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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.

To contact our Board, please email

The Staff
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Kathy Mills
Pantry Manager

Kathy joined the Deep Well staff in October 2021 after seasonally volunteering in the pantry for the past 5 years. She brings knowledge and experience in managing volunteers and inventory after seven years with New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts, a nonprofit furniture bank in the Boston area. Kathy and her husband Barry have three adult children, who are working, studying and living in MA and CT. Hilton Head Island became the Mills' full-time home base in 2021 after they were part-time residents for years.  Kathy’s diverse background also includes teaching preschool and children’s ministry work during the years her children were younger. Kathy enjoys her two book clubs, walking and going to the beach as she settles into her new Island life full time.

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John Wilson
Mainland Livable Housing Coordinator

John and his wife, Susan, relocated to Hilton Head Island six years ago from the Washington, DC area.  After a successful career in marketing and sales for large engineering and construction firms in DC, John founded his own real estate re-development company, bringing abandoned and blighted buildings back to life, doing much of the construction work himself.  John joined the Deep Well Project team in March 2021, and his role is to coordinate Livable Housing home repair projects on the mainland.   This includes assessing and budgeting out the project, working with the client on the plan, procuring the necessary supplies, and lining up volunteer as well as contractor labor to execute the repairs on owner-occupied homes.  In his spare time, John is a renowned bird dog trainer and judge, with his two well-mannered German shorthair pointers being beloved members of his household.

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Shavonne Vasquez. BSW
Circles Chapter Manager

Shavonne, bilingual social worker, recently relocated from New York to continue her pursuits of equity and social justice. For the past eighteen years, she’s remained committed to the human services field in the form of direct care and advocacy. As the Circles Chapter Manager, Shavonne’s primary task will be to support program participants and their allies while also conducting outreach, facilitating meetings, coordinating training and delegating tasks to resource teams. Shavonne herself has experienced a life in poverty and can therefore offer insight into the challenges faced by Circles participants. Three generations ago, her family settled in New York from Puerto Rico in search of opportunity and success. Today, she continues to find ways to deconstruct ancestral patterns of oppression and encourages others to do so as well. In her free time, Shavonne enjoys reading, theatre and spending time with her pet parrots.

Lori Alexander
Volunteer Coordinator


Lori had been visiting Hilton Head Island as a tourist for 50 years, until she and her husband, Mike, happily moved to Hilton Head Plantation in November 2020 from Charlotte, NC.  Lori spent the majority of her professional career in the community college sector of higher education administration, where she specialized in workforce and economic development initiatives and partnerships.  Lori joined Deep Well in March 2022 as the new Volunteer Coordinator and views this position as a wonderful opportunity for her to combine her vocation and avocation interests.  As Volunteer Coordinator, Lori will be responsible for the recruitment, scheduling, communication, onboarding, training and retention of volunteers.  She will also provide administrative support to staff and program committees as needed.  In her spare time, Lori prefers to get her exercise outside and enjoys all kinds water sports, riding her bike, walking the beach, and playing bocce and pickle ball.  Socially, Lori and her husband love the culinary scene on the island, and they love hosting themed dinner parties for family and friends.

Ella A. Chisolm
Furniture Room Manager
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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

  • Mary Stuart Alderman, Board Chair

  • Bruce Siebold, Board Vice Chair

  • Jan Johnson, Board Treasurer

  • Charlotte Gill, Board Secretary

  • Karen Bittman

  • Dan Clare

  • Jeff Ernico

  • Jeff Farmer

  • John Forlines

  • Marc Grant

  • Tom Henz

  • Nancy Johnston

  • Erin Kaylor

  • Chuck Kotler

  • Jeff Rogers

  • Angie Stone

  • Tosha Suggs

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