January 10, 2018


BLUFFTON, S.C. – For the 3rd consecutive year, Covert Aire™ is excited to announce the results of their 8 week winter charitable efforts that included Operation Warm Up, a Toys 4 Tots toy drive and a canned food drive for those in need in our community. 

Through their Operation Warm Up campaign, Covert Aire™ teamed up with other companies to help people without heat in our community. The Bluffton-based heating and air company, Covert Aire™, donated over $10,000 to replace, repair and install heating/air systems in several Lowcountry homes. 

This year there were over 25 applications submitted to Mike Covert, President of Covert Aire. Locals submitted stories about their family members, neighbors, friends and co-workers who needed help with their heat this winter and Covert himself read each application as part of the decision process. 

The company successfully installed a brand new Bryant heat pump system at no charge for a special family with a sick daughter who since birth has defeated life altering and life ending diseases. They were also able to help a single mother caring for three children keep her family warm this winter by installing a 3 zone ductless heating system for her house that previously had no heating system at all. In addition, Covert Aire™was able to perform some minor repairs and cleanings for several other families.

“Our employees look forward to Operation Warm Up each year,” says Covert. “Being able to help those in the community who would otherwise face a cold winter is so rewarding for myself and my team.”

Covert Aire™ was pleased to team up with Mingledorff's,Inc. an HVAC distributor, the Lowcountry Radio Group ( SC 103.1/Surf104.9/Easy FM), and Bryant Home Comfort to help these special families stay warm this winter.

Additionally, Covert Aire™ successfully collected over 100 toys for children for Bluffton Self Help.  They also collected over 200 canned goods for the Beaufort Help food bank.

About Covert Aire™
Covert Aire™ is an award winning family run business based in Bluffton, SC celebrating their 10th anniversary. They serve a broad geographic area throughout Beaufort County, the SC Lowcountry and the midlands, sea islands and sand hills of Georgia. Covert Aire provides heating, ventilation and air conditioning products and services for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, healthcare, and retail. Our staff is Nationally Certified by organizations such as NATE, EPA, NIULPE, ACCA, ASHRAE and other certifying organizations. Their mission statement is focused on helping people HVAC needs and corporately as a company that “gives back” to the community they live in. Covert Cares.


Lisa Carroll - Moonstar Ad.Pr LLC 

(843) 304-1922, lisapr@hargray.com

Bryan Mudrak, owner of the local More Space Place franchise was featured in the article below on 1851franchise.com in late 2017. 

When Bryan Mudrak decided that it was time to break out of traditional corporate America to take on a business of his own, he wasn’t sure where to start. But after working as a corporate marketing director and building a career by climbing the corporate ladder, he knew that it was time to take on something new.

To get some advice on what to do next, Mudrak reached out to his friend, Peter, who ran his own business. That’s when Mudrak learned all about the franchising opportunity offered by More Space Place, a leading brand known for its custom closet designs and Murphy wall beds. Peter invited Mudrak down to see his store and learn more about how to operate the business at his location in Sarasota, Florida. Mudrak liked what he saw, so he decided to do a little more research. Over the next year and a half, he visited several other locations and talked with members of the brand’s franchise development team. Recognizing that he had a chance to be a part of something special, Mudrak signed a franchise agreement to open up his own More Space Place location on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

Since launching his location on January 1, 2004, Mudrak has grown alongside the More Space Place brand. The concept merged with Closet & Storage Concepts, enabling him to expand his reach as an entrepreneur even more than he originally anticipated.
“What makes Closet & Storage Concepts/More Space Place so unique is the product offering that we have. It fits into a very niche market that isn’t overcrowded with competitors, giving us the opportunity to reach a lot of consumers and enhance our businesses as franchisees,” said Mudrak. “There’s also a lack of repetitiveness that I really enjoy. Every project is new and consumers crave different things, allowing me to take on something exciting and fun every time I work with a customer. Plus, you can’t beat our business model. We get paid 50 percent of each project upfront and then the other 50 percent when the job is complete, which means that there isn’t a whole lot of out of pocket expense when it comes to dealing with transactions.”
Closet & Storage Concepts/More Space Place’s proven business model isn’t the only thing that makes the brands stand out. Franchisees who sign on to open their own location gain access to a strong support system that includes both initial and ongoing training. Local owners also benefit from the combination of both brands working together—the corporate teams and franchisees behind Closet & Storage Concepts and More Space Place pull from their collective best practices to create the best possible business ownership environment for franchisees.

“The merger with Closet & Storage Concepts has streamlined our processes. There haven’t been any major changes when it comes to the day to day aspects of our business, but they’ve brought some positive enhancements to the table,” said Mudrak. “Now that both brands are working together, we have some better manufacturing and delivery processes that help the overall turnover of our products. Our quality levels have also gone up.”

Mudrak is one of the many franchisees taking full advantage of what the More Space Place franchise system has to offer, especially after the merger with Closet & Storage Concepts. Bob Lewis, CEO of Closet
& Storage Concepts/More Space Place, notes, “Bryan is an excellent business operator and his experience running his More Space Place franchise has been an important asset to me as we completed the acquisition and merged the operations of the companies.”

Both Closet & Storage Concepts and More Space Place are continuing to experience growth as more franchisees sign on board. And between their long lists of competitive advantages and affordable initial investment rates that ranges from $90,950 - $172,150 for More Space Place owners, it’s easy to see why. Mudrak says that success is well within reach for franchisees who are driven and eager to follow the system.

“Be prepared to work. You can’t come in with the expectation that you’re going to get rich right away. But if you follow the step-by-step process, you’re going to become established in your marketplace and get to a point where you’re successful,” Mudrak said. “If you have that drive to do the work and you’re passionate about being in business for yourself, I believe that you can do very well in this business.”

Brad Tholen Home Inspectors LLC is now doing business as Horizon Home Inspectors. Under its new brand, Horizon Home Inspectors provides residential and commercial property inspection services for Realtors, home owners, home buyers and home sellers in southern Beaufort County. In 2013, Company owner and president Brad Tholen began operations under his own name until the rebranding in October of 2017. The success of the business was the result of a solid reputation in the local real estate market allowing Tholen to grow his inspector team. Tholen chose the new brand to reflect the growth of the business and to create a more regional image. Brad Tholen remains with the company as the sole owner, president and one of three inspectors in the growing business. By the end of 2017, Tholen and his team will produce nearly one thousand inspections of residential and commercial properties for owners, sellers and buyers, focusing primarily on real estate south of the Broad River in Beaufort County, SC. The company is striving to add more licensed and insured inspectors to the team in 2018 to further increase the company’s capacity in the growing marketplace. Further information about Horizon Home Inspectors and inspection scheduling are available at www.horizonhomeinspectors.com or by calling Taylor Halpin, General Manager at 843-290-2258. 

October 25, 2017

Local Business Leader Recognized as One of Nation’s
Most Powerful Women in Consumer Technology

Bluffton, SC – Sandy Benson, owner of Custom Audio Video, a premier audio video integration company located in Bluffton, was nominated one of America’s most powerful women in consumer technology by Dealerscope, a consumer technology publication. Benson was one of 17 women nationally to earn this recognition, joining women business leaders from global companies including Cisco, LG and Samsung.

“One of the most gratifying things about this award was that I am from the Hilton Head – Bluffton area. It was amazing to be included with such industry leaders from big companies and bigger markets. It says a lot about the progressive community here,” Benson says. “I am obviously pleased and honored to be included on this ranking among the strongest leaders and most effective mentors in the industry.”
“It represents the time and effort that we put into each customer that we serve and how much work it takes to build a successful company.”

Benson has demonstrated that women can lead a technology-based business to success, and at the same time raise a family and maintain a connection with the community. Through challenging times, she managed to drive Custom Audio Video into a leading position in the AV integrator market in her region. 

Prior to owning Custom Audio Video, Benson worked as a pharmacist, having received her bachelor’s degree from the College of Pharmacy at Ohio Northern University in 1983. 
For more information about the recognition, go to http://www.dealerscope.com/longform/dealerscope-2017-powerful-women-in-consumer-technology/

Since 1996, Custom Audio Video, a full service AV design, sales and installation team has strived to stay at the fore-front of the technology industry.  Servicing the entire Lowcountry in the residential and commercial arenas, CAV has continued to provide their clients with the latest and greatest in products, installation and service.   Custom Audio Video also continues to be an imprint in the communities they live and work in with the many philanthropic contributions supporting many non-profit organizations.  

For more information contact us at (843) 815-5130 or visit the CAV website at www.custom-audio-video.com.

From: Coastal Signature Homes
For Publicity, contact Lisa Carroll, Moonstar Ad. PR LLC 
843-304-1922 or lisapr@hargray.com

June 26, 2017


BLUFFTON, S.C. - The Coastal Signature Homes team recently organized a fundraiser in support of a local family welcoming their child born with Spina Bifida. With the help of the Bluffton community, the event raised over $11,000 for the Calderon family and their new baby, Ellis, to help with ongoing expenses.
Employees of the local custom homebuilder wanted to lend a helping hand when they learned that Luis Calderon, an employee of Stromer Plumbing - one of the builder’s most trusted and valued trade partners - was facing a challenging personal difficulty.
“Luis always shows up, does his work with a smile on his face, helps us find solutions and is a positive force on our job sites,” explained Leah England, Director of Client Engagement at CSH. “I was completely surprised to learn that Luis and his family were going through such a difficult time because he never showed it and never complained.”

Luis and his wife Mercedes were expecting their fourth child, a son they decided to name Ellis. However, they had received the devastating diagnosis of Spina Bifida. Because one of their older children, Bella, also suffers from the condition, the Calderons knew all too well the uphill battle in front of their unborn son, as well as the financial difficulties the family would endure from the necessary costly treatments.
Spina bifida is a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord that can result in many physical and neurological problems.

The family made the decision to move forward with an innovative in-utero surgical procedure that could lessen the effects of the disease. However, the treatment required Mercedes to be away from their young family for 3 months thus putting the burden of daily family management on Luis.
“I wasn’t sure how much we could help,” explained England. “But I knew we had a model home that could serve as a beautiful venue for a benefit.”

England said she also knew that CSH could count on the company’s wonderful past and present client base to come together for this very deserving family.

“When the team approached me about hosting a benefit event in support of the Calderons, I was in total support,” said Steve Tilton, Coastal Signature Homes owner and Principal. “I’ve always said we are a family here at Coastal Signature. Organizing a fund-raiser for one of our own and tapping into the various talents of my team to make it happen was an authentic demonstration of that core value.”

Attendees of the fundraising event enjoyed BBQ, music, dancing, lawn games and even snuggled with the baby of honor, newborn Ellis. Thanks to the participation of several local companies who reduced their rates for goods and services, support of the event through social media, and the addition of a silent auction, Coastal Signature Homes was able to sell 250 tickets and raise $11,550 for baby Ellis and his family.
When asked about their experience with Coastal Signature Homes’ event benefiting their family, Mercedes Calderon explained that she took it as an opportunity to discuss her faith, and that God’s blessings can sometimes come when you least expect and from surprising sources.
“No matter what obstacles you may be going through,” said Mercedes Calderon “by believing and trusting in God through your situation, you can get through anything and everything. We feel so blessed that CSH would think of us and go to the trouble to put on a benefit for us. It has opened our eyes in a different way. The amount of support that the community gave blew us away. It has truly blessed us,” said Calderon.

To donate to the Calderon Family to aid in the ongoing costs of Spina Bifida treatments for their children, Isabella and Ellis Calderon, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/ellis-medical-fund.

Coastal Signature Homes would like to thank: David and Joanna Sweet, Hampton Lake, Downtown Deli, The Chiggers, Stromer Plumbing, Grayco, Pace Lighting, Callawassie Island, Ferguson, Lux Medical Spa, Teak and Table and Bluffton School of Dance.

About Coastal Signature Homes   
Coastal Signature Homes of Bluffton is a company of strong roots in the building industry with homes located in many communities throughout the Lowcountry. CSH is a member of the Hilton Head Homebuilders Association and recipients of multiple HBA Lighthouse Awards. They partner with GuildQuality, the leading provider of customer satisfaction surveying and performance reporting for the residential construction industry. It ensures their Coastal Signature Homes customers receive the highest standard approaches to the building process. For more information contact Coastal Signature Homes at 843-757-8889 or visit www.coastalsignaturehomes.com.

Terry Rice/TR Marketing

Live Oak Builders Announces Welcome Package
Local Businesses Offer Southern Hospitality

Beaufort, SC – May 1st – Live Oak Builders, a custom home builder in Beaufort and the Sea Islands, announces the roll-out of a Welcome Package that will be offered to new clients.  The welcome package is reminiscent of times past when the national Welcome Wagon program served as an advertising venue for businesses to offer small discounts to new homeowners.  It was hand delivered in a large envelope by a Welcome Wagon representative. 

Worth over $1000, more than 20 local businesses are participating in the Live Oak Welcome Package with most incentives at $50 or more.  Clients, who will be living in the area while their custom home is being built, will receive the package at contract signing.  Clients, who will be out of town while their home is being built, will receive it at the closing. 

“I wanted to do something different this year with our advertising dollars” said Todd Bradley, Owner of Live Oak Builders.  We reinvested those funds into the development of the package and Terry Rice, our marketing coordinator, went out and sold it to local businesses” Todd explained.

“It’s a win-win for everyone.  Business owners just had to come up with an inviting incentive.  No out-of-pocket expenses were incurred. The idea is to reach new residents during high spending scenarios and when early shopping patterns are being developed,” Terry Rice of TR Marketing said.   She added, “I went to all the places that I found on my own when I moved to Beaufort in 2012.  I can personally attest to the quality of all the businesses.  The business wins by potentially gaining a new, regular customer; the client wins by having pre-identified information about local businesses; and Live Oak Builders wins by brokering that new business relationship and leveraging goodwill.”

This is a one-of-a-kind offer in the area designed to welcome new residents and help them find the goods and services they may need as they establish themselves in the Lowcountry.

“'Our roots run deep in the Beaufort Community' is the tagline for Live Oak Builders.  Building strong relationships with our clients, subcontractors and the community we live in, serves as our foundation for building quality, custom homes in Beaufort and the Sea Islands,'” Todd added.

Live Oak Builders’ Design and Remodeling Center is located at 1402 Boundary Street. Call 843-524-2343, email: liveoakbuilders@embarqmail.com or visit our website at www.liveoakbuilder.com.

For Immediate Release – April 10, 2017

Contact: Anna Ruby 
              J. Banks Design 
              35 Main Street
              Hilton Head Island,SC 29926
              T 843.682.1735  F 843.681.5043

J Banks Design Group recognized for outstanding interior design at the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) and International Interior Design (IIDA) awards!

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC – April 10, 2017 – J. Banks Design Group received top honors at the ASID Excellence in Design awards ceremony held in Charlotte, NC and the IIDA Design Works awards gala in Greensboro, NC. Both events took place Friday evening. “The quality and amount of work that is being produced by our team is simply amazing.” said J. Banks Design Owner and Principal, Joni Vanderslice. The award-winning designs included projects by lead designers, Joni Vanderslice, Sharon Cleland, Doris Gilch, Cindy Munn, Shelley Wilkins and Anna Ruby. VP Creative, Anna Ruby noted, “It takes a village, so these awards are about our entire team.”

ASID honored J. Banks Design with six Design Excellence awards:
First Place Residence under 3500 sq. ft. 
First Place Hospitality 
First Place Vacation Home 
First Place Kitchen 
Second Place Residence under 3500 sq. ft. 
Honorable Mention Bathroom

IIDA presented two Design Works awards to the firm:

First Place Multi-Family Residential 
Honorable Mention Multi-Family Residential

About J Banks Design
J Banks Design, a full scale residential and hospitality interior design firm of 50 professionals, believes in cultivating strong client relationships through outstanding customer service and attention to detail.  J Banks Design’s interiors are best known to reflect the personal preferences and style of each of their clients in an elevated manner. Luxury without pretense, unique scale and proportion, and a blending of old and new are signature elements found within the firm’s designs. J. Banks Design offers a full service retail store at its Main Street location. 

J Banks Design is regularly ranked as a Top 200 Interior Design Giant and Top 75 Hospitality Design Giant by Interior Design magazine; has been named as the Southeast Contract Designer and their Italian Project was bestowed with a Gold Key Award for Best Resort Design.  The firm has recently published a design book with Gibbs Smith publishers, Southern Coastal Living, and their work has been featured in leading publications including Coastal Living, Southern Living, Traditional Home, Bridge for Design, Interior Design Magazine, Hospitality Design, Boutique Design and Robb Report.



Contact: Tracy Vreeland or Jamie Wilburn, LHWH PR
(843) 448-1123 or jwilburn@lhwh.com


Stevenson Is The Only Executive In The Carolinas And Georgia Who Graduated From The Prestigious MLS Top Certification Level Program 

January 12, 2017, Hilton Head Island, S.C. — Colette Stevenson of the Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island (HHIMLS) was named the organization's chief executive officer effective January 2017. Stevenson previously served as chief operating officer (COO). HHIMLS is a real estate listing platform that facilitates more than $3 billion in annual real estate transactions and provides its members with real-time statistics, inventory information and trends. 

“Colette has been an instrumental part of this organization for years and had already begun performing many of the roles a CEO must play,” said former CEO Yvette Acuff. “I've been at the helm of HHIMLS since it started 40 years ago so it's comforting to know I am leaving it in more than capable hands.”

Stevenson is one of only 19 real estate executives nationwide - and the only Multiple Listing Service executive in the Carolinas and Georgia - who graduated from the inaugural MLS Expert Program (CLMX3) provided by the Certified Multiple Listing Executive Program. CMLX3 is the most all-encompassing industry leadership program offered and recognizes the rising stars and leaders of the MLS industry.

Stevenson joined HHIMLS in 2013. As COO, she managed more than 20 real estate data services that are provided to real estate agents in South Carolina and oversaw all HHIMLS departments. During her tenure with HHIMLS, Stevenson has streamlined operations and reduced annual recurring expenses. She has also successfully launched new initiatives, including GPS-based mobile solutions, mobile property access, data standardization, statistics upgrades, security authentication software, a paperless administration and transaction system, and a virtual product store.

“This is a unique marketplace and Colette has a deep knowledge of the industry and the area,” said Randy Smith, HHIMLS Board President. “Yvette built a strong organization that supports the ever evolving real estate industry in this area and we're confident Colette can help the organization grow and evolve to help more people realize the American dream.” 

Prior to joining the HHIMLS, Stevenson was president of The INsight Group of Hilton Head Island for seven years. The management consulting firm assisted real estate clients and other businesses with their marketing strategies, website and social media analysis, trade show marketing, and more.  

Formally, Stevenson served as vice president/partner at Acuff Builders of Hilton Head, where she was responsible for new marketing and branding/strategy development, as well as managing sales and building processes for multi-million dollar projects. In the decade preceding her move to Hilton Head Island, she was director of sales & marketing for Globe Ticket & Label, and marketing manager for Wheelabrator Group, both headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Stevenson, originally from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, graduated from the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

About Hilton Head Island Multiple Listing Service

MLS of Hilton Head Island is a premier multiple listing service in South Carolina. It was established in 1976, headquartered on Hilton Head Island, and is rapidly expanding throughout the state. HHIMLS enables real estate professionals to conduct business using leading technology solutions and services. It is the listing platform facilitating more than $3 billion in annual real estate transactions. HHIMLS is vital to real estate professionals' and to consumers' success by maintaining the most dependable and powerful data in the marketplace, updated in real time. More information about HHIMLS is available at hiltonheadmls.com and (843)785-9696. 



Lisa Carroll - Moonstar Ad.Pr LLC 

(843) 304-1922, lisapr@hargray.com

October 24, 2016


BLUFFTON, S.C. –Covert Aire™ has created an extensive charity campaign program that encompasses needs throughout Beaufort County via three organizations this winter. The locally owned heating and air company is inviting the public to join them in these efforts to provide heat for those without through Operation Warm Up, to provide food in the Beaufort area for the  Fourth Quarter Drive to End Hunger and Toys for Tots.


Covert Aire™ is teaming up for the second year with several companies to fix, replace or repair  selected homes without heat this winter through their charitable drive, Operation Warm Up. Last year, the Bluffton-based heating and air company donated over $10,000 in services to families in need across the Lowcountry. 

“Last year, Operation Warm Up was such a blessing to my team and those we were able to help,” says Mike Covert, President of Covert Aire™. “No one deserves to be cold this winter and we want to do all we can to help those who need it.”

The public can assist by sharing a description of anyone they know who may need help. To be considered for Operation Warm Up simply submit their story explaining why they have a heating issue and cannot afford to fix it. Non-profit groups and civic organizations can also submit nominations of someone in need of heating repairs.

Submit your story or the story of your family or friend at www.covertaire.com by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab. Fill out the form including the story of the individual or family you are nominating. All entries received will be confidentially sent to Mike Covert’s office directly. Forms must be submitted between Nov. 1 through Dec. 2 in order to be considered. Those chosen will not have their names released, unless explicit consent to use the name, likeness and photograph is given.  
In addition to Covert Aire™, Bryant ® and AMANA ® are sponsors of Operation Warm Up, along with Alpha Media who is a media partner for the program. 


The company will also be encouraging the spirit of giving by inviting customers and the public to participate in the Fourth Quarter Drive to End Hunger. This food drive will benefit Help of Beaufort. For every non-perishable item donated, customers can receive $1 off of a Covert Aire service up to $25. 

“There are so many in need in our area this winter,” says Covert. “Our company wants to do our part to help those that are struggling after the storm to put food on the table for their families.”

Best items include: peanut butter, jelly, canned meat, pasta, pasta sauce, canned fruit, rice, juice, canned/dry soup, sugar, flour, dry cereal, vegetable oil and grits. Customers can give their items to a Covert Aire service tech or anyone may participate by dropping items off to the Covert Aire offices, 39 Persimmon Street #602, Bluffton, SC.


There are many children in our community this holiday season that are in need. So Covert Aire is teaming up with Bluffton Self Help to identify and help share gifts this Christmas.

“Our goal is to bring smiles to the faces of our youngest community members this winter,” says Mike Covert. “By participating in a great program like Toys for Tots, we hope our customers and friends will rally to be there to spread a little holiday cheer.”

Covert Aire offices will serve as an official drop off site for Toys for Tots for our area. The public is encouraged to stop in with new, unwrapped toys beginning in November.

About Covert Aire™
Covert Aire™ is an award winning family owned local business based in Bluffton, SC that serves the SC lowcountry and midlands, sea islands and sand hills of GA. Covert Aire provides heating, ventilation and air conditioning products and services for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, healthcare, and retail. The staff is nationally certified by organizations such as NATE, EPA, NIULPE, ACCA, ASHRAE and other certifying organizations.

September 15, 2016 – Hilton Head Island, SC
StoneWorks of Hilton Head, the area’s leading source for marble, granite, and tile products recently honored many of its employees for their longevity and service at the company.  Seven employees were recognized for more than ten years of service to Stoneworks, Inc. 

“It says a lot about our company and the people we have serving our clientele,” says John Baltzegar, President and Founder. “The experience of these few employees adds up to almost 100 years of dedication and caring for our customers. They are a resource and an accomplishment that few other companies can claim. We are proud that they are a part of our family.” 

Recognized for their years of service were: 
Jose Domingo-Hernandez (13 yrs), Charles Arriola (16 yrs), Kelly Young (11 yrs), Barbara Williams (17 yrs), Joel Zak (11 yrs), Derrick Warren (18 yrs), Rob Cavano (11 yrs)

Employees recently honored by StoneWorks, for their longevity and other accomplishments: left to right- Jose Domingo-Hernandez, Charles Arriola, Kelly Young, President John Baltzegar, Barbara Williams, Kim Thorn, and Joel Zak.  

Melanie Thomas 
(843)706-5090 ext. 107

September 12, 2016

BLUFFTON, S.C. – Covert Aire, a family-owned HVAC business based in Bluffton, announces exciting additions and changes to its growing team.

Melanie Thomas
has joined the company as Executive Assistant to Mike Covert, President. She will manage the daily operations of the office including organizing and maintaining correspondence and communication. Thomas will also plan and schedule meetings and appointments.
Thomas comes to the Lowcountry from Darton State College in Albany, GA where she worked as an administrative assistant in the Online Learning Division. She brings a wide array of talents to the company from various jobs she has held including working with the United Way of Marion County and as the Community Relations Manager with Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Jacksonville, NC. Currently, she is finishing her Bachelors Degree in Organizational Leadership at Valdosta State University and will graduate in December. Originally from Illinois, Thomas’ husband has served as a Marine for the past 12 years. His job brought the couple to the area in June and she is thrilled with Lowcountry life.

Gene Duffy is the new Senior Accounts Director, Commercial Division Supervisor at Covert Aire.
Excited to join the Covert Aire team, Duffy brings over 30 years of experience in the Commercial HVAC business working in the greater Boston area and New England.
Originally from Burlington, MA, he moved from Salem, NH where he lived for 28 years. Duffy relocated to Bluffton in June with his wife, Janet. He enjoys restoring and racing Vintage motorcycles.
“We are thrilled to have added to accomplished professionals to the Covert Aire team,” says Mike Covert, President of Covert Aire. “Both Melanie and Gene bring unique talents and expertise that will benefit our company and our customers.”
About Covert Aire™
Covert Aire™ is a family run business based in Bluffton, SC, and serves the SC Lowcountry and Midlands, the Sea Islands to the Sandhills of GA, and parts of northern Florida. Covert Aire provides heating, ventilation and air conditioning products and services for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, healthcare, and retail. Our staff is Nationally Certified by organizations such as NATE, EPA, NIULPE, ACCA, ASHRAE and other certifying organizations.


Contact: Tracy Vreeland or Jamie Wilburn, LHWH PR
(843) 448-1123 or tvreeland@lhwh.com


Premier Real Estate Service Stayed Ahead Of Technology, Even Before the Days Of High-Speed Computers

July 28, 2016, Hilton Head Island, S.C. — Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island (HHIMLS) is celebrating 40 years of serving the real estate industry on Hilton Head Island and surrounding areas. Always at the forefront of changing technologies designed to help its members be more effective, the HHIMLS was chartered in May 1976. HHIMLS now facilitates $3 billion in real estate transactions annually.

HHIMLS is primarily a data resource that provides its members with real-time statistics, inventory information and trends. An independent MLS, it is not affiliated with any association and thus has a larger responsibility than 80 percent of the MLSs around the U.S. that are organized under a realtors association. HHIMLS conducts member recruiting, provides training for members, and oversees a fully web-based core database, as well as a variety of other services agents need to be successful. 

“Throughout the decades, HHIMLS has utilized the latest technologies to help its members  be competitive, and that forward-looking approach continues through today,” said Yvette Acuff, chief executive officer. “We first went online in 1979 when computers in the workplace were relatively new. MLS installed an IBM Series I with phone lines to connect to TI Terminals in brokerage offices to search the MLS database. From that date on, we've worked to provide our members with the latest technologies.” 

After being recruited to test a laser disk listing system that was cutting-edge in the mid-1980s, HHIMLS was able to offer its members the capability to display color pictures of home interiors on a TV screen, allowing prospective buyers to get a feel for each home without having to travel to Hilton Head Island. With the arrival of the internet, HHIMLS was at the forefront of providing that new tool to its members. 

Today, HHIMLS advanced systems match home buyers and sellers with agents, show buyers available properties, calculate the value of homes, and provide information about the area all on hiltonheadmls.com. Members have access to a web-based lock box system that includes E-Keys for Smartphones, a “Virtual Tour Creator” for agents to put up video tours of homes on the MLS site, and the latest marketing features like a social media dashboard. HHIMLS agents can connect with other MLSs, learn how to use the latest real estate technology effectively, and have access to the most popular listing sites.

The very latest technology for consumers includes a new app that allows a potential buyer to take a picture of his surroundings.  The app will respond with what is for sale, rent, or where there is an open house nearby.

In addition to Acuff who has been with the MLS since it began, Colette Stevenson serves as chief operating officer, managing more than 20 real estate data services that are provided to real estate agents. Stevenson also oversees all HHIMLS departments, including customer support and sales, compliance, rules and regulations, data services, software engineering information technology, security, and project and product management.

During her tenure with HHIMLS, Stevenson has streamlined operations and reduced annual recurring expenses. She has also successfully launched new initiatives, including GPS-based mobile solutions, mobile property access, data standardization, statistics upgrades, security authentication software, a paperless administration and transaction system, and a virtual product store.  
Throughout its four decades of business, HHIMLS has also utilized its position as a leader in local business to reach out beyond the housing market and help its community. The organization is involved with Operation Christmas Child; Adopt-a-Family; March of Dimes; Hilton Head Heroes, which brings terminally ill children and their families on a Hilton Head vacation; and Deep Well, an organization that helps those in need on Hilton Head Island.

About Hilton Head Island Multiple Listing Service

MLS of Hilton Head Island is a premier multiple listing service in South Carolina. It was established in 1976, headquartered on Hilton Head Island, and is rapidly expanding throughout the state. HHIMLS enables real estate professionals to conduct business using leading technology solutions and services. It is the listing platform facilitating more than $3 billion in annual real estate transactions. HHIMLS is vital to real estate professionals' and to consumers' success by maintaining the most dependable and powerful data in the marketplace, updated in real time. More information about HHIMLS is available at hiltonheadmls.com and (843) 785-9696. 


July 11, 2016

Media Contact: Neilie Dunn
Neilie S. Dunn Public Relations 

Residential Contractor, Paparone & Rollins, Announces New Business in Bluffton 

Bluffton, S.C.—Paparone & Rollins, a residential contractor, recently announced the launch of their new business within the Low Country. Under the leadership of founders Mike Rollins and Bruce Paparone, the company strives to provide superior construction services while giving customers personal attention and service throughout the entire process, from plan development to completion of the project and beyond. 

Founder and President Mike Rollins recently worked with Richard Best Custom Homes where he specialized in building custom residential projects within the community of Palmetto Bluff. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Mike received a bachelor of science in construction management and a minor in business management and real estate. Mike began working in the construction industry at the age of 15 and has also worked with regional builders Dabbs-Williams General Contractors and The Christman Company. With over 10 years of construction experience, he has had a direct hand in the successful delivery of over $115 million dollars of completed projects.  

Bruce Paparone has been involved in the construction industry for over 30 years. As part of a multi-generational family business, the Paparone family has built thousands of homes throughout the eastern United States. He has won many prestigious awards, including Builder of the Year and the Commitment to Excellence award.  

“We are committed to providing the absolute best customer experience from to start to finish,” said Rollins. “Our goal is to build lasting relationships with our clientele and professionals within our industry, ensuring a solid foundation and a successful relationship for all who are involved in the project.” 

Paparone & Rollins are currently working on several projects within the Bluffton community Hampton Hall. For more information about the company, see www.prhomes.biz


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