Recently, we have all been reading about redevelopment plans for Hilton Head Island and that has spawned many topics of conversation on the cocktail circuit.

The debate rages over traffic coming on and off the island, traffic on the south end of Hilton Head between Sea Pines Circle and Coligny Park, not to mention the development of the University of South Carolina Beaufort campus on Office Park Road. Now add the most recent suggestion that the town construct an arts campus costing as much as $65 million. This is a mix that even boggles the mind of the most creative among us.

FOR BEVERLY O’CONNOR-MARTIN, BUSINESS HAS NEVER BEEN BUSINESS AS USUAL

When she was just a young woman attending boarding school outside of Paris, Beverly O’Connor’s headmaster imparted to her father what turned out to be a pretty on-the-nose prediction.

Daufuskie Island, population 436, is perhaps best known as the backdrop for Pat Conroy’s 1972 book “The Water is Wide.” The book recounts Conroy’s experiences teaching on the island in the 1960s. Isolated yet beautiful, Daufuskie has had a tough time since the recession eight years ago.

How many of you have ever seen a digital ad while poking around the Internet?

Silly question, right?

If you haven’t, well, you need to stop carving your house out of ice blocks with a sharpened walrus tusk and go purchase some technology.

Over the past month I have become quite the road warrior, traveling between time zones and experiencing cultures and cuisines I would have never expected. One of my destinations was Havana, Cuba, where I had the opportunity to visit the University of Havana and meet with local economist, urban planners and educators. As I climbed on the plane to fly from Tampa to Havana, I had great expectations for what my journey had in store, but I couldn’t even imagine what I found. You see, Havana was frozen in time on Dec. 31, 1959, when Fidel Castro seized power in the Cuban Revolution.

Owners of A Floral Affair have adjusted to Lowcountry pace

A Floral Affair is a bride’s one-stop shop when it comes to making her wedding flower fantasies bloom true, mostly thanks to shop owner Dawn Kiritsy. She and her husband, Stephen, opened the shop in 1997 on Dillon Road a year after relocating to the Lowcountry from New Hampshire. They were sick of the North’s snow and were ready for warmer weather, so their favorite vacation spot — Hilton Head Island — soon became their home, and their new place of business.

Everything falling into place for Hilton Head Island businesswoman Donna D’Amico

Having a son with cystic fibrosis means Donna D’Amico understands the importance of health insurance and adequate preventive care.

Thanks to a career shift she attributes to “divine intervention,” the savvy Hilton Head businesswoman now gets to help healthcare providers make sure their patients have access to those things as well.

Recently, I have written about Millennials changing business in America, how Dodd-Frank is impacting our local banks and local economy, and in January I made my 10 predictions for 2016. 

This month I thought I would take a crack at what is going on in the Arts Community in Hilton Head, and how our many arts organizations are contributing economically to the Hilton Head Island community.

After an overwhelming response from the entrepreneurial community and 73 entries submitted from around the country, winners have been chosen for Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation's first-ever "Bring Your Business Idea to Life" contest. The contest was created to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to win a comprehensive array of prizes and support to help launch their businesses.

More than 150 business and community leaders attended the pitch competition on Feb. 23 at Poseidon Restaurant, where the six finalists gave “fast pitches” to a panel of well-known business leaders in the community serving as contest judges. Judges were Jason Allen, of Chatham Capital Group; Terry Brubaker, of Gladstone Investments; Jim Macleod, of Coastal States Bank; and Leslie Richardson, of Coligny Plaza. 

CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST RELOCATES TO THE LOWCOUNTRY, LAUNCHES HIS OWN LINE OF SHEARS

After jet-setting around the world, celebrity hairstylist Dennis Stokely has returned to his Southern roots. Best known as Paula Abdul’’s hairstylist during seasons seven and eight of “American Idol,” Stokely has settled in the Lowcountry and has launched a brand of hair shears for the beauty industry.

Now living on Hilton Head Island, Stokely moved to the area to take care of his mother, who lives in Savannah.

“I’m a Southern kid, raised by a single mother, who went to public school in Georgia,” Stokely said. “While working on ‘American Idol’ was the gig of a lifetime, I believe my Southern sensibilities set me apart from others in L.A. It seems only natural for me to return to a place that feels like home.”