As a child, I would visit family on the Isle of Palms every summer, often helping in my uncle's restaurant, The Islander. This is where the locals went to and where community discussions and debate occurred daily at the 'Round Table.' It was a simpler era, time slowed down when you crossed the one bridge onto the Island. And I knew that is where I wanted to be and be a part of that sense of community.
My wife Sonya and I married in 1993. She was 19, and I was 20, and we moved outside Chicago for me to finish my undergraduate degree and ultimately get my Doctorates from the University of Health Sciences in August 1997. The day after graduation, we knew where we were headed, the Lowcountry of South Carolina, specifically the Isle of Palms. The next day we moved to the Isle of Palms and have been here ever since.
That same year I started a small business, Buckhannon Brothers Inc, a tile installation company with my two brothers. We worked together until I opened my first chiropractic office, Coastal Chiropractic Clinic, on the Isle of Palms. During this time, I was still actively involved in Buckhannon Brothers Inc, running the day-to-day scheduling, operations, and finances.
In 1999, Sonya and I were blessed with healthy triplet boys. After having the boys and getting out in the community more, I realized the need to improve the city's recreation facility and determined that the best way to make positive change in the community was to get involved in the local government. I ran for Isle of Palms City Council and was fortunate to win a seat in November of 1999.
I would continue to serve on council for the next 16 years, bringing positive reforms in our community. During my time on council, I served as Chair on Recreation, Public Safety, Public Works, Real Property, and Mayor Pro Tempore.
I ultimately moved the chiropractic office to Mount Pleasant and sold it in 2006 to seek new endeavors. At that time, Sonya and I opened a brick and mortar tile and flooring showroom, Buckhannon Tile & Design. At the peak of the recession, when nobody was building, we learned to do more with less. That experience taught us a lot about living within your means. We tightened our financial belts and weathered the recession. From that experience, we were able to grow our business from a couple of employees to having a team of 12.
After my children graduated from Wando High in 2018, I decided I wanted to serve our local community once again and ran for city council. I was able to win in an election with eleven candidates seeking to fill four seats. Currently, I chair the Public Safety and Real Property Committee on city council.
I am excited about the opportunity to bring the same common-sense decision making, conservative values, and positive reforms to Columbia.