Category: Article

Local Volunteers in Medicine Presented $23,000 from Subaru 2017 Share The Love Event

Local Volunteers in Medicine Presented $23,000 from Subaru 2017 Share The Love Event

(JASPER COUNTY, S.C.) Peacock Subaru Hilton Headpresented $22,570 to the Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicineto help provide medical services and compassionate care to the uninsured.

This marks the fourth year in a row that Peacock Subaruhas chosen Volunteers in Medicineto receive a local share made available in conjunction withSubaru of America, Inc.’s Share the Loveprogram, which donates $250 for every new Subaru sold or leased to the customer’s choice of national charities or one hometown charity chosen by the local auto dealer.

Peacock Automotive presents check to Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine

Peacock Subaru Hilton Head presents check to Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine

“This is not only a wonderful gift from Peacock Subaru, but it is a tremendous contribution to the community,” said Pamela Toney, the non-profit’s executive director. “There are more than 17,000 patients in this area who do not have health insurance, and this money will be put to great use.”

The 2017 program contributions, along with a match of more than $2 million from Subaru retailers, brings the total amount donated during the 10-year-old national program to more than $118 million.

“The program demonstrates a shared commitment by Subaru and local retailers in making the world a better place,” said Warner Peacock, president and CEO of Peacock Automotive. “We believe in being a positive force in the communities where we live and work, not just with donations but with actions that set an example for others to follow.”

Over the years, Peacock Subaruhas led local initiatives to encourage pet adoptions and collect donations for animal shelters. The dealership has also donated blankets and craft kits to local cancer care facilities in partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as part of Subaru’s Loves to Care campaign. Peacock Subaruhas also donated gardening supplies and books to local schools.

Peacock Subaru Hilton Headis located in the Peacock Auto Mallat 111 Drivers Way in Hardeeville, S.C. For more information, call 843-208-2400 or visit online at

Peacock Automotiveowns and operates more than 20 automotive franchises and other holdings in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, employing upwards of 600 individuals. The company’s headquarters are located at the Peacock Auto Mallthat covers 45 acres on U.S. 278, five miles east of Interstate 95 at Exit 8 near Bluffton, S.C. Fifteen brands are featured at the Auto Mall, including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Genesis, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Maserati, Porsche, Ram, Subaruand Volkswagen. Additionally, the company owns Peacock Hyundai and Peacock Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Brunswick, Ga., and Peacock Hyundai Savannah, Savannah Volkswagen, Alfa Romeo & Fiat of Savannah. Other holdings include Jaguar Land Rover Columbia in Columbia, S.C. Its subsidiary, Peacock-Griffey Automotive, owns Peacock Ford in Orlando, Fla. Peacock Automotivealso owns and operates the Peacock Collision Center and The Wellness Institute in South Carolina. Peacock Automotivewas awarded Business of the Year in 2017 from the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258 or visit

Jill Jauch
Advertising and Marketing Manager


Catherine Donaldson Named Chair of the Southern Coast Heart Ball

Catherine Donaldson Named Chair of the Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association Celebrates 22nd Annual Heart Ball

(HILTON HEAD, SC) The American Heart Association(AHA) is proud to announce Catherine Donaldson will chair the 22nd Annual Heart Ball of the Southern Coast. The Heart Ballwill be held on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.

Catherine Donaldson, chair of Southern Coast Heart Ball

Catherine Donaldson

In her role as chair, Donaldson will work with local leaders to support the Southern Coast Heart Balland expand the AHA’s mission. She has been a Realtor locally for almost 15 years, and her commitment as chairperson for the 2019 Southern Coast Heart Ballcomes with a profoundly personal cause, as her husband Brad died suddenly from a massive heart attack in September of 2016.

“Anyone who knew Brad will attest to the fact that he was fiercely proud to be father to his five children. I am dedicated to keeping his memory alive, and this event is one way to do so,” said Donaldson.

A loyal patriot, Brad was a Lt. Col. in the Army Reserves when he died at the young age of 50. Donaldson said her mission as chairperson is “to strive to further public awareness regarding the importance of sound heart health through raising a record amount of funds in order to expand the efforts of the American Heart Association.”

Donaldson said, “In the midst of an incredible loss, my children and I knew that an incredible need for us to play a larger role would present itself. The American Heart Associationis saving lives and when someone mentioned that I should consider chairing the Southern Coast Heart Ball, I discussed it with my children. We all agreed that this was the perfect avenue for us to choose to share our story.”

Donaldson affiliated with Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty10 years ago and has consistently been a top producer in the South Carolina office. Her focus is primarily luxury home sales and her reputation as an expert in this segment of the market is unparalleled.

The AHA’s local Life is Why sponsor, Hilton Head Regional Healthcare, is also excited to be part of this incredible event. “Whether it’s teaching CPR in the community, educating people about the early signs of heart disease or funding research into lifesaving treatments, the American Heart Associationhas been at the forefront of fighting cardiovascular disease,” said Jeremy Clark, Market Chief Executive Officer of Hilton Head Regional Healthcare. “That’s why Hilton Head Regional Healthcareis so proud to support this lifesaving cause.”

The AHAis also pleased to announce that Audi Hilton Headwill be this year’s legacy sponsor for the fifth year in a row. “We are proud supporters of the American Heart Association, and we encourage the community to rally together so we can beat heart disease and stroke,” said Warner Peacock, Chairman & CEO of Peacock Automotive, parent company of Audi Hilton Head. The dealership, located at Peacock Auto Mall, will unveil the 2019 Heart Balltheme in its showroom and will also celebrate their grand opening on Oct. 4, 2019.

To learn more about corporate sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 Heart Ball, contact Carla Raines at 843-540-6338 or visit

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Associationis devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.orgor call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries:
Jennifer Waites:, 843-480-4907
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1(242-8721)

Navigating Georgia’s New Hands-Free Law

Navigating Georgia’s New Hands-Free Law
By Joanie Iaco

Joanie Iaco, Peacock Automotive

Joanie Iaco

It’s the law. Georgia motorists will have to put down their phones while driving to comply with the new Hands-Free Georgia Act that becomes effective July 1.

The goals of the new law, signed earlier this year by Gov. Nathan Deal, are to lower incidents of distracted driving and rising insurance premiums by prying our eyes and our attention away from cell phones while we’re behind the wheel.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionhas reported that highway fatalities rose by one-third in Georgia from 2014-16. While cell-phone use cannot be pinpointed as a cause for this increase, the state Department of Driver Servicesprocessed 3,866 citations for using phones while driving in 2016, up more than 30 percent from 2014.

The costs associated with car crashes differ depending on the injuries sustained, but the average cost for the physical damage to one car is $7,500. If there is a fatality, the financial impact can reach into the millions. Even for non-fatal crashes, total costs can soar into the hundreds of thousands.

The hands-free law doesn’t allow drivers to support any wireless device with any part of their body when they’re behind the wheel unless they’re legally parked. This means that you cannot hold it in your hand, lay it in your lap or hold it against your ear with your shoulder.

While the new law prohibits you from holding your phone while driving, you can still talk and even text as long as you’re using hands-free technology.

You may also use your phone as a GPS, but you must set it up before you begin driving. If you need to change your route, you must be legally parked before you pick up or touch your phone. This does not include being stopped at a light or stop sign. You are only considered legally parked if your vehicle is parked in a parking space, parking lot or driveway.

The new law also prohibits drivers from watching or recording a video and from typing, sending or reading any text-based communication unless legally parked.

The only exceptions to the hands-free law would be if the driver is reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, crime, delinquent act or hazardous road condition. Law enforcement officers are exempt from the law as long as they are performing their official duties.

The prohibition is considered a primary enforcement law, which means an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safetysays the Georgia Department of Public Safetyand local law enforcement may issue warnings as part of the effort to educate and to help motorists adapt to the new law. However, citations can and will be issued starting July 1. Penalties will begin at $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $150 for three or more violations.

With the passage of the new law, Georgia becomes one of 16 other states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

In South Carolina, it is illegal for motorists to text and drive, but hand-held cell phone use is still permitted and drivers are allowed to use the GPS feature on their handheld device for navigation purposes.

Joanie Iaco is Manager of Peacock Collision Center, part of Peacock Automotive, which owns and operates 24 automotive dealerships representing 31 brands in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The company’s headquarters are located at Peacock Auto Mall on U.S. 278, 5 miles east of I-95 at Exit 8 near Bluffton, S.C. For more information about Peacock Collision Center, call 843-645-5500or

Everything You Need to Know about the GDPR

Everything You Need to Know about the GDPR
by Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) recently went into effect across the European Union (EU). The GDPR is a data privacy law that gives citizens of the EU far more control over their personal data and requires businesses to keep all such data private, safe and protected.

This law was passed in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the private personal data of millions of people was sold to England’s “Leave the EU” campaign and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Any company that collects data on people who live in the EU must follow the new regulations, no matter where the company is based. That means that if you own a company in Savannah but sell to a European customer, you are subject to the new GDPR privacy rules.

To better ensure privacy and protection, companies must now procure their customer’s actual consent in order to store their personal information. This request for consent must be clear and written in plain language (rather than buried in 50 pages of terms and conditions).

Any company that does not obtain this explicit consent may only store a customer’s personal data if they can prove they have a “lawful basis” for doing so such as a contract or other legal obligation.

What this means in practical terms is businesses will have to pay a lot more attention to the security of their customers’ personal data and they will not be allowed to hold onto it for any longer than necessary. Also, anyone can ask for their personal information to be deleted from a company’s servers at any time.

Any company found to be in violation of these new rules will face huge financial penalties. Large companies can be fined up to 4 percent of their annual global sales, which can run into billions of dollars. Even small companies can be fined up to $23.5 million.

The GDPR was designed to protect consumers due to the large number of cyber attacks and data leaks over the past few years. And despite the fact it is a European law, given the global reach of the internet, it has been estimated that 92 percent of American businesses will be affected.

There currently are no plans to expand the provisions of GDPR to the United States, but many experts believe that given the almost daily occurrence of large scale data hacks, it’s only a matter of time until such protections are extended worldwide. It will be interesting to see how effective the EU’s monitoring of the GDPR is over the next several months and how aggressively violators are prosecuted.

It seems clear, however, that data breaches and mishandling of personal customer information will be a lot costlier.

Despite the effort it will take to understand, implement and enforce the GDPR, it is hard to deny some type of action must be taken. Anyone who has ever shopped for a product on Amazon and then immediately seen an ad for the same product on Facebook knows how creepy and invasive the internet’s targeted advertising technology can be.

The National Security Agency can use that same system to seamlessly track almost anyone in the United States, and political firms such as Cambridge Analytica can use it to secretly single out political subgroups and sell that data.

Hopefully, the GDPR is a good start in restoring a bit of privacy to the worldwide web, but it’s just the first step of a long process.

Charles Bowenis a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or

How to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant by Lauren Dingus of Speros

How to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant
By Lauren Dingus, Director of Web and Social Media Department

Lauren Dingus of Speros

Lauren Dingus of Speros


With data security becoming more and more of a concern, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) being implemented in the European Union is sure to become the precedent for other countries, like the United States.

Your company can use GDPR as an advantage by becoming compliant with these regulations as soon as possible. By adopting these regulations, you will show your customers that you value their privacy and security. In turn, your customers will trust you. Here are a few quick ways you can get ahead of the competition.

Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions
You want to make sure you have an updated privacy policy. Your privacy policy needs to clearly lay out how you are acquiring data from users, where the data is being stored, how long you intend to keep the data, how users can view the information you’ve stored, and how the user can have the data removed from your systems. Along with your privacy policy, your website should also include its terms and conditions for users on the site. This should briefly outline how users are allowed to interact with your site.

Easy Opt-in and Opt-out
Your website visitors need to be able to opt-out just as easily as the opted in. Normally you have your users subscribe their email as your opt-in option. Opting out should be just as simple. For example, if you are sending your users email marketing, have a link at the bottom where they can choose to opt-out. You can include this link in your privacy policy as well.

SSL Certificate
A Single Socket Layer, or SSL certificate, is a small file that you put into your website. It makes all your content secure between servers, can help your Google search engine optimization (SEO), and help build trust with your customers. The SSL certificate provides the “padlock” symbol that you often see in web browsers and the “https://” in front of your domain name. When your customers see this, they know that your website is secure.

IP Tracking
If your website uses IP tracking that provides you with identifiable details about your visitors, then you need to make it known in your privacy policy. This data is different than what is collected with Google Analytics and is considered personal data.

Re-marketing is when a website uses cookies to track your online activity and serve you ads based on your online activity. For example, if you’re on a website that sells a product and then you later log onto Facebook and see an ad from that site, it used cookies to track your information. You must make website visitors aware of this in your privacy policy.

Advertising the use of and the acceptance of using cookies is law. It needs to be clear immediately on the website for the user to be able to accept or deny the use of cookies. In addition, it needs to be outlined in your privacy policy that you use cookies and what you use them for.

Social media advertising
If you plan on using email addresses for social media marketing lists you must make users aware. They have to willingly opt into the social media marketing and you must provide them with an easy method to opt-out.

Website forms
Input forms on your website cannot have prefilled form fields. This is considered implied consent. Your forms must be clear and allow your website visitors to give explicit consent for each type of processing. The user must give their consent freely for everything they are opting into.

Online payments
If your website uses a payment gateway like PayPal, your own website may be collecting personal data from the transactions made. You must make sure your website has an SSL certificate to ensure your users it is safe. You need to make it clear in your privacy policy that what information is being collected. If the information is being stored, then you need to make it clear how long the information will be stored, and if the user wants the information removed you must do so.

Data breaches
Lastly, you must notify users of any data breach that takes place within 72 hours. Furthermore, if the breach puts users’ freedoms and rights at risk, then the Information Commissioners Office website must also be notified.

Ultimately you want to get ahead of the competition and comply with the regulations of GDPR as it will quickly become the standard. By doing so you will build trust with your customers and build your company’s reputation as a trusted source.

Lauren Dingusis the Director of Web and Social Media Department at Speros, responsible for the website development division including high-end graphic design, integrated functionality and security components. For information, contact Dingus at ldingus@speros.comor 912.790.5117.

How to Recognize Melanoma Warning Signs

How to Recognize Melanoma Warning Signs
by Dr. Corinne Howington

With beach season upon us, our coastal locals start taking time to soak up the sun, but these long, light-filled days often mean overexposure to the day’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays.

With more than three million cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually, beachgoers need to be more mindful than ever as more than 95 percent of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure. Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing skin cancer by almost 50 percent.

Designated by the American Academy of Dermatology, National Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Monthis set for the month of May to try to raise awareness about skin cancer and increase the chances of early detection.

Here at home, we must be committed to raising awareness and encouraging action to prevent melanoma.

The American Cancer Societyreports that more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. About 9,320 people are expected to die from this disease in 2018. The good news is that skin cancer is not only preventable but is the most curable form of cancer.

Our goal for the month of May is to bring attention to skin disease and to get people to talk about an uncomfortable topic.

Education is the key to fighting this form of cancer. If the disease is caught early and treated, the cure rate is extremely high.

Be aware of any spots on your skin that are different from the others or anything that’s changing, itching or bleeding. When checking your skin, you should look for the ABCDE’s of melanoma:

A) Asymmetry
One half of your dark spot is unlike the other half.

B) Border
An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border is around your dark spot.

C) Color
The hue is varied from one area to another; your dark spot has shades of tan, brown or black or is sometimes white, red or blue.

D) Diameter
Melanoma spots are usually greater than the size of a pencil eraser when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.

E) Evolving
A mole or dark spot that looks unusual or is changing in size, shape or color.

As a note, not all melanomas will look like moles but may appear to be a bruise or spot that doesn’t heal.

Early detection remains the best way to fight melanoma. Patients whose melanoma is treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes or other organs have a five-year survival rate of 99 percent. This drops to 63 percent when the disease spreads to the lymph nodes and other nearby organs and 20 percent when it spreads to distant organs according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

It is recommended that everyone perform regular skin self-exams. Prevention is the best form of medicine. So this May, add a healthy dose of sunscreen to your skin.

Dr. Corinne Howington of Low Country Dermatology

Dr. Corinne Howington of Low Country Dermatology

Dr. Corinne Howington, of Low Country Dermatology, is a board certified dermatologist, with expertise in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. For more information, call (912) 354-1018or visit

What GDPR Means for Your Business

What GDPR Means for Your Business
By Lauren Dingus, Director of Web and Social Media Department

You may have heard some of the buzz going around about the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that will be enforced in the European Union starting May 25, 2018. This regulation looks to bring a stricter policy to European data security.

GDPR has been designed to protect the Personally Identifiable Information of citizens of the European Union. In short, a website cannot collect a website visitor’s information without their explicit consent, and that they must be notified of any data breaches that may occur.

While you may think that GDPR won’t affect your business in the United States, think again. If your company processes the personal data of subjects in the European Union, regardless of your company’s location, you must comply with these regulations. In other words, you are affected if you have an online presence for your business that can be accessed by anyone in the world.

Impacts for Savannah
The tourism industry remains one of Savannah’s largest economic drivers. According to Visit Savannah, tourists contributed almost $3 billion to our city in 2017. Savannah is a premier travel destination for people all over the world. More and more people are researching Savannah businesses on the web to figure out how to make the best of their vacation. They want to know where they are going to stay, what activities they can do, and which restaurants they should enjoy.

Travel and booking agencies want to pay special attention to the requirements of GDPR. These companies are commonly processing payments and collecting personal data about their customers as they go through the booking process. Here are the requirements your business must follow to be compliant.

Increased territory
GDPR will be enforced for all companies that process the personal data of subjects living in the EU, regardless of the company’s physical location. It will also apply to companies that process personal data who offer goods or services to the EU citizens.

Organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined. There is a tiered approach to distinguishing fines with the most being up to 4% of annual global turnover or 20 Million Euros (whichever is greater), for the most serious infringements.

Request for consent must now be easily accessible and clear to understand. It must also be just as easy to withdraw your consent.

Breach Notification
If a data breach occurs that may risk individual rights, then notification of the breach is mandatory in all member states and must be done within 72 hours of first becoming aware of the breach.

Right to access and to be forgotten
Data subjects have the right to obtain confirmation that personal data concerning them is being processed, where it’s being processed, and for what purpose. The subject also has a right to a copy of the data. Lastly, the subject has the right to request a withdrawal of their information being processed and for their data to be erased.

Design and Privacy
GDPR requires that the inclusion of data protection be included from the beginning of the designing of the system rather than be added on later.

Lauren Dingus, SperosLauren Dingus is the Director of Web and Social Media Department at Speros, responsible for the website development division including high-end graphic design, integrated functionality and security components. For information, contact Dingus at or 912.790.5117.