More than a decade ago, James Mitchell was driven to form the Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association to protect and improve the lives of native Hilton Head Islanders.
The association's work included saving land passed down for generations from being lost to tax sales and giving micro-loans to business startups.
Now, he is working with another distinct and tight-knit community across the bridge from Hilton Head. As the town of Bluffton's community development coordinator, Mitchell will steer improvements at the Buck Island-Simmonsville neighborhood and serve as the town's liaison to low- to moderate-income residents, whose needs range from septic-tank repairs to new roofs.
Mitchell is taking over from Andre White, who resigned in September after about 15 months in the position.
Mitchell, who resigned as president of NIBCAA last month, said his experience in community work will make for a smooth transition to his new job.