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June 11 - Ashworth Construction Group begins work in Lowcountry

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

June 11, 2019 - Craig Whitley and Edward Welch recently teamed up to form their own company, Ashworth Construction Group. The new business specializes in building custom homes and commercial projects in Bluffton, Hilton Head Island and the surrounding areas.

Whitley and Welch, who have almost 30 years combined experience in the local construction arena, created Ashworth Construction Group with the purpose of offering their clients personalized service and transparency. They believe in keeping their customers informed every step of the way, and providing them with the trust that their project is being handled with care and expertise. Whitley and Welch remain hands-on with every project, so clients can rest assured that all details of their investment are being given proper attention.

Ashworth Construction Group offers a Design-Build service that keeps clients connected to their project from the moment plans are drawn up until the final fixture has been polished. Using their years of experience as builders, Whitley and Welch hand-pick a team of professionals and vendors to complete every project to the full satisfaction of their clients. 

Visit ashworthconstructiongroup.com for more information.

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May 28 - SERG Restaurant Group Launches College Savings Plan for Student Workers

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

May 28, 2019 - The Southeast Entertainment Restaurant Group (SERG) is now helping all eligible employees pay for their college tuition. Their new college savings plan enables staff to earn up to $1 towards their higher education for every hour worked in SERG’s restaurants.

Steve Carb, SERG Group president, said the college savings program is a “win-win plan” for employees and the restaurants.

“Number one, there is a labor shortage. Number two, this allows us to find young, willing and able people who are interested in the same things we are,” Carb said, adding, “It’s a good plan to give these young people the tools they need for success in the future while being compensated along the way.”

This isn't the first time SERG has introduced a benefit to their team members who are in school. Last year, they initiated a tuition reimbursement program solely for the students of the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

“We have been looking into benefits that would provide value to our community of high school and college-aged employees and believe this program does just that,” said Jordan Norris, SERG’s human resources manager.

The college savings plan is available to all full-time high school or college students, including seasonal staff who only work during school breaks and summer. Interested employees must fill out an application with human resources. The restaurants will contribute 25 cents for every hour worked per year. Contributions increase 25 cents per year with a max of $1 per hour toward higher education tuition. Checks will be issued to the Bursars Office of the institution of enrollment.

“A lot of times SERG restaurants are the employee’s first jobs,” said Carb. “We give them good training. We wanted to give them help by creating a program that would reward them for staying with us.”

Alan Wolf, SERG director of operations and partner, said such a program will be especially beneficial for future students of The Culinary Institute of the South at Technical College of the Lowcountry, which will be located near the Frankie Bones restaurant coming soon to Bluffton’s Buckwalter corridor.

“The college savings plan is a program we are excited to pioneer here in the Lowcountry,” Wolf said. “We strive to have great team members in our restaurants and we feel this is an opportunity for our local workforce to start a career with SERG while saving for the education that will continue to help them grow as members of the local workforce.”

For more information on SERG’s college saving plan, visit http://serggroup.com/collegesavings/.

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April 23 - Flow Space Fitness Opens Studio in Old Town Bluffton

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 23, 2019 - A new type of fitness studio has opened its doors in Old Town Bluffton. Flow Space Fitness is a fitness studio and wellness company that offers a variety of fitness classes- including yoga, barre, high-intensity interval training and kettlebell.

Flow Space owners Zach and Erica Ellis seek to bring an exercise program to the community that focuses on intentional movement and  is grounded in the mind-body connection to help relieve stress and tension.

"The concept is meant to maintain variety and avoid plateaus or complacency." said Erica "Consistent healthy and intentional exercise gives you energy and can help elevate all areas of your life."

Flow Space’s studio will be located in the newly constructed Bluffton Chiropractic building at 162 Bluffton Road Suite 103. A grand opening is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. May 16. The event is free and open to the public. Light hors d'oeuvres, champagne, wine and beer will be served. Registration is strongly encouraged by May 14. Call 843-508-3009 or sign up at flowspacefitness.com/rsvp.

The fusion fitness studio’s variety of classes are designed for all fitness levels to benefit, with modifications made for each participant as needed in class. More than 30 group classes per month will be on the regular schedule, including:

  • Barre Fusion: A low-impact, barre-based workout that combines yoga, pilates and traditional cardio

  • HIIT: A high intensity interval training and strength training class using a variety of methods, such as kettlebells and suspension training, for a full body workout

  • Yoga Fusion: A restorative experience with an emphasis on stretching and a greater focus on releasing tension and noise in the mind

  • Kettlebell: Cardio, stretching and kettlebell sequences that encourage the body to grow stronger and burn calories long after the class is over

  • Yoga Flow: A vinyasa flow that strengthens, stretches and relaxes the body

“Our classes increase endurance, cardio and athleticism — which benefit the way your body moves throughout daily life. These classes are designed to leave you feeling stronger and better,” said Zach.

In addition to a regular schedule of classes, Flow Space will offer workshops, special wellness events and personal training packages. An introductory membership will be available for a limited time for $99 per month with no contractual obligation that grants members access to unlimited classes and 10% off events and workshops. The price for unlimited membership will be $149 after this introductory period.

Other Flow Space offerings include a Mommy and Me Yoga class at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with kids’ yoga classes for ages 4 to 11 (younger siblings welcome) at 4 p.m. on Mondays for $10 per class.

Erica and Zach live in Bluffton with their two daughters. They have personal passion for building a fitness and wellness community centered around the mind-body connection.

“We wanted to create fitness classes that focused as much on the benefits to the mind as the toning and strengthening of the body,” said Erica

Zach’s background in college athletics, coaching and personal training, and Erica’s study of barre, yoga and group exercise sparked the idea for Flow Space’s unique brand of fitness.

“I realized there is a need to increase durability while not injuring yourself, to build strength in the right way and not to put yourself at risk,” said Zach. “We’re training for life.”

For more information, visit Flow Space’s website at www.flowspacefitness.com.

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May 1 - Peacock Subaru Donates $4,875 to Greater Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

May 1, 2019 - Peacock Subaru has donated $4,875 to Greater Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine as part of the annual Subaru Share the Love event.

The funds were raised during November and December 2018. Each Subaru buyer could decide whether to donate a portion of the purchase price to a national charity or Peacock Subaru’s hometown nonprofit, the local chapter of Volunteers In Medicine.

Volunteers with the organization provide care to community members in Bluffton and Jasper County who are without medical insurance.

“It’s donations like these that give us the freedom to stop worrying about how we can do it and to start focusing on the people who need it,” said Dennis Toney, director of development for Bluffton Jasper County VIM. “We have outstanding nurses and physicians who donate their time and expertise, but it’s imperative that we have the financial assistance to make a difference, and Peacock Subaru just made that possible.”

The donation will go toward the daily operations of the organization, which is run by approximately 90 volunteers.

“We chose Bluffton Jasper County VIM as our designated hometown charity this year because of the impact they’re making in our local community,” said Ken Kirby, general manager of Peacock Subaru. “This annual event not only allows our dealership to give back, but it allows our customers to participate in the act of giving.”

For more information on Bluffton Jasper County VIM, please visit https://bjvim.org/about-us/overview/.

For more information on Peacock Subaru, please visit https://www.peacocksubaruhiltonhead.com/.

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April 19 - Arbor Day Foundation Names Jekyll Island a ‘Tree City USA’

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 19, 2019 - Jekyll Island has received the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation in honor of the Jekyll Island Authority’s commitment to effective urban forest management in 2018.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has first-hand,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and wellbeing, and energy use. Jekyll Island is stepping up to do its part.”

Cliff J. Gawron, J.I.A. director of landscaping and planning, and his team planted hundreds of seedlings in 2018. So far this year, they have planted 450 seedlings with assistance from the Rotary Club of Jekyll Island. The 250 longleaf pines and 200 live oak seedlings were donated by the Georgia Forestry Commission. In addition, they have planted 90 mature shade trees including oaks, crape myrtles, magnolias, and red cedars. Because time, storms, disease, and even hungry deer take their toll on Jekyll’s trees, continual reforestation initiatives are imperative to the island’s preservation.

“The Tree City USA designation is welcome recognition of our commitment to responsible stewardship of Jekyll Island,” said Jones Hooks, J.I.A. executive director. “We will continue these efforts, which are essential not just in preserving our tree canopy for residents and visitors to enjoy, but also to sustain habitats for wildlife.”

A tree planting ceremony in honor of Arbor Day will be held April 27 at 2:45 p.m., in association with the public grand opening of Mosaic, the reimagined Jekyll Island Museum. The grand opening celebration begins at 11 a.m. and will include historic characters, guided nature walks, a food truck, and craft activities for children. Mosaic is located at 100 Stable Road.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. The Tree City USA program, founded in 1976, provides the framework for communities to manage and expand their public trees.

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