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Meet Seafood Fest chairman Mike Sisco
Mike Sisco - photo by Ross Blair

Meet Mike Sisco: longtime Richmond Hill resident, family man and chairman of this year’s Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival.


How long have you lived in Richmond Hill?

I’ve been permanently here since 1975. My grandparents have lived here since the ‘30s and, as an Army

brat, we spent the summers here every summer.

There have been a lot of changes to Richmond Hill in that time. In your opinion, has it grown in a positive way?

I guess you could say that. Some of us old blood folks remember when you could sit at the crossroads and you knew every car that went by. Dinky’s on one corner, Bud Casey’s on the other corner, the Shell station on the other corner. Good times.

On the other hand, Richmond Hill is still the community to live in with some of the best schools. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

How many kids do you have?

My wife Debbie and I have two kids – Patrick is 27 and Nicole is 21. Nicole is working on a business degree at Albany Technical College and Patrick is about to get his PhD degree by the middle of next year at the University of Illinois.

What do you do for a living?

I work with Yancey Brothers, the CAT (construction equipment) dealer here in the state of Georgia. I’m the used parts division manager for the state of Georgia. I’ve been with the company since 1979 and I’ve been this particular position since ’95.

Do you enjoy it?

I love it.

Your father, the late great Frank Sisco, worked directly under multiple U.S. Presidents during his tenure as Chief White House Communications Director. Did that make for an interesting childhood?

Dad’s work was so classified that he couldn’t tell us a whole lot. Most of what I know about his job, I found out after he retired and he was still very guarded about it. I do have some good memories swimming in the pool at Camp David though.

How long have you been involved in the Seafood Festival?

Seven years now. I was a volunteer before I was actually on the committee. I was co-chair with Janet (Chamber Director Thayer) last year and vice chair the year before. Before that, I was on the parking committee. Before that, Debbie and I helped with the possum trot, which is an event that used to take place every year.

What drove you to step up and be the chairman this year? Obviously, that comes with a lot of time and effort on your part.

Our parents have always taught us to give back. Dad was heavily involved in the Lion’s Club and the Masonic Lodge.

I may be the chairman, but what drives the Seafood Festival is the committee and the volunteers. Every one of them is so committed and so good at what they do. We put a lot of time into it. Ultimately, it drives the budget for the Chamber. That in turn helps the businesses in Richmond Hill, which helps Richmond Hill to grow in the right direction.

Is the festival coming together well?

It is, and I think it’s going to be very successful. We’re already working on 2010. We pride ourselves at doing the best job we can do and really like the fact that when the city has other events coming in, they compare them and actually hold the standard they have to meet to what we set.

Another neat thing about the festival is how many people in Richmond Hill get involved in it. It doesn’t just stop at the ones for the Chamber. You’ve got volunteers helping at all those booths out there and earning funds for the churches and civic organizations in this community. It’s a great thing for everyone in Richmond Hill to participate in.

- by Ross Blair

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