For South Carolina State Senator Sean Bennett, it is all about family.
“Everything I do, every decision I’ve made in business and politics has the wellbeing of the family at heart,” said Bennett, one of the Journal Scene’s 2014 Men to Watch.
The love of his family and the love of his community has driven Bennett throughout his life, he said. One goes hand-in-hand with the other.
“The community feel is contagious,” said the Summerville and Dorchester county resident. “You want to make a difference in your community because of your family, but you give back to also help others.
“It’s a team effort.” The father of two daughters, Haile and Hayden, Bennett, 48, originally thought Mount Pleasant was the place he wanted to call home, but his wife Tina had her heart set on living in Summerville.
“We started out in a condo in Goose Creek,” he said. “Where we were going to live was a discussion I was glad to have lost. I have never regretted calling Summerville home.”
Bennett said living in and giving back to the community is easy: “This is a great place to live. We’re obviously growing like crazy but we still have that small town feel. It was easy to get involved and easy for me to get involved.”
Bennett calls his community involvement a matter of civic duty.
“It’s important and our duty to a certain degree, to not sit back and complain, but to get involved to be part of where you live, work and play,” he said. “When you’re talking about economic development and the growth of your community, oftentimes the growth component can be painted as a negative thing, but in this case it is an exciting thing.”
A community needs growth and it needs local job opportunities... “but it’s important to grow and still keep that small town feel,” he said.
Bennett said it’s not just about Summerville and Dorchester County, but Berkeley County and Charleston County, too.
“I grew up in North Charleston,” he said. “It is a team effort among the counties. There were no lines drawn between North Charleston, Summerville, Charleston and Mount Pleasant. We are all part of the same soup that makes up the Lowcountry.”
Bennett gives back through contributing his time to the community with charitable events, as chairman of road projects in Dorchester County, and volunteering for the Summerville Chamber of Commerce.
As State Senator from District 38, Bennett focuses on job growth. He also helps out small businesses during difficult times, all a part of giving back in support of your community.
“In my world life would be pretty depressing if I didn’t have some special people close by,” he said. “Family is important. I wake up every day thankful for my family, my wife and my two daughters.”