The following statement was provided by the political candidate for The Island Eye News
I couldn’t dream of a more idyllic place to grow up, spending summers bouncing between Front Beach, Wild Dunes, and everywhere in between. I learned the impact we can make together sitting in on fundraisers with my late Mom, Laura Skatell, as neighbors came together without tax dollars; to fund, plant palm trees, and bury power lines down Palm Boulevard. I worked my first summer job as a parking lot attendant at the Charleston County Lot off Front Beach (parking has undoubtedly changed from those days nearly 20 years ago).
Most importantly, I saw firsthand how special the island and our people are in this world. Just how special became only more apparent when moving off the island, first to attend Clemson and then spending over a decade in Washington D.C. My goal has been to return home one day and give back to the community that I love, and that opportunity came sooner than I could have hoped, as last year, my wife Shannon and I were able to make that a reality.
As I reacclimatized back to the island where I grew up, I noticed pain points that often bubbled to the top of conversations, with parking and traffic being the most common. I was alarmed at the arbitrary decision-making of SCDOT, transforming the IOP Connector without our island’s input and in a way that puts our residents at risk in an emergency, throwing out a parking plan that was studied, agreed upon, and celebrated by all involved. The reality is Isle of Palms provides 378 parking spots per mile of beach, more than twice the average of 171 per mile across the state. I believe the experience in my career and many volunteer organizations has prepared me well for this role of serving you on Isle of Palms City Council. Experiences include serving as a board member of Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service, the Clemson University Spiro Institute, the News Media Alliance, and several non-profits.
Additionally, much of my career has been advising government officials at the state, local, and national levels that will be helpful as the Isle of Palms navigates its relationship with nearby communities and state officials. Lastly, my experience founding and bootstrapping multiple companies to hundreds of employees with successful exits required a keen ability to manage a vision to a budget and timeline. I was ultimately recognized by Forbes as a 30 under 30 recipient and Fortune as a 40 under 40 top business leader. As the managing partner of Venture Studio, Mission 8, my current role gives me daily exposure to countless innovations and dreamers, building mission-driven companies to better our communities and daily lives in big and small ways.
I believe these experiences have prepared me for this job I take personally, serving you on the Isle of Palms City Council. It would be an honor to earn your vote. I hope to hear from you and encourage you to text or call me at 843-418-9424 with your ideas for the island. You can also reach me at my website and learn more about my plans at SkatellForIOP.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.