Rich Thomas, Lowcountry Author
A leadership consultant, history buff and former corporate executive, Hilton Head Island resident Richard Thomas's first book, Backwater Frontier: Beaufort Country, SC at the Forefront of American History, was published by the Heritage Library Foundation in 2019. Backwater Frontier is a compilation of stories about significant events that took place in Beaufort County and were firsts of their kind in the U.S.
A serial entrepreneur, Rich was a founding partner in three successful consulting companies, the founding CEO of the Outpatient Surgery Center of Hilton Head, and is currently the founder and President of Legacy Leadership of the Lowcountry. He also conducts private guided tours of historic sites on Hilton Head and in the surrounding Lowcountry area, and, in his last consulting venture, he provided leadership and team development education to thousands of corporate executives using historic battlefield sites as classrooms.
Rich has guided hundreds of groups to locations including the Gettysburg, Normandy, Alamo, Little Bighorn and Waterloo battlefields, among others, over the past 15 years. He is currently starting a second business serving the cultural-heritage tourism market on Hilton Head.
Rich graduated from Princeton University with a BA degree in East Asian Studies, and completed graduate field work in Cultural Anthropology in Southeast Asia with Thammasat University (Thailand) and the Siam Society.
A 20-year, fulltime resident of Hilton Head, Rich vacationed here annually beginning in 1971, when his parents moved to a home in Sea Pines. He now lives with his wife Suzanne in Hilton Head Plantation. Locally he has been active in civic and educational affairs and is currently a Board member of the Heritage Library, the Santa Elena Foundation, and the Friends of Honey Hill and also serves on the Hilton Head Island A-Tax Advisory Committee as the Arts and Culture representative.
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