“I grew up in Kingstree, South Carolina, a small rural town about 40 miles from the beach. My family owned a wholesale company so I grew up working in our warehouse and retail store from the time I could hold a broom in my hands. We were in business for 52 years and very active in our community. I have two younger brothers and I was raised that I could do anything I wanted to do if I worked hard enough and that included sports, education and ultimately my career. While I played numerous sports in high school, basketball was my passion and I played on a national championship AAU team which was an incredible experience. After a knee injury I started playing golf and ended up making the golf team at the University of South Carolina and earned a scholarship my last 2 years of school. Interestingly, both of my brothers also played college athletics – Tyler played football at Georgia Tech (on their 1990 national championship team) and Justin played baseball at Elon University. I’m very close to my brothers and enjoy our competitive nature with each other even as adults!
Ultimately, it was golf that brought me to Houston. In 1999 I accepted a position with the United States Golf Association, and I was given the flexibility to choose somewhere in the central United States to live, as long as it had a large airport. I chose Houston because it was a hot climate, and I could travel from here and get home to SC easily.
When I first moved here, I lived in The Woodlands and I’ve lived in the Heights for over 20 years now. I love this neighborhood and I’ve never felt like I live in a city of 4 million people especially coming from a town of 4,000. After getting off of the road with the USGA, I wanted to get back to the roots of family business and that is when the dream of opening a neighborhood market and restaurant became a reality. There are a lot of things about the Heights that are just like Kingstree…..sharing sugar with your neighbor, local shops, schools and pride in the community. 19th Street is just like Main St. in Kingstree, except it doesn’t have a courthouse!
Whether the wholesale business, golf or Harold’s Restaurant I am and will always be in the people business. I love traveling and have been lucky enough to see amazing parts of the world through work and pleasure. Scuba diving and breathing compressed air, where I am a tiny creature in the ocean, always allows me to see the view from a different lens. I grew up volunteering at a young age, because that is what both of my grandmothers said I was to do. I’m glad, as I would not trade any of my volunteer moments including most recently having the opportunity to serve as Senior Warden at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, even during a pandemic. I love serving on The Spirit Golf Association and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame boards, as it keeps my toe dipped into the game of golf and now am super excited to be a new board member of the Texas Restaurant Association.
In addition to opening additional restaurants and being a job creator, I really want to make time to write a book! I enjoy being a part of the Greater Heights Chamber and this wonderful neighborhood, The Heights!“