H3's new owner knows the business from the inside

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Kevin Carter is the inspired new owner of H3.

Investment guru Warren Buffett once said, "Never invest in a business you cannot understand."

Kevin Carter knows first-hand what the Hilton Head Health (H3) wellness retreat and spa experience can do for its clients. He understands the business and personal sides. He spent more than three weeks there in late 2016 for a planned month-long visit, shortened a bit by Hurricane Matthew.

He was so impressed with the location, the facility, the staff, his fellow guests and friendships, and H3's guiding philosophy and mission that he decided to buy the 41-year-old property earlier this year when the opportunity arose.

Carter and two of his long-time college friends at Wake Forest, along with a small handful of other private investors, formed North Carolina-based Wake Capital Partners for the acquisition.

The investment team bought the 4.4-acre real estate property for $3.3 million in the early spring. He would not disclose the actual price for all the assets, inventory, name branding, etc., but he did say it's significantly more than real estate alone.

H3 Hilton Head, LLC operates the business, and Carter was the registering agent for both new companies.

"In the phase of life I'm in right now, the real focus of life for me now in is running this business to help people, and help people change their lives and have the same positive impact that this place had on me," the Maine native said.

His 6-foot stature supported 279 pounds on his 45-year-old frame when he first checked in. He visited again and is now energy-loaded on his 244-pound frame. He grew up with a father who weighed 525 pounds but is now a 185-pounder at age 74. Carter was inspired.

"The changeover in the four weeks I was here was absolutely dramatic - and it really shocked my primary care physician," said Carter, a family man with a wife and two young children in Summerfield.

Carter resigned from his CEO position at a major aviation company in North Carolina in May 2016, and spent many months contemplating his next business move. Personally, he knew he wanted to focus on family and personal health during his professional hiatus.

H3, a nationally renowned retreat, has a million-dollar kitchen with a chef who shows residents what to cook, how to cook and how to plan meals. H3 also provides top-notch accommodations, individual and group fitness training, wellness counseling, weight-loss management and spa services.

Everlasting friendships aren't on the agenda, but they happen with every session. "You sit down and break bread with people from all over the world," Carter said.

"In my previous life, success was measured by dollars,'' Carter said. "Now, with this business, we measure success by the number of people's lives we can change and impact in a positive way."

Dean Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer.

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