given. She shares this gift from her heart and daily blesses everyone she encounters. Thank you Sahra for all you do!

Best Boss: Frank Mausolf
Business: CareCore National
Nominator: Lucinda Lanava
Mr. Frank Mausolf, VP claims, is deserving of the best boss award. I speak for the eight managers who report directly to Frank. He is knowledgeable, professional, courteous, sensitive to family issues and supportive of his management team. His door is always open. Frank’s military experience lends itself to a “Let’s get it done correctly and on time” management style. Yet, he always provides direction, latitude and encouragement to complete complex projects. Frank is a boss who helps to smooth the road ahead and is always there when we need guidance and is appreciative of our hard work. Frank also sets a great example for all, by giving back to the community. He serves on the board of directors at the Boys and Girls Club and coaches little league baseball and youth football. Frank Mausolf is a pleasure to work for and is by any standard, in our view, the best boss in the Lowcountry.

Best Boss: Dr. Frederick G. Weniger
Business: Weniger Plastic Surgery
Nominator: Jessica M. Deckert
Family man, community leader, educator, philanthropist, and business entrepreneur. These are just a few of the adjectives which describe Frederick G. Weniger, the next CH2’s Best Boss in the Lowcountry! This Notre Dame graduate has brought his drive and talents to South Carolina, and in that short time has steadily grown his plastic surgery practice into the #1 premier surgery center in the area. Dr. Weniger is a man who has a vision for his community, and who strives each day to fulfill these goals, starting with his family. His family does not only include those who live in his home, but also his work family. Dr. Weniger is the boss who coaches his daughter’s basketball team, while wearing work scrubs, keeping his cell phone on for any member of the community, and getting home in time to kiss his beautiful wife, Jennifer, goodnight! In other words, Dr. Weniger has it going on!

Best Boss: Gregg Fulton
Business: Right At Home
Nominator: Nancy Rosen
Gregg Fulton is the best boss because he understands that family values are important. I made a wise decision last year and left a comfortable role as a sales rep in the assisted living industry to become a human resource manager with Right at Home. I knew Gregg Fulton and his team from networking functions, and I had always admired him and the decisions that he made to make his company successful. So when an opportunity arose to work with him, I jumped at the chance. Little did I know what a blessing that opportunity would be. Ten months into the role, I had identified that my children needed more attention with their focus and schoolwork. When I approached Gregg to brainstorm how we could make it work, he encouraged the idea of flex time, coming in earlier in the morning and leaving earlier so that I could get my children off the bus and immediately get them focused on their school work and other priorities. Without Gregg’s flexibility, I would have had to leave a job that I loved. His willingness to compromise allowed me to continue to be successful at my role of human resource manager and mom!

Best Boss: Piper Vanloh
Business: ?
Nominator: Amber Vanloh
My boss is the best, especially now that she is out of diapers. She has taught me so much over the past seven years: joy, acceptance, patience, flexibility, selflessness, curiosity and how to truly love. I could not have asked for a better boss.

Best Boss: John Rago
Business: ?
Nominator: Kelly ?
My boss is the best, because he is. He is not only our boss but a friend and mentor. He is one of a kind.

Best Boss: Kent Eddy
Business: Charter One Commercial & Management
Nominator: Kate Myers
Although there are too many examples of why Kent is the best boss, the most important is that he is compassionate. He’s beyond professional in all of our business dealings & ventures, but compassion is what makes him a standout! Whether with us as employees or our customers, he genuinely cares. Of course the fact that he forgives my being late at times helps as well. He always, always makes us laugh, and he puts us all in high priority. You can’t find employers like that anymore!

Best Boss: Tom Fitzgerald
Business: Hilton Head Automotive
Nominator: Martha Hartley
Tom is the best boss because he cares about his employees and customers. He realizes that happy and content employees create happy customers. He goes out of his way to speak to all of his employees and to make sure that they are doing well. He interacts with as many customers as he can and doesn’t flaunt that he’s the owner of the dealership. I believe that he would help me out of any problem that could arise, which is why I’ve worked for him for close to 23 years.

Best Boss: Rich Neste
Business: Foundation Realty
Nominator: Judd Tracy
My boss is the best because he puts the company and its employees in the forefront of all his decisions. He’s the first person in the office and the last to leave every day. Rich has a creative and business savvy mind. He utilizes his technology background to keep the company ahead of the curve. He’s increased market share and volume for the company every year since inception in a bad real estate market. I couldn’t think of a more pleasant or dedicated boss to work for.

Best Boss: Case Spencer
Business: Marriot Vacation Club
Nominator: Linda Chancio
My boss is the best because he is a fantastic human being, which equates into the best of everything and especially a boss. Kind, smart, emphatic, realistic, insightful… and the list goes on. Always putting others first, he is genuine and calm. I know that every positive adjective in the book would describe him. I am always bragging about him and everyone on our team knows he is the best boss. I could give many, many examples that demonstrate his wonderful personality, but isn’t this enough reason for him to be named the Best Boss in the Lowcountry? It is a joy to work with him each day.

Best Boss: Ashley Feaster
Organization: Hilton Head Home Builders Association
Nominator: Meg James
First and foremost, I look forward to coming to work every day. My boss makes me feel like we’re Pinky and the Brain—like we’re going to take over the world, in an insane-genius context! We’re a two-woman show, operating a non-profit association. She puts 110 percent into this association then goes home and is a wife and mother to two young children, an amazing friend to many, the go-to teacher’s assistant and even local political campaign manager. She never complains about being overwhelmed or about lack of sleep. Her energy is indescribable, and I can attest to the fact that she doesn’t take short cuts, even if it means staying up all night. She empowers me to have a “can-do-anything” attitude, and she inspires me to overcome the “it can’t be done” attitudes of the world. She’s set me up for success; she’s treated me as her partner, not her employee, and she’s the best boss in the world!

Best Boss: Joheida Fister
Organization: Hilton Head Island Fire and Rescue
Nominator: Cinda Seamon
My boss is absolutely the best boss! In a man’s world, she is completely capable of holding her own. Where expectations are high and pressures are great, she deals with numerous situations every day including keeping the public safe through fire inspections, plan reviews and a multitude of policies and procedures. She always makes time to proofread my articles, consults with me on projects and even spends time brainstorming with me when it comes to seeking out creative approaches to public education. She lets me run with my ideas and supports me when I want to try something new. Joheida is a natural leader; she has the ability to lead people to where they need to go, but gives us the freedom to decide how to get there. Most important, she genuinely cares about her team and the people in the organization.

Best Boss: Ashley Hammitt
Business: Parenthood
Nominator: Jennifer Hammitt
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a boss is someone who is in a position of control or authority; one who directs or supervises workers. In that case, I certainly am the boss of my household. However, I feel as if I have a boss other than myself living under the same roof. Her name is Ashley. She is my daughter. Does she boss me around? Sometimes! But she is the joy of my life. She, without knowing, is the rudder of my ship. She is the one who keeps my behavior and actions in check. I clean the house for her. I clean laundry for her. I cook for her. I take her to the doctor. I play with her. I read to her. I pray with her. I strive for excellence for Ashley. I am thankful she is the light that guides me through the wonderful but sometimes crazy job of parenthood.

Best Boss: Chip Collins
Business: Collins Group Realty
Nominator: Kimberly King
There’s an old saying, “There’s no I in Team,” and Chip Collins is the ultimate embodiment of that. Over the past 12 years as Collins Group Realty has experienced great success and received numerous awards as a result, Chip has always made it a point to acknowledge the hard work of every single person who has contributed to the group’s achievements. He’s created a truly rare environment that fosters cooperation, healthy competition, creativity and dedication. His leadership and enthusiasm is truly inspiring, and he is always quick to express his appreciation for a job well done. He makes each member of the group feel valued and respected. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I am one of the few people who can count their boss among their friends. Chip likes to say that Collins Group Realty is a family, and that is absolutely true. I am so proud and grateful to work for Chip and Collins Group Realty. Chip Collins may not be the perfect boss but he is very, very close.

Best Boss: Chip Collins
Business: Collins Group Realty
Nominator: Karen Lesch

I work for Collins Group Realty as the administrative manager, which is to say office manager. I was hired by Chip in April of 2012. It took a very short time for me to realize what a special work environment Collins Group Realty is. Let me back up a second and say that I have known Chip socially for many years as our children were in Montessori together, but I had no idea what a fabulous boss he would be. His attitude toward his company, clients and staff is extremely focused with a commitment to customer service that is truly exceptional. This is reflected in the many times the company has been voted as “favorite” in the community and as the 2011 Chamber Small Business of the Year. From an insider’s perspective, these awards are richly deserved. There are many clichés out there about the real estate industry and those who work in it. Chip is the antithesis of this stereotype. He is honest, trustworthy and extremely fair. He expects his employees to perform in that way as well—to the best of our ability and to work as hard as he does. He never fails to recognize this hard work and is the very first one to say “thank you” for the smallest things we do. It’s so nice to have your efforts recognized consistently at work. It’s easy to take your staff for granted, but Chip never does. He has created a true team environment at this company that is inspiring, motivating and an awesome place to work. I’m so thankful to work for Chip and hope I’ve expressed that in a way that makes you consider him for Best Boss in the Lowcountry, because he is!

Best Boss: Jeffrey Moss
Organization: Beaufort County School System
Nominator: Amanda O’Nan
Jeffrey Moss makes decisions that are best for all students regardless of politics, money or demographics. He stands strong behind his beliefs and does not waiver. He allows me to make mistakes and supports me when I fall without grudges. This may sound like a simple reason and something all leaders should possess, but it is not that easy in the world of education. South Carolina education has been lacking, and Beaufort County has needed a strong leader for the students. He is someone I look up to, and I appreciate working for him.

Best Boss: Michelle Casey
Business: Chez Michelle Salon
Nominator: Catherine Wolfe
My boss is the best because she truly cares about me as a person and not just an employee. Whenever I have something going on, she always understands. She always has my back, stands up for me and inspires me to always be better than I was the day before. She has become my mentor, my inspiration and also a best friend. We have become more like family than employer and employee. She always listens to my ideas and loves to hear my input on how to run her business. We collaborate on every idea possible and continue to better each other. At our little salon, we are a team. Our clients feel our love for each other, and they become our friends too. I feel so loved and welcomed when I come into our salon every day, that some evenings, after working 10 hours, I still don’t want to leave. For the first time in my life, I am excited to go to work, never wanting to miss a day! I can say that I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful boss who cares about my family, my struggles, my success and me. I know that she will support every decision I make and be at my side. I am so excited for the journey that we are headed on together.

Best Bosses: Sarina Bentley/John Bentley
Business: Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina
Nominator: Adam G. Meister
Bosses come in all shapes and sizes but rarely do two come together, complimenting each other, but mine do. Hilton Head is known for its famous beaches, great golf courses, unique shops and restaurants and its active boating, fishing and water sports. My bosses, John and Sarina Bentley, own and operate the Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina. I work as one of their Harbor Masters and control the boats and yachts using and visiting our marina. They extended their trust to me from day one and treat every employee working for them as if they are part of their family.
They instill in you the spirit of service and empower you to make business decisions yourself, based upon any particular situation, while still holding you to standards of excellence they have established. You know you have great bosses when you actually look forward to going to work each day.

Best Boss: Dr. Timothy Gross
Business: Dr. Timothy Gross’ Dental Excellence
Nominator: Colleen Cully
Dr. Gross is the best boss because he always makes time. He does so many things outside our office (teaching, coaching, continuing education, sitting on boards, etc.), it’s amazing he has time to work. He genuinely cares about all of his employees and patients. He has taken the time to encourage me to continue my education in the dental field and has been nothing but supportive in that decision. He is a fair, honest, and an extremely intelligent person, and this is just the tip of the iceberg in describing why Dr. Timothy Gross is the Best Boss in the Lowcountry!

Best Boss: William M. Bowen
Nominator: Maxine Perry
My employer of 15 years defies the standard definition of a boss. He has an open-door policy, enables personal growth, encourages original thinking, ideas, problem solving and creates an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. He never fails to begin the morning with a smile and an upbeat greeting, praise and reward good work, forgive and minimize mistakes made, have my back, share the wealth, assist with problems in any area of my life in ways beyond generous and description. He leads by example, and every client, regardless of status or wealth, is given equal courtesy and attention. He makes me a better employee and person! For all of the above and more than 150 words permit, I, indisputably, have the best boss!

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