While loss prevention retail and vendor executives were engaged in business meetings at the annual LP Magazine, LP Foundation, and RILA Asset Protection Leaders Council three-day event, sixteen family and guests of attendees were treated to a tour of nearby historic Bluffton, SC, sponsored by CAP Index and Zellman.
The tour started with an hour-long boat ride down the May River through the unique South Carolina marshes with miles of oyster beds that wrap around the Bluffton area. Accompanied by beautiful sunshine, light breeze, and “refreshing” boat spray, the participants were welcomed by a resident dolphin, many egrets, and a hunting eagle.
The May River cruise included educational facts provided by the boat captain about the flat, low country shoreline, including that there is a 10-foot tidal range that provides a lengthy oyster spawning season, natural oyster reefs grow in clusters versus individually, and why the oyster season takes place during the “R” months. The SC marshland ecosystem makes a perfect habitat for naturally growing abundant clusters of meaty, briny oysters.
The first stop was at the Bluffton Oyster Company—one of the last remaining companies harvesting naturally grown oysters—where their team of up to 27 pickers and shuckers process not only oysters, but also crab and shrimp.
The tour continued to historic Bluffton, a small Southern town classically decorated by tangled Spanish moss draping from century-old live oak trees and ferns hanging over wrap-around covered porches. The first stop in Bluffton was the Church of the Cross, a historic town landmark built in 1857. The participants then split into smaller groups to explore shops, art boutiques, farmer’s market booths, and chose a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch. All who went on the tour helped support the local economy by purchasing one or more treasured items from the local shops and vendors. Last, but certainly not least, all met new friends and enjoyed the camaraderie of the fun group of men and women.
“I want to express how much I enjoyed this year’s family tour,” said Maureen Arigi, wife of Kroger executive Tom Arigi. “It is always great to see new and fun places and learn a bit about the local attractions. Even more important, I appreciate that family is included in the LPM annual meeting. Being part of the meeting allows me to meet with all the friends and business leaders Tom has worked with over the years. I know planning an event like the LPM annual meeting is no easy task. I appreciate those who worked so hard to make it a success!”
John Vece, husband of Protos Security executive Kris Vece, said, “The family tour was a great way to meet and greet with other LP spouses. Together we took a boat tour from Hilton Head Island up to old town Bluffton, where we learned about local oyster harvesting, shopped, and enjoyed a nice lunch. It was a perfect day! Thank you for including me.”