14th Annual Celebration of Local Men
June 2021 Issue
There’s just something about a man and his chair. If a man’s home is his castle, then the king must have his throne, right? From Archie Bunker’s iconic recliner to Sheldon Cooper’s carefully positioned “spot,” pop culture is filled with men and their chairs. Here at Pink, we usually focus on the women of our community, but each June we give the guys their time in the spotlight. Some of these gentlemen seem to be always on the move, never taking a moment to sit down, but our photographers managed to capture them with their favorite resting spots. They graciously answered our questions and opened up about themselves. We proudly present a few of the Lowcountry’s Men and their Chairs:
Photography provided by Cassidy Dunn Photography
Career: Beaufort County Councilman & Food and Beverage Manager at Station 300
Married to: Rachael Cunningham
Favorite Sports Team: Miami Dolphins
My favorite motto or words to live by: 1 Corinthians 13:7 ”Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
Life is good because…no matter the situation, we are still blessed.
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? I have seen a lot of amazing things, and I am unable to choose. I am just very thankful for my family and friends, the amazing community of Bluffton and having the opportunity to serve.
Other than family, what is your proudest accomplishment? Winning my first election by a landslide!
What did you “Want to Be” when you grew up? A lawyer
What is your claim to fame? Becoming the youngest elected Beaufort County Council member.
Something about yourself people would find surprising? I enjoy carpentry; I use it as my stress reliever. This is a trade I learned from my grandfather.
What has been your greatest adventure? Meeting President Donald J. Trump.
One thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list? Serving on a mission trip in China with my father.
And the No. 1 thing on your Bucket List right now: To open my own business
Tell us about your chair: I was given the honor to be elected into Beaufort County Council in 2020 and serve as District 7’s councilman.
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: I am eager, passionate and determined to represent my constituents. I want to make sure their opinions are heard and that I fight for their rights.
If you could tell the world anything, what would you say…Time spent on this Earth is worthless if you do not have eternity.
Photography provided by Russell Baxley
Hometown: Johnsonville, SC
Career: Hospital Administrator (President & CEO at Beaufort Memorial Hospital)
Married to: Stephanie Baxley
Children: Austin Christopher Baxley, 11/2
Favorite Sports Team: Clemson Tigers
My favorite motto or words to live by: Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, and chase it relentlessly, we can catch excellence.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To change my educational pathway and go into healthcare administration. I did not grow up wanting to be a healthcare administrator, but my parents suggested I get my MHA and go into this field.
Life is good because…We are currently on the right side of the covid pandemic and starting to get back to normal!
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? Outside of my son being born, the courage and compassion of those on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other than family, what is your proudest accomplishment? There are many as the CEO at Beaufort Memorial, so in their totality, just the great organization we have become and our ability to keep getting better every day.
What did you “Want to Be” when you grew up? A physician—a plastic surgeon.
What is your claim to fame? Currently? Probably best known for the letters to community about masking during the pandemic. It was either famous or infamous, depending on which side of the fence you were on. I’m also a huge Clemson fan.
Something about yourself people would find surprising? I grew up on a family farm, working the summers in tobacco and corn fields.
What has been your greatest adventure? My new son, Austin; life has definitely changed.
What is one thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list? I ran an Iron Man!
And the No. 1 thing on your Bucket List right now? To run the Boston Marathon.
Tell us about your chair: It’s my BMH CEO chair. I have been here nearly five years and have seen three hurricanes, one hospital evacuation, an organizational turn around, managed through a pandemic, and built and opened new facilities. It’s been a busy five years. I don’t sit down much! And, our seats in the Clemson Stadium are a close second!
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: I am at the hospital a lot—probably more than I should be. My wife would say the same thing!
If you could tell the world anything, what would you say? We have become a very divided people. We work hard to tear other people down when we should be working hard to build other people up. That is my goal as a person and a leader, and what I work very hard to do every day.
Photography provided by Laurie Kellogg
Hometown: Charleston, SC
Current Residence: Bluffton Career: Musician/Writer
In a relationship with: Laurie Kellogg
Family: Daughter, Sierra Capers. Parents Janet Capers and Alex and Roneller Capers
My favorite motto or words to live by: "Be anxious for nothing.” —Philippians 4:6 The Universe always rights itself. Nothing goes wrong; everything goes as it should.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Begin each day with gratitude, and CREATE EVERY DAY!
Life is good because…I make a living doing what I love, which is saving the world one song at a time.
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? Watching my daughter grow up amazes me every day, and she’s in her 20s.
Other than family, what is your proudest accomplishment? #LaBodegaMan is the thing I am most proud of. Todd and I built a band and a business from the ground up. We were/are inexperienced, and we’ve gotten taken advantage of, but that has only provided the push that makes us excel and strive to be the ULTIMATE band. We have an undefinable style that confuses some, but we stick to our guns. #LaBodegaMan FOREVER!!
What did you “Want to Be” when you grew up? I wanted to be an architect as a kid, but I can’t draw.
What is your claim to fame? As La Bodega Man and the band La Bodega, we are among the most prolific writers and producers on the planet. We’ve written TONS of songs. Perhaps the most locally notable accomplishments of 2020 are being commissioned by the town of Hilton Head Island to write “Lowcountry Celebration,’’ which embodies the spirit of Hilton Head Island and the greater Lowcountry area.
Something about yourself people would find surprising? People may be surprised to find out that I have a really soft heart. I love really hard, and there are no limits to that love. If I LOVE you love you, then it’s forever. This is why I have to be extra selective of who I let in.
What has been your greatest adventure? Starting the band La Bodega not only taught me to write songs and not just poetry (at which I am a Beast!), but it also drove me to learn video and music production, engineering and helped me develop a style unique to us. There is no other band around like La Bodega.
What is one thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list: The #52WeeksOfHeat campaign during which #LaBodegaMan released a new song every Friday of 2020. We dubbed it “Fire Fridays”.
And, the No. 1 thing on your Bucket List right now? Next on my list is the album AOS: Vol. 2, which drops on the Summer Solstice this year—June 20, 2021.
Tell us about your chair: My chair is a peacock chair that has been a photography trope for years, but I remember it from the cover of Al Green’s album “I’m Still in Love with You.” As a kid I didn’t think anyone could be any cooler, chilling in an all white suit. He seemed primed to mack down any young lady that happened to pass with pick-up lines for days. I wanted to be that guy.
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: You are born of Royal Blood, and this is your throne for now.
If you could tell the world anything, what would you say? We are right where we are supposed to be right now. Our job is to figure out “why” we are where we are so we can level up.
Photography provided by T.R. Love, T.R. Media World
Hometown: Bluffton (Originally Moorestown, NJ)
Career: International DJ/Entertainment Production Company, owner
Married to: Kathy Taylor Family: Stepson Matthew, 34 and wife Katlyn, 32, Stepson Nathan, 30 and wife Brooke, 25, Granddaughter Harlow, 4
Favorite Sports Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Favorite motto or words to live by: Under promise and over deliver!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? If you ever find yourself the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Change rooms. (Thank you Michael Goldman!)
Life is good because…I get to live my dream every day through music and share it with my wife, and now, my granddaughter, too.
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? I have seen some truly amazing things in my life: I have been backstage at Live Aid in Philadelphia; seen the sunrise over the equator from the deck of a warship (2 times); I’ve been launched off the deck of an aircraft carrier in an F-14 Tomcat. I got to watch 25,000 plus people dance to the music I played at a music festival.
Other than family, what is your proudest accomplishment? Well this is a tough one ….. Well, I did lose 151 pounds to get back in my Navy uniform after 33 years. On the professional side, I would have to say DJing with Armin van Buuren the night he was announced as the No. 1 DJ in the world.
What did you “Want to Be” when you grew up? A concert violinist—I wanted to play in a philharmonic orchestra, and I played all the way up until the start of high school. I have never picked it up since.
What is your claim to fame? Having the ability to make people smile through music and dance.
What is something about yourself people would find surprising? I am actually scared to death to be on a stage. Whenever I get on stage, I’m always afraid that I’m never good enough to be there. I have actually gotten sick just before and sometimes after doing a major show.
What has been your greatest adventure? Being able to travel the world and DJ in clubs, festivals and events on 5 continents and 50 countries.
One thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list and the No. 1 thing on your Bucket List right now: Hmmmmm? Bucket list item? Does making it past 30 count as a bucket list item? (LOL) I would say becoming a grandfather was definitely on my bucket list. My granddaughter, Harlow, now calls me “Pokkie Mike.” As far as top of my bucket list, I would have to say visiting the last two continents on the planet I haven’t been to with my wife.
Tell us about your chair: My chair is my DJ Chair. There have been many versions of it over the years, but each one has seen some extremely great nights and some really bad ones. I can say that every time my chair kept me supported and did not let me down. It has had drinks spilled on it, been knocked over, tossed in trucks and trailers, stuffed in the back of a trunk from time to time but it still keeps on going.
If my chair could say something about (or to) me, it would say: If you eat one more donut or slice of pizza, I’m outta here! LOL. Actually, my chair would say, “You got this, never give up!”
If you could tell the world anything, what would you say… Take the time to see the world through someone else’s eyes. You will find that you really do make a difference. Don’t take friends and family for granted.
Eric H. Esquivel
Photography provided by Cassidy Dunn Photography
Hometown: Hilton Head Island
Career: President and Publisher of La Isla Magazine and Media Group and owner of Dust Away Cleaning Services
Married to: Stephanie Story Esquivel
Children: 3 children: Twins Landon & Layla, 13 and Leo, 10
Favorite Sports Team: All the Philadelphia teams
My favorite motto or words to live by: Life is short; live it to its fullest!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? My dad always stressed that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to do.
Life is good because… My family, my friends and my community.
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? The birth and development over the years of my children.
Other than family, what is your proudest accomplishment? The growth and development of La Isla Magazine and how we have used the magazine to demonstrate the economic power the Latino community has in the Lowcountry. For 21 years, La Isla has highlighted the Latino community’s success stories, thus helping integrate and show how important of an economic factor this community plays in our society today.
What did you “Want to Be” when you grew up? A surgeon, just like my father.
What is your claim to fame? I treat every stranger I meet as if they are a friend waiting to be met.
Something about yourself people would find surprising? I recently purchased a cleaning company called Dust Away Cleaning Services where we provide commercial, residential, construction and weekly rental
What has been your greatest adventure? In 2015, my wife and I, along with our children who were at the ages of 7 and 4, left everything behind and went on a nine-week trip out west in a small pop-up camper visiting national parks. Our goal was to show our children how beautiful this country is and that life is much better lived simply.
One thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list? Traveling through the Sahara desert on camel train.
And, the No. 1 thing on your Bucket List right now: To travel with my family before my kids go off to college to explore Utah and the big five national parks.
Tell us about your chair: My chair is the Captain’s helm on my boat. This is one of the places that makes me the happiest. Growing up on Hilton Head was synonymous with being on the water for me. One of my mottos is to “live life like a tourist,” and having access to the water allows us to live that lifestyle and take advantage of all the natural beauty Hilton Head and the Lowcountry has to offer.
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: I love to explore and share my time on the water with family and friends.
If I could tell the world anything, what would you say? Love and accept people for who they are, no matter what race, religion, ethnicity or social economic background they come from. People who are your polar opposite are the people who can teach you the most about life.