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Richard was born and raised in Columbia, SC, where he attended A.C. Flora High School. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1987 with a degree in economics. He is a former 6-time restaurateur in the historic Five Points neighborhood, and since 1986, has been a real estate developer pursuing his passion of adaptive reuse of historic and abandoned buildings. He became involved with the Mill District in 2006 when he and others began the 701 Whaley development. This project houses live/work lofts, offices, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, and multiple event spaces. He and his wife Janet have 3 boys, Gunnar (30) and twins, Walker & Griffin (25).
Joby is a lifelong resident of the Olympia Mill Village and proud to be a “linthead.” He is a retired Underwriting Counsel with Fidelity National Title Insurance Company. He is an active member of St. Luke Lutheran Church on Olympia Avenue and serves as President of the Olympia Cemetery Association. Joby is also civically engaged, serving as president of the Columbia Sertoma Club and the Wade Hampton Sertoma Club. He is a dog lover and has built and maintains a formal garden behind his home. Joby also fancies himself a writer.
Bob has made the Granby Mill Village his home since he was a law student at USC more than 50 years ago. He has been a practicing environmental lawyer and conservation advocate for organizations such as the Sierra Club. Bob was a founding member of the Granby neighborhood association and has worked to preserve the architecture and cultural history of the community through recognition on the National Register of Historic Places and City of Columbia design protection. Bob and Nancy live in the Granby Village with an assortment of beloved rescue critters.
A graduate of Francis Marion University, Vi moved to the Olympia Mill Village in the early 1980s. She has long advocated for the preservation of the Olympia Village and the Mill District at large. An environmentalist, Vi serves on the board of the Congaree Riverkeeper and the Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission. She is an autism specialist and former consulting teacher. Vi and her husband Scott enjoy retirement, friends, family, and their dog, Batman.
Joey is a long-time resident of the Olympia community. He is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina where he obtained his master’s degree in engineering. After graduation, he worked in the engineering consulting and water/sewer utility business. He is currently the director of a local sewer utility. He is an active member of the We Are Olympia and Whaley Street Neighborhood Community organizations. He enjoys spending time with his family and adopted dogs and cats.
Joe came to Columbia from NYC to teach film at USC in 1976 and (like all “damned Yankees”) decided to stay, moving immediately to the Granby Mill Village. A producer/director/designer, Joe is a painter turned filmmaker whose early passion was shooting and directing cinema verite documentaries eventually found a love for commercial work with a 40-year record of providing film and television productions for broadcast, commercial, and educational venues. Having restored a Granby Saltbox as home, Joe loves restoration projects and sharing what he has gleaned over the years. He serves as the informal sgt. of arms for the Granby Mill Village, working with Historic Preservation and developers making sure they “do right.”
Adam was raised in Columbia, SC, where he attended Irmo High School and graduated from the University of South Carolina. After working in many states as an operations manager he returned to Columbia. He bought a Saltbox in Granby in 2004 and spent several years renovating his home. He and his wife, Ellie, reside in Granby where they raise their son Brandon and their many pets. He has been involved with the Granby Neighborhood Association since moving in.
Valerie resides in the Mill District, is a local entrepreneur and community advocate. She has served on the Board of Directors and helped to revitalize the River District Merchants Association in West Columbia. As owner of an innovative marketing and social media management business, The Social Company, she is passionate about helping local small businesses and nonprofits thrive. She is an active member of the WeCo River District, Philip Simmons Artist Blacksmith Guild, and is dedicated to helping the Mill District in Columbia be the best place to live, work, and play. When she is not hard at work, Valerie enjoys leisurely pursuits such as blacksmithing, golf, spearfishing and savoring fine wines.