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Community : Top Stories Last Updated: Jan 16, 2013 - 9:11:23 AM


Daniel Island Neighborhood Assoc. elects 2013 officers and board
By Elizabeth Bush
Jan 16, 2013 - 9:08:05 AM

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The 2013 DINA Executive Board (from left to right): President Dave Williams, Vice President Bob Graham, Secretary Patrick McDonald, and Treasurer Jim Morrill. New board members were officially elected into office at the January 8 DINA meeting at Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel Island.



Island residents take a moment to partake in the evening's food offerings. DINA hopes to see its membership grow in 2013. Currently, it costs just $10 per household to join.



Dave Williams first came to a Daniel Island Neighborhood Association (DINA) meeting in 2011 to express concerns as a parent about island traffic and safety issues.  Some children crossing the street near his Pierce Park home tried to see around parked cars in the area and were nearly hit by a passing vehicle.
“I decided before that child, or any of mine, ever got hit by a car I would step in and see what I could do,” said Williams, who moved to Daniel Island about eight years ago.
After that meeting, Williams signed on to chair a newly created DINA Safety Committee. Under his leadership, the group ultimately paved the way for one-sided street parking on the island, enhanced street striping, and other safety improvements. Now the dedicated and task-oriented volunteer has stepped up to assume the role of President for the organization. Williams, the only person nominated for the post, was officially elected into office at DINA’s January 8 meeting, taking over for former leader Mac McBride.
“Dave, as Chair of DINA's Safety Committee, has clearly demonstrated initiative, vision, the ability to nurture and lead teams, and a genuine desire to serve his Daniel Island neighbors,” said Bob Graham, who was re-elected to a second term as DINA vice president. “With Dave's leadership…I am unreservedly confident that DINA will successfully continue our strong and cooperative relationship with both the City of Charleston and Berkeley County producing additional resources and benefits for our fellow DI residents.”
After transferring from the University of Michigan to the College of Charleston, and playing on the men’s tennis teams for both institutions, Williams graduated with a degree in business. During college, he started his own business managing amenity centers and running tennis programs in various neighborhoods across Charleston.  Later he would take on a new role as a financial services and health insurance specialist with 360 Financial Partners, a firm he still works for today.
Williams is confident his experience negotiating and advocating for his clients in the professional world will be helpful in working on behalf of Daniel Island residents through DINA.
“I figured I was a good fit,” he said. “I’m a good listener. I don’t judge people quickly… I try to listen to all problems from all sides before I come with up with something…I’m not political. I couldn’t tell you if I was a Republican or a Democrat. I literally sit back and make my decisions every single year based on what I think is best.”
He complimented McBride on establishing an effective committee structure in DINA to find solutions to problems.
“The whole goal of that is to have this unified voice,” he said. “We don’t always agree on everything…but when it comes time to talk to the city about something, if we present a unified voice we get a lot done…Our issues do not belong to just one segment of the population, and we won’t be able to solve them efficiently unless we all work together.”
“They made some great progress last year,” added Jim Morrill, who is beginning his second term as DINA treasurer. “I believe (Dave) will continue most of the activities started by Mac McBride and expand into some new ones. Hopefully we will get the SPA land issue resolved. Success will come with motivated volunteers on the committees.”
Also joining the DINA executive board this year is island resident Patrick McDonald, who is reprising his role as Secretary, a position he originally held in 2004. One of his goals is to launch an event called “The Island Games,” a friendly competition that involves neighborhood teams.
“I think DINA is going in the right direction,” said McDonald. “…I’d like to get more input, more of the new arrivals on the island involved.”
Other 2013 DINA goals include increasing the number of paid members (it costs just $10 per household) and continuing to press the city on the need for additional community and recreational space. Williams would also like to see Daniel Island’s “small town feel” return by re-installing white lights to the grand oak at the intersection of Seven Farms Drive and Daniel Island Drive.
“That was such an iconic landmark here on the island,” he said. “I would like to explore ways to bring that back.”
 On the safety front, he also plans to continue to target pedestrian safety by creating a “functional traffic crossing” at the intersection of Seven Farms Drive and Pier View Street. Addressing “for lease” signs in island storefronts is also on his agenda.
“I want the residents and the businesses to realize what a symbiotic relationship they have. No one wants to see ‘for lease’ signs in every other space. We all have to do more to promote and support those businesses, as well as make sure people feel comfortable walking around with their children from street to street.”
The greatest challenge Williams foresees is the fact that many residents simply do not take the time to get involved.
“With a little teamwork and a group effort, almost anything is possible,” he said. “I have heard so many complaints or requests over the last few years on safety committee. It’s frustrating to never see people attend a meeting or a committee function. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be having meetings with 100 people in attendance.”
In looking back over his two years volunteering with DINA, Williams said he has been most impressed with what island residents can contribute when they get behind a cause.
“The most impressive thing to me is how smart some of our residents are, and how well they work together. We have a lot of retired people on this island, as well as a lot of young families. Those retirees can bring a whole lot to the table when they decide to get involved. And I hope the younger families continue to realize that they have a voice as well.”
Through DINA, every resident can have an impact, added Williams.
“We are all just volunteers trying to help a community we have passion for.”
The next DINA meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 5, at Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel Island. For information on upcoming meeting topics and planned speakers, or to find out how you can get involved in DINA, please visit www.dineighborhoodassociation.org.
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