Editor’s note: This week, Georgene Brazer profiles Sean Register, the former chairman of the Development Authority of Bryan County.
Sean Register is a generous man. He’s generous with people, with his time, with his entrepreneurial instincts and his visions for his beloved Bryan County.
Don Montgomery, Bryan County solicitor general, immediately reacted to my question of “tell me about Sean.” “This is a great person who always does the right thing, is open to talk about any issue, and never looks for credit,” Don said, emphasizing that Sean is a man who wants people to tell him the truth, challenge him when they think he’s wrong. “He always tries to confront the tough issues, always wanting to do the right thing for the people of Bryan County. This is a great person.”
When I write, I never go into depth about family but with Sean I have to because his mother and brother helped shape him as he was growing up. It started when his mother was widowed. He was 10, his older brother Tony was 12. They needed to earn money to help with the household.
A great lady “My mother was the greatest lady in my life,” Sean said. He told of his mother walking through her neighborhood with her Jack Russell, Suzi, perhaps 3 miles a day, talking with everyone, always giving the neighborhood children advice. She taught 4th grade and taught homebound children of all ages whether they had to learn at home or she had to go to a hospital to help them keep up with their studies.
I believe the kindness, patience, and willingness to help others succeed that is in some form in most all that Sean does came from what he saw his mother do.
When Sean and his brother went to Georgia Tech, they took turns studying and earning money in order to continue with their education. To earn money and still get educated they developed a unique way to attend school. Each would go to school for six months then switch with the other.
Six months to be educated, six months to earn the money to be taught. A true co-op program, alternating academic study with employment!
His brother, Tony, a custom home builder, is a partner in Tidal Construction located in Richmond Hill. Tony is very proud of his brother. He speaks of Sean as “a great brother,” who passionately cares about others, about their lives. He speaks to the family side of his brother, a great cook and wonderful grill cook, who owns a variety of grills and equipment. A man who deeply admires his wife, Laura, who just retired after 20 years of working with the residents at an assisted living facility, and his two daughters, one a lawyer, the other a real estate agent.
They’re also a family that gives back, and Sean’s love of education and opportunity for youth has made him a strong proponent of creating a tech and career academy.
This is education that will benefit the student as well as the new industry coming here into our existing industrial parks and to the new mega-site the state just purchased in Bryan County. The county as a whole benefits and as this growth occurs jobs created make it possible for our children to be able to stay, live and work here in Bryan County.
Mark Bolton, VP Communications, Marketing and Economic Development Coastal Electric Cooperative said “Sean always finds time to help the youth of our community. He has opened his backyard pool to help young Scouts earn their swimming credentials to attend summer camp. He actively supports the Richmond Hill youth sailing program and on many weekends is in a safety boat during local youth sailing regattas. He is working feverishly to generate funding for the construction of the Georgia Water Sports Center.” Sean also trains young men on weekends and after school to drive and operate a forklift so they can obtain their certification and get hired at one of Savannah areas distribution centers. Sean has been and continues to be a mentor to young students helping them train and get jobs. Mark’s son attests to that. Nick Bolton works for Burkette Electric but got his start under the tutelage of Sean. Nick enthusiastically said he could “fill a whole newspaper” about the great things Sean did for him.
“He has opened doors for me and presented opportunities I’d have never found,” Nick said. Sean was instrumental in bringing North and South Bryan together in a single development authority.
What’s more, as chairman, he was instrumental in helping Bryan County participate in the purchase of the industrial Megasite by the Joint Development Authority. Although he has retired from the Authority after 23 years of service, commitment runs strong. Listing the boards he served and serves on tells the story of that commitment: Coastal Region Commission, Georgia Tech Savannah Advisory Board, World Trade Center Savannah Board Member- Bryan County, Facilities Authority of Bryan County Savannah Sailing Center, and Founding member of the Georgia-Cuba Trade Association.
To quote Mark Bolton, “Sean lives by the mantra, ‘Service Above Self.’ He’s truly a public servant that always puts the people of Bryan County first.”
Getting involved on these major boards and commissions is in line with his dedication to positive, successful growth and economic prosperity.
The Port Fuel Center is owned by Sean and is his brain child. A successful business that helps others, in this case truckers, locals and the port will feature 74 truck-parking spaces, high flow diesel lanes, CNG (compressed natural gas) pumping stations, EV(electric vehicles) charging infrastructure and much more. This man is a phenomenal port ambassador.
The story of the fuel center, the story of his shipping company will follow. These are big stories of concern for those coming to our port, success for our region and stories of helping the people of the Caribbean islands and the incredible, entrepreneurial people of Cuba. I will someday tell you about his helping feed the poor and those in need of support in Bryan County and more.
As I wrote in my article “Why Georgene B. writes what she writes,” the goal is sharing with you, the reader, the wonders and talent of those who call Bryan County home. It’smy chance to bring the vibrancy and the commitment of those I interview to you, the reader. The additional stories about this man deserve the additional article.
Until then I say thank you, Sean, for allowing us to know of your lessons learned from a life well lived.
Georgene Brazer is chairwoman of the Richmond Hill Downtown Development Authority and a Ford resident. She can be reached at georgenebrazer@gmail. com.