Rikki Parker will serve as the Coastal Conservation League’s new South Coast Office Director.

For nearly three years as a project manager and legal analyst based in the CCL Beaufort office, Parker has advocated for single-use plastics bans, strategic land conservation, protections from offshore drilling and seismic testing, and healthy, strong, and vibrant coastal communities in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton counties. She will continue to work on those issues and more in her new role.

Parker will be based at the downtown Beaufort office, 1212 King St., Monday through Friday. She is a yoga teacher and master gardener, currently growing cucumber, zucchini, and watermelon on a Lady’s Island microfarm. She lives in Beaufort with her husband, Jordan, their pets, and a growing flock of chickens.

For more information, contact Parker at rikkap@scccl.org or 843-522-1800.

Craig Whitley and Edward Welch, experienced professionals in the Lowcountry construction business, recently teamed up to form their own company, Ashworth Construction Group.

The new business specializes in building custom homes and commercial projects in Bluffton, Hilton Head Island and the surrounding areas.

Whitley and Welch, who have almost 30 years combined experience in the local construction arena, created the company with the purpose of offering their clients personalized service and transparency.

They believe in keeping their customers informed every step of the way. Whitley and Welch remain hands-on with every project, so clients can rest assured that all details of their investment are being given proper attention.

Ashworth Construction Group offers a design-build service that keeps clients connected to their project from the moment plans are drawn up until the final fixture has been polished.

Using their years of experience as builders, Whitley and Welch hand-pick a team of professionals and vendors to complete every project to the full satisfaction of their clients.

For more information, visit ashworthconstructiongroup.com or call 843-535-0449.

Heather Roper has joined Palm Tree Coastal Realty. She is from Savannah and has lived in Bluffton for nearly two years.

Roper is a South Carolina licensed real estate agent. She specializes in the Bluffton and Sun City areas, as well as working with first responders and military clients.

Chris “Bucky” McClelland also has joined Palm Tree Coastal Realty as a residential sales associate.

McClelland is a South Carolina licensed real estate agent specializing in Sun City as well as working with Palmetto Electric and Gulf Stream employees.

He has a Bachelor’s Degree in history and attended Clemson University for veterinary studies. McClelland is also a Marine and an active volunteer ,prison evangelist.

Palm Tree Coastal Realty is located at 29 Plantation Park Drive, Suite 107. For more information, call 843-707-1163 or 912-398-3555.

Donald James Besecker has joined Mikkelson Law Firm, LLC as an attorney.

Besecker joins after passing both the Florida and South Carolina Bar Exams and will work with firm partner Ryan Mikkelson in real estate closings.

Besecker graduated with his Juris Doctor Cum Laude from Florida State University College in 2018. He received a Master of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Finance from East Carolina University in 2014.

Besecker conducted a judicial internship with County Court Judge Gary Flower in Duval County, Fla., and another judicial internship with Superior Court Judge Marvin Blount in Pitt County, N.C.

Mikkelson Law Firm is located at 214 Bluffton Road. The firm is primarily focused on real estate closings and family law.

For more information, visit blufftonlawfirm.com.

Joseph Hayes has joined the May River Flooring Company in Bluffton as its new chief operations manager.

Hayes, a native of the Lowcountry, brings nearly 30 years of flooring experience to the company. Having grown up in the industry, and being a third-generation tile installer, he is qualified to lead this already successful May River team into the next season.

Hayes spent four years at Daltile as the administrative manager, along with several other years as project manager and quality control in the industry.

For more information, contact Hayes directly at

Joseph@mayriverflooring.com or visit mayriverflooring.com.