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A dedicated staff and board manage Deep Well's programs and volunteer efforts.

This has long been a hallmark of Deep Well — a spartan staff, supported by an incredibly active and involved Board of Directors, many of whom serve as volunteers themselves.  Board members each have unique backgrounds and real-world experience, either in business or other non-profit organizations.

The Staff
Sandy GIllis
Executive Director

After a 29-year career in advertising and marketing on Hilton Head Island, and a five-year stint on the Deep Well Project board of directors, Sandy joined the staff as the executive director when Betsy Doughtie retired in early 2018.  As director, it’s Sandy’s job to make sure all programs run effectively, to work with the board on ideas for program expansions or new programs and to do community outreach to educate and improve awareness about the organization and its programs.   Grant-writing and other forms of income generation are also a big part of her job, as well as hosting site tours and maximizing public speaking opportunities all designed to spread the news of Deep Well to clients, donors and volunteers.  Sandy and her husband, Bubba, are long-time island residents, and they have twin daughters.  In her spare time, Sandy loves playing tennis, walking the beach and trying valiantly to train her high-energy rescue dog, Shadow.

Rita Jones
Assistant Director /
Island Livable Housing Program Coordinator

Rita is a native of New York City.  She has strong ties to our community, since both of her parents are Hilton Head Island natives.  Rita is a retired naval officer, and she has seen the island transform over the years.  She started at Deep Well as a volunteer.  As Island Livable Housing Program Coordinator, she gathers home repair requests and makes home visits to assess the projects.  Then, she prioritizes and schedules work for our Livable Housing volunteers or contractors.

Sherry Pritchard
Operations Manager

Sherry has lived on Hilton Head for 38 years, coming from Pennsylvania with her husband, three children and a grandchild on the way.  Sherry came to Deep Well twelve years ago with an extensive Human Resources background; she had also been a faithful school volunteer for decades.  She's responsible for vetting and approving clients’ aid requests and handling all day-to-day accounting tasks.  Sherry is also the point person for ordering school supplies and coordinating Christmas toy registration along with the Santa Shop team.  In her spare time, Sherry loves spending time with her grandchildren.

Jean Vahey
Pantry Manager

Jean started coming to Hilton Head Island in 1980 for summer vacations.  When she retired as a school administrator in 2014, she moved to the Island full-time.  Her skills in her previous positions have come in handy in the food pantry as she organizes food drives and works with an outstanding group of volunteers.  Her dog, Bella, serves as Deep Well's mascot and a comfort dog to many of our clients.  Jean has two sons who are married and one granddaughter, and they all love visiting the Island.  

Brian Sanford
Mainland Livable Housing Construction Manager

Brian came to the Lowcountry from upstate New York, and he’s been an active member of the building community in Hilton Head/Bluffton for almost two decades.  He had his own residential construction company for a number of years and spent eight years with Habitat for Humanity as their construction manager.  Brian started with Deep Well in January 2019 to lead a full-blown expansion of our successful Livable Housing program to the mainland, including Bluffton, Okatie, Beaufort and Jasper County.  Brian does site assessments to help Deep Well determine if the owner-occupied home repairs fit our criteria for assistance.   Once fully vetted and approved for assistance, Brian builds new projects into the pipeline, handles supplies/material needs, assigns the volunteers and/or professional labor needed for the project, and then he helps with and oversees the repairs until the project is complete.  

Ella A. Chisolm
Furniture Room Manager

Ella is a native of Jasper County but has lived on Hilton Head for the last 47 years.  She works part-time at Deep Well assisting clients with picking out donated furniture once they’ve been approved to receive “new to them” furniture, appliances and household items.  Ella also works part-time at Marriott’s Hilton Head Beach Resort in the kitchen/pantry.  Ella loves meeting new people and helping them select items for their home from Deep Well’s donated inventory.  She has one adult married son in Charleston, and she's also an Evangelist at the Historic First African Church on Beach City Road on Hilton Head.   In her free time, Ella loves plants and gardening, a perfect fit for her nurturing, kind heart.

The Board of Directors

This group of dedicated people provides support not only through active guidance and governance of the organization, but by bringing their range of professional skills to bear.  Their personal volunteer work is extensive and saves the cost of additional staff. 


Current Board of Directors

  • Helen Hinds, Board Chair

  • Ted Snydal, Vice Chair

  • Marilyn Allpress, Board Secretary

  • Nancy Simonetti, Board Treasurer

  • Denny Bozic

  • Morris Campbell

  • Steve Clark

  • Ted David

  • Tim Drake

  • David Gaal

  • Ashley Gluck

  • Linda Hyslop

  • Boyd McCleary

  • Galen Miller

  • Blanca Traywick

  • Thomas Vater

  • Mike Werner

  • John Wilkins