Hilton Head Island Mayor Drew Laughlin Monday recognized three residents at his quarterly "Citizens of the Month" dinner at Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks
Laughlin honored islanders Cartha “Deke” DeLoach, Narendra Sharma and Linda Warnock for their community service.
Pictured above, from left to right, are Sharma, Warnock, Laughlin and DeLoach.
Laughlin said Hilton Head was the "fortunate beneficiary" of Deke DeLoach's "redirected focus" after moving to the island in 1982, following a 28-year career with the FBI as its third-ranking officer and a 15-year career as vice president and assistant to the chairman of PepsiCo, Inc.
DeLoach is the father of long-time assistant town manager Greg DeLoach.
"Deke served tirelessly for 10 years as Chairman of the Cultural Council of Hilton Head Island and was instrumental in all aspects of the construction and fund raising for The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, where he continues to serve as Chairman Emeritus," Laughlin said in a news release.
Deke DeLoach also served vice chairman of the Heritage Classic Foundation and chairman of its marketing committee for more than 13 years.
He received the prestigious "Order of the Palmetto," the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina for his service to the Town of Hilton Head and state. Additionally, he received the Alice Glenn Doughtie Award for exceptional service to his fellow man, and the "Honoree of the Year Award" from the Hilton Head Hospitality Association.
"I am pleased to recognize Deke as a Citizen of the Month for his involvement in the myriad of local projects, charities, and businesses – all of which have benefitted the growth and success of Hilton Head Island," Laughlin said.
Originally from the Fiji Islands and now a U.S. citizen, Dr. Narendra Sharma worked more than 32 years at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., helping aid the financial and economic development of more than 50 developing countries across the globe.
He moved to Hilton Head eight years ago, bringing with him "a broad international perspective and understanding of social and economic development," Laughlin said. Sharma helped create Neighborhood Outreach Connection, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty by helping local people in need to achieve the “American Dream.”
The nonprofit works closely with faith-based organizations, health service providers, public and private agencies to deliver assistance to distressed neighborhoods in Hilton Head and Bluffton, and provide referral services. The group provides after-school programs to help improve students’ academic performance. NOC also provides periodic health screenings and supports neighborhood soccer league and other youth activities.
"As a member of the Hilton Head Lions Club, Greater Island Council and School Improvement Council of Hilton Head Island High School, (Sharma) continues to address poverty and development issues in the Lowcountry and make a significant difference in the lives of the citizens of Hilton Head Island," Laughlin said.
A public accountant and licensed Realtor working full-time as a controller for Dunes Marketing Group, Linda Warnock "manages to give significant amounts of her time, energy and leadership to numerous charities, clubs and committees," Laughlin said.
Warnock serves as president of the Hilton Head Island Zonta Club, a service organization hoping to improve the lives of women locally and internationally. She also serves ad a board member of the Hilton Head Island Junior Leadership program high school juniors and seniors, and "devoted countless hours" on the town's successful application to the League of American Bicyclists as a bicycle-friendly community. The town received a silver level certification from the league -- one of only three municipalities on the East Coast so recognized.