The Beaufort History Museum is run by a volunteer Board, which has custody, and provides control and direction to the museum and its collections. Board members serve three-year terms, and are (re)elected at each Annual Meeting.
Our Mission is "To preserve, promote, and interpret the experiences of our past that influence us now and in the future."
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Carol Lauvray, Board President
Carol’s interest in Beaufort’s history prompted her to join the Museum as a Docent in 2013. She was elected to BHM’s Board of Directors in January 2015 and as Board President in December 2015. Carol also serves on the Museum’s Marketing and Communications Committee and represents the Museum as a member of the City of Beaufort’s Cultural District Advisory Board.
In addition to her volunteer activities on behalf of BHM, she is a contributing writer for the local magazine, Beaufort Lifestyle. Before moving to Beaufort in 2011, Carol was a marketing and communications professional for more than 20 years and worked for Nationwide Financial Services in Columbus, Ohio, part of Nationwide Insurance Company. She graduated magna cum laude from Otterbein College with a bachelor’s degree in business and organizational communication; earned a masters in organizational communication from Ohio University; and attended Bowling Green State University for post-graduate studies in organizational development.
Dr. Charles Cornett
Charles is a retired school superintendent from Springfield, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry and a Master’s in biology and education. His Ph.D. is in School Finance and Business Administration from Miami University. Before becoming a high school principal and school superintendent, he taught high school biology and chemistry in Dayton, Ohio. During his thirty-year career in education, he also taught graduate courses in administration and published a variety of journal articles and curriculum materials. After retirement, he worked as a senior researcher on several textbook projects, most recently for Pearson Publishing.Charles is a member of the Museum’s Exhibits Committee, which is now planning the second phase of the complete renovation of BHM’s main Exhibit Hall. He has also served as a member and officer of numerous community organizations including the American Red Cross, Junior Achievement, Clark County Historical Society, Warren County Historical Society, Santa Elena Foundation, and Rotary. Currently, he is a member of the Red Cross’s Local and National Disaster Response Team, serving as a logistic specialist and logistics instructor. In addition, he has participated in Red Cross services to the local military community. He is also a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and has served as a mass casualty triage instructor. His most unusual training was for the Red Cross response protocol for a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) event. Charles lives on Lady’s Island with his wife Claudia, a retired Wittenberg University professor and author.
Steve Guida, Board Treasurer
Steve was elected to the Museum’s Board of Directors in August 2015 and has served as BHM’s Treasurer since the fall of that year. He has been instrumental to the growth and success of BHM through his oversight of all aspects of the Museum’s financial and operational activities and his leadership of BHM’s Marketing and Communications Committee as its Co-chair. Steve is a retired medical device industry executive with a successful career in senior marketing and general management positions in various Fortune 500 and venture-backed companies. He was President and Co-founder of a medical technology company that developed and successfully commercialized an innovative retinal imaging technology. In addition to building successful companies, Steve participated in numerous successful equity and debt fundraising activities in public and private markets.
After retiring from the corporate world, Steve started his own consulting firm that specialized in providing business and strategic marketing planning to entrepreneurs and early stage medical device companies. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. His volunteer activities include: serving as Past President and a former Director of the Polawana Island Homeowner Association; serving as past Treasurer of the Friends of Fort Fremont; and currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Fort Fremont.
Stuart Heath, Board Secretary
Stuart was elected to BHM’s Board of Directors in August 2015 and has served as the Museum’s Secretary since December 2015. She is a Co-chair of the Education Committee and coordinates the Museum’s popular lecture series in partnership with the Beaufort County Library. Stuart actively supports and participates in all of BHMs events including: co-chairing the Museum’s annual fundraising Tea at Dataw Island Club; working on the planning committee for the annual Living History Encampment; and assisting in planning and implementing BHM’s receptions, open houses and community events.Stuart is a retired educator who taught for 30 years in the Clemson, S.C. area schools. After retiring, she supervised student teachers for Clemson University. In addition, she helped to establish the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Alumnae and Collegiate Chapters at Clemson. Stuart also served on the Boards, and as President, of the Clemson University Woman’s Club and the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, for which she raised funds. She and her husband Wayne moved to Beaufort in 2012, where she is an active volunteer and fundraiser for a number of local nonprofit organizations. A member of the Beaufort County Open Land Trust since the early 1990s, she was one of three Volunteer Coordinators for the Auldbrass 2015 Tour sponsored by the Open Land Trust. Stuart was Chairman of the Auction Committee for the 2014 Beaufort Memorial Hospital Valentine Ball. She is the past President and an active member of The Sage Society, a member of Sea Island Garden Club, and a volunteer for Historic Beaufort Foundation’s annual Fall Tour of Homes. In addition, Stuart is a Friend of Fort Fremont and an active member of the Christian Science Society in Beaufort.
Thomas J. Kelley
Tom is a native of Philadelphia who retired to Dataw Island near Beaufort with his wife, Susan, in 2016. He was awarded a B.S. degree in Government from Georgetown University in 1973 and J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1976. Tom’s practice focused primarily on defense litigation, both in private practice and as a 25-year employee of The Travelers Insurance Company. He founded the Travelers Staff Counsel office covering northeastern Pennsylvania and served as Managing Attorney there for the last 15 years of his legal career. Tom has served as a docent at the Beaufort History Museum since February 2017 and is currently a member of its Exhibits Committee. He is also a member of the Dataw Historic Foundation and Friends of Hunting Island.
Jeff is an award-winning journalist, writer and communications specialist, with a career spanning 24 years with the Beaufort Gazette, The Island Packet and The State (Columbia). He currently is the communications director for the 14th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office, which prosecutes criminal cases in a five-county area of the Lowcountry.
Carla recently retired from a career in public relations and marketing with an office in Boca Raton, Fla. Before establishing her own company in 1991, she was a vice president of a leading Fort Lauderdale public relations firm with which she was associated for eight years. A former news, sports and features writer, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Michigan, where she was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Marsh served on the board of the Boca Raton Historical Society and the South Florida’s “No Kid Hungry” Taste of the Nation fundraising event steering committee.
She also was co-founding chairwoman of Boca Bacchanal Winefest Weekend, the largest fundraiser of the Boca Raton Historical Society and one of the largest food and wine events in Florida. She currently serves on the board of directors of a top Charlotte, N.C., real estate development company. She and her husband, Alex, joined the Beaufort History Museum in 2014 and became part of the docent staff.
J. Thomas Mikell
Tom is a native Beaufortonian and graduated from Beaufort High in 1960. He then attended the Citadel, where he was awarded the DAR Francis Marion Cup for the highest average in all American History Courses over his four years, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Tom began his career at First National Bank of South Carolina and was promoted to the position of Branch Manager in Charleston, SC. He entered the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1969, earning his Juris Doctorate in 1972. Afterward he returned to Beaufort where he became a shareholder in the Law Firm of Harvey, Battey, P.A. In 1982 he opened his own legal practice, J. Thomas Mikell, P.C. Since becoming an attorney, Tom has concentrated his practice in the areas of Real Estate Development, Small Business Transactions, Banking, Uniform Commercial Code, General Corporate, and Community Association Law.
Tom is the former President and Director of the South Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute and is the only lawyer in South Carolina that is a member of the College of Community Association Lawyers. Over the years, he has served in various capacities with many community organizations in Beaufort, including: the Downtown Merchants Association; Main Street USA; as President of the Beaufort Chapter of the American Cancer Society; on the Board of Directors of Palmetto State Bank; on the Executive Committee and as Chairman of the Lowcountry Council of Governments; Sea Island Rotary Club; Beaufort/Jasper Homebuilders Associations; Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association; and as Vice President of the Governor Paul Hamilton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Kathryn Sommerville Mixon
Kathy is a fifth-generation Beaufortonian. She says, “At an early age I learned to love, appreciate, value and protect the community my family (the Christensens) has been instrumental in building since the 1800s.” Kathy is multi-talented—she is an artist, educator, real estate broker, businesswoman, banker and civic leader. She earned a BA in Fine Arts, Studio with a minor in Education from the College of Charleston, South Carolina in 1979 and her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina in 1996.
Kathy serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Fort Fremont and is the Design Committee Chair for Beaufort County’s project to build an interpretive center at Fort Fremont’s site. She is also a Board Member of the Friends of Whitehall Park and is working with the steering committee planning landscaping for the causeway there. Kathy is a member of Beaufort History Museum’s Education Committee, as well as BHM’s Exhibits Committee, which is currently planning the second phase of the Museum’s main Exhibit Hall renovation. For enjoyment, she cooks, sews, and paints in oils (www.sommervillegallery.com). She is also a Master Gardner. Kathy has two adult sons—one lives in Beaufort and the other lives in Georgia and is married with two sons.