Band Of Brothers - Daniel & Jordan Lash

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Band of Brothers


Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore. 

– Hindu Proverb

Daniel & Jordan Lash


Jordan Lash


Use one word to describe your brother. 

Daniel describing Jordan:  Visionary

Jordan describing Daniel:   Efficient

How would you describe your relationship with your brother? (Any word Except complicated)

Daniel describing Jordan: Our relationship is very complimentary. We each recognize one another’s strengths, and work together to lessen one another’s weaknesses. We worked along side each other for 15 years and lived together for 3 of those...We have learned how to talk through situations to grow the business and our personal lives.

Jordan describing Daniel: We feed off of each other since we both have the same vision.  We are two peas in a pod when it comes to most of the visions of the store.  There always is a little bickering back-and-forth, but little tiff’s usually create strong positive business decisions.  All-in-all, we have a great relationship, inside and outside the store.  This venture has only grown us closer than ever.

How has your brother affected your own personal success?

Daniel describing Jordan: I give Jordan credit for 100% of my success. If it weren’t for him, I would never have been in this industry. I was recruited by to him to work at our last job and learned everything I know from him. I learned business strategy, merchandising, sales techniques, and most importantly how to develop relationships with customers to become friendships.

Jordan describing Daniel: Daniel is a vital asset in “Jordan Lash Charleston.”  We compliment each other in many ways.  Daniel finds all the places I mess up, lets me know about it, fixes it, lets me know about it again, and then sometimes even again.  But hey, its all about the “correct” end result, so I will be proud to be wrong.  Daniel is great at crossing every “t” and dotting every “i”.  He is a very sharp and skilled individual. 

Who is the funnier sibling? 

Daniel:  I am. Hands down. Just ask anyone.

Jordan:  I would love to say me, but my jokes are only funny to me.  Nobody else seems to laugh.  This means, yes, Daniel is the funnier one.

EVERYTHING from tee times, to race times, to giving times 


by Margaret Pilarski

In his professional career, Nick Gavalas always excelled, rising through the ranks of Mass Mutual and netting leadership and service accolades throughout. He began working as an agent with the company in 1972, and became General Agent of the South Carolina Agency in 1985. For most of his 38 years with Mass Mutual, Gavalas ran the area organization – but it wasn’t quite enough for him. 

“With all the success we achieved it wasn’t enough to satisfy me personally. I wanted something to do that was going to be different and unique and challenging – where we could serve an organization that’s underserved in the community.” 

In 1999, a Mass Mutual colleague introduced Gavalas to Dr. Ron Kolanko. Kolanko had been a longtime supporter of students with disabilities in Pittsburgh, making anonymous donations toward educational benefits. 

“Ron and I had a three-hour lunch. I listened to him, his passion and what he was doing with these students, and I learned what these students go through just to attend class –a lot of these students have medical assistants or special equipment. For some of them it takes hours to just get out of bed and prepare to attend class, in addition to the medical expenses that families bear, in addition to room board and tuition expenses that these students have to deal with,” says Gavalas. “When I heard all about that I said, ‘This is something we need to do in this community.’”

That first lunch became the start of the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring education is within reach for students with sight, auditory and movement disabilities. 

The newly founded foundation’s mission was to find those students in particular who were “truly outstanding,” says Gavalas. Their requirements included grade point averages above 2.5 and active engagement on campus and in the community. 

That first year they gave just a single scholarship away to a student at the College of Charleston. 

Eighteen years later the foundation has given 135 scholarships to students at the six colleges and universities in Charleston: The Citadel, Charleston Southern University, The Art Institute of Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina, Trident Technical College and the College of Charleston.

And while Gavalas has been retired from work for years, the professional mindset is still the driving force behind his passion project’s successes. 

“When you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, you’re always looking around a corner to see what’s next. When you look at it from a philanthropic standpoint, you’re also looking around the corner to find that same area that can be improved,” Gavalas explains. “Just like you can improve things for consumers and make a profit in business, you can also make a profit for the community, with beneficiaries being people in need. That’s what immediately came to mind when we started talking about this work.”

The primary vehicle for the Foundation’s fundraising and visibility over the years has been the James Island Connector Run, a race over the bridge that links downtown’s Calhoun Street to James Island’s Folly Road over the Intracoastal Waterway. The race has both 5K and 10K options with a bike component for the 10K, too. While it’s always attracted racers who are ready for six inclines, the view makes it an attractive option for people of all abilities, including beginner runners, walkers, families, and even dogs. 

This year’s race takes place October 28 and racers are treated to beer, food and a live band in Cannon Park when they finish. 

For those who prefer tee times to race times, the Foundation recently expanded to hosting a golf tournament as well. This year’s took place at Bulls Bay.

With nearly a million dollars raised for the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, Gavalas says there’s still a lot to do. 

“We’re proud of what we’ve done but we continue to build it because there’s so much more work to be done in the community,” he says. In that vein, he’s expanded outreach through a second organization that focuses on life after graduation. 

Gavalas’ other network, Charleston Can, is dedicated to making Charleston a better place to live and work for individuals with disabilities. The group is made up of representatives from community stakeholders that focus on key areas: education, employment, housing, transportation and recreation. 

“It’s our job to collaborate so that we can improve the lives of all people with disabilities,” Gavalas says. “When you have parents come up to you and say, ‘My child is a senior in high school, they have a disability, what’s next for them?’ When you hear that over and over again, you say to yourself, ‘Our mission is to provide the answer to what is next.’ That’s our mission, to help these parents and the student to go on to live great lives. We can do better in Charleston.”

To register for the James Island Connector run, visit For more information on Charleston Can, visit For more information on the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, visit

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Band of Brothers - ROB & JAMES SWARTZ

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Band of Brothers


Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore. 

– Hindu Proverb



A + E Digital Printing


Use one word to describe your brother. 

Rob describing James:  Loyal

James describing Rob:  Meticulous

How would you describe your relationship with your brother? (Use any word except complicated)

Rob describing James: Yin and Yang. Complementary. The normal sibling rivalry. It’s actually not complicated, it’s very simple. If you want something solved, see me. If you want something done, see James. You know, we’re like a mullet — business in the front, party in the back. 

James describing Rob:  Complementary is the right word. What he’s weak at, I’m better. What I’m weak at, he’s better. He’s a little more comic, I’m a little more black and white. 

How has your brother affected your own personal success?

Rob describing James:  There is no success without him. 

James describing Rob:  He hasn’t. I’ve made my own! (wink, wink) 

Who is the funnier sibling? 

Rob: Funny haha is me. Unconventional humor is more James.

James:  Rob. The goofy side is over there.

Band of Brothers

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Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore. 

– Hindu Proverb




(l-r) John, Peter, Roland and Michael, Smoke BBQ, Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant


Use one word to describe your brother. 

Peter describing John: Compassionate

John describing Peter: Free Spirit

How would you describe your relationship with your brother? (Use any word except complicated)

Peter describing John: John is my best friend. He’s ALWAYS been there for me as a source of love, kindness and wisdom. 

John describing Peter: He’s my best friend and always speaks up for me. 

How has your brother affected your own personal success?

Peter describing John:  When others were less helpful it was John who believed in me and supported me with all my endeavors. I owe so much of my success him. 

John describing Peter:  Peter has been an inspiration.  I over analyze everything and Peter jumps in and sorts out all the details.

Who is the funnier sibling? 

Peter: John is much funnier.

John: Me of course (or at least in my mind anyways)!


Use one word to describe your brother. 

Roland describing Michael: Methodical

Michael describing Roland: Devotional

How would you describe your relationship with your brother? (Use any word except complicated)

Roland describing Michael: Our relationship is the essence of Yin/Yang Zen. 

Michael describing Roland: Our relationship is an eternal bond. 

How has your brother affected your own personal success?

Roland describing Michael: Michael laid the groundwork and paved the way for a Dream of Smoke BBQ to take root. He is our ROCK! 

Michael describing Roland: Roland is creative and a visionary of our concept. He also has an enormous heart.

Who is the funnier sibling? 

Roland: ME!

Michael:  Roland

Seven must-take supplements for men


Attention dudes

Seven must-take supplements for men

by Susan Wilson, MD

Everyone knows vitamins and supplements are essential to getting the necessary nutrients our body needs every day, but not many people actually know which supplements to take. Especially guys. Here are seven essential supplements every dude should be taking to maximize and maintain your health.

Fish Oil

Most men do not eat the recommended two to three servings of fish a week, so fish oil supplements are a great way to get those healthy fats our body needs. Those omega-3 fatty acids are essential to heart and brain health, and they also serve as an anti-inflammatory. Guys playing any level of sports should seriously consider adding a fish oil supplement to their daily diets. 


Found in yogurt, soy beverages, and milk, these good bacteria help with digestive tract and overall immune system health. Guys should take a probiotics supplement nightly to help keep their intestines healthy. 


Every guy should take a multivitamin every day. Period. Many guys know they should but don’t know why. Well the best multivitamins contain selenium, which helps prevent cancer, and zinc, which helps make sperm. These two key nutrients should be taken daily, so it’s highly recommended you add a multivitamin to your daily regime if you haven’t already.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has more health benefits than most men realize. This vitamin helps maintain bone health while also protects against diabetes, MS, and other cancers. It has a positive effect on blood pressure and is heart healthy.  Vitamin D can be found in skim milk, salmon, and eggs. 

Coenzyme Q10

Especially important if you’re in your 40’s and older, this coenzyme is important for maintaining your energy because it helps produce ATP (energy) inside the body. Men on medications that help lower cholesterol should seriously consider adding coenzyme Q10 because those medications (known as statins) reduce the production of coenzyme Q10 in your body. 

Alpha Lipoic Acid

As you age, your bodies cannot utilize glucose as effectively as before. Alpha Lipoic Acid, or ALA, helps regulate your body’s blood sugar levels, so if you’re a guy in your 30’s or later consider taking an ALA supplement regularly to break down that glucose. ALA has also been reported to improve the lipid profile, reduce blood pressure, reduce weight, reduce the frequency of migraine headaches and protect against cataract formation.

ALA also helps with brain health and serves as an antioxidant, only more of a reason to take ALA.


A potent anti-inflammatory substance that comes from the tumeric plant, research on the health benefits of curcumin has exploded in the past few decades.  This miracle substance fights inflammation in the body which is known to cause heart disease, dementia and many forms of cancer.  It also helps to reduce pain and improve joint and muscle function

Just as important as the type of vitamins and supplements you take, is the quality of those supplements.  Not all vitamins and supplement products are created equal.  The nutraceutical industry is largely unregulated.  Pharmaceutical grade products obtained from your health care provider are much more likely to be fresh, pure and potent (more readily bio-available to your body).  The best ones undergo rigorous testing for purity and quality.

Who's Driving Your Bus?


by Debbie Martinez

Divorced and back in the dating world. You have met the woman of your dreams. She is good looking, employed, smart, good to you and willing to take on your kids but “Houston, we have a problem.” Your kids don’t want to take her on so what do you do?

As a single dad, you will come to many crossroads with your children but none is more of a sticky wicket than choosing between your heart and your children or at least that is how you perceive it. This is huge for you. You want this person in your life but at what cost. At the end of the day, it is ultimately your decision but here are some things to mull over.

Perception is everything and if you look at this as having to choose than it will end up being a choice. Instead, look at it as growing pains for both you and your children and use this situation to teach some life lessons to them.

How long have you been divorced? If you are newly divorced, of course you would handle this differently than if you have been divorced 3 years. 

Is this the first GF you have brought home to the clan and they are adjusting or is this “No dating, Dad” thing a pattern? Take the time to figure out if they are opposed to you dating period or just this woman and is it justified? 

Do a self-assessment. When you start to date do you cut down on the time you spend with the kids or act differently around them? Have you laid the groundwork before introducing them to her or has she just showed up for dinner?

Some kids are more open to their dads dating than others so please don’t listen to your friends advice, every situation is different and what might have worked with one dad not necessarily will be the best for your children. Depending on the age, open communication is key and listening is even more key to a happy ever after. 

So here’s the paradox. Your kids come first but they don’t. Your children are a priority but you have to make your life a priority as well. Let me be clear, I am in no way promoting being selfish, neglectful or putting your needs before theirs, example: you want to go on a date but it’s Jimmy’s school play. You better be at that play front row center! I’m talking about balancing your life with theirs and that includes dating.

I hear all the time men and women say they will not date till their children are a certain age and what happens? The parent makes the child their life because they don’t have one of their own and what does that teach the child? They are the center of the universe.  The parent is unhappy because their growth/needs as a man or woman have come to a screeching halt and believe me that unhappiness shows through in various ways.  To allow your child to control your dating life is way too much power to give a child and believe me, you will be paying the price for years to come.

Wouldn’t it be better for your child to experience open communication, seeing their parent happy because they are living a full life, being able to change with the tides of life and demonstrate resiliency? All of these are lessons that they will need to live a happy and successful life and you are teaching all this through dating.

So, at the end of the day, who is driving your bus? If it’s your children, they will be going down a completely different road than they would if you were driving and not necessarily the best one. You are the parent so hold tight to the steering wheel and gently guide your bus knowing that you have precious passengers on board.

Dude’s ON FIRE

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by Maggie McMenamin

In case you haven’t noticed, these days Man About Town and Southern Charm fan-favorite Shepard Rose is on fire! Not only has this Lowcountry native and Bravo TV’s most eligible bachelor landed his very own dating show “RelationShep” to be aired on Bravo in the very near future, but his eponymous line of hip, ‘coastal casual’ shirts & hats called ShepGear™ appears to be a huge hit!

Cool and stylish with a certain twist of humor (just like the man himself,) ShepGear is a lifestyle brand that perfectly reflects the laid back island attitude that makes our South Carolina coastline the in place to be.

But… in case you think this has all been just a stroke of luck for the affable Rose, think again. This island boy has earned his stripes! A former Vanderbilt School of Business student & world class traveler whose adventures have taken him everywhere from Austria to Argentina, South Florida to Dubai, Shep has clearly achieved his success by working hard, following his passion, and by keeping the rest of us guessing what he’ll do next!

In fact, if you do ask him what his next move is he’ll straight up tell you he’s not sure what the future holds, and he wouldn’t reveal it even if he did.  “That” he says, “is some valuable information!” We couldn’t agree more!   

One thing’s for sure:  this Man About Town is going to keep chugging along with that trademark smile on his face, spending time with loved ones and keeping a presence in Charleston no matter where life takes him…Why Charleston? Because, as Shep will tell you, “it’s the best place on earth.”

Being a MAN

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by Rachel Toalson

We’re sitting around the table, talking about our days like we always do, when my husband says, “We got some negative podcast feedback today.”

“Oh, yeah?” I say.

He tells me about this guy who wrote in to say that as much as he wants to recommend the business show my husband co-hosts to his friends, he just can’t do it because of my husband’s involvement—because my husband, according to this man, hasn’t had the kind of success people would expect from a business owner giving business advice.

This exchange comes at the beginning of our meal, just before we get to our gratitude practices, and it thoroughly and completely derails me. 

So it gets to my turn, and I can barely think of anything that deserves my thanks, my whole mood shot through with one ridiculous comment. I think about my layoff a year ago and our businesses that are still struggling to find their feet and money worries and what might or might not come next in the lineup of success, and my stomach twists.

My husband knows, of course, because he’s that kind of man. He smiles and says, “It doesn’t really matter. I know I’m successful.”

He’s right. But something about it just won’t let me go.

There’s a lot of talk about the pressures on women. Sometimes we forget that there are increasing pressures on men, too. My husband is a business owner. He’s also a dad and a husband and a helper around the house, because he has a wife who works. He has to find time for friends, for work projects, for watching Netflix with me, for spending quality time with his sons, for holding down the fort half a day every day. That’s a lot of pressure, too.

And, on top of all that, he’s expected to chase this thing called Success.

Success is a slippery thing in our world. The definition changes periodically. Sometimes it’s the person with the most money in the bank. Sometimes it’s the person who lives the most fulfilling life, as though that sort of thing can be measured. Sometimes it depends on how many cars are lined up in your driveway or how well your children behave or how many employees you have working for you or whether or not you bought a new, bigger house this year. 

In the last several years, men in my family have lost their jobs and fallen into such a deep depression that they disappear from the face of the earth (because society doesn’t like depressed men, either), unable to show their “unsuccessful” face in such an unkind world. Men in my family have felt discontent but stuck in their work, because what else is there for a man to do? Men in my family have become stay-at-home dads and braved the judgments of those who believe that this cannot be success.

But the truth is, success lives in who you are, not what you have.

Success is found in the way you look at your partner in the middle of an argument. It’s found in the way you talk to your children when they’ve done something wrong. It’s found in the relationships you keep with family and friends and neighbors and strangers.

It’s found in the deepest places of a heart. The world, the ignorant words of others, the critical eyes of people, can make you forget this.

Sometimes people will look at your choices—having and raising multiple children, turning down a promotion because it would take too much time away from your family, keeping an old clunker because you don’t have the money for a brand new car—and stamp you unsuccessful because you don’t look like the ideal.

But success can never be measured on the outside. It is held within.

And then I tick them off, one by one: Loving spouse. Adoring father. Faithful friend. And so much more.

We may not have a bank full of money we couldn’t spend in a lifetime or two luxury cars sitting out front or a vacation home in that place we always wanted to live. But what we do have, this life full of laughter and presence and joy, means more than all that anyway.