Time Is On Their Side
By Debbie Lagestee • Photos by Valerie & Ed Photography
As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.” This is true in the case of Dan and Danielle Tolbert. In 2006 they were both working in the hospitality industry. Their paths first crossed when they worked at Gilligan’s Restaurant. They worked together for 6 years and then lost touch when Danielle left Gilligan’s for a management position at O’Charley’s, where she worked for 9 years. There she enjoyed her role as the Bar and Service Manager. In 2015, Danielle transitioned out of the restaurant business to a new office position at Seel’s Outboard, Inc., her family’s business. Working at Seel’s alongside her mother, uncles, and cousins is rewarding. However, in 2016, she missed the restaurant’s fast-paced environment, so she began bartending on weekends. That is when she and Dan reconnected. They dated for several years and were married on August 24, 2019, at James Island County Park. It was a beautiful setting, and they were fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family. Danielle was especially blessed that day because she gained the gift of beautiful twin 7-year-old daughters, Ali and Maya.
Dan is originally from Virginia Beach, VA. He moved to Charleston 20 years ago when he attended the College of Charleston. Dan planned to be a history teacher, but while in college, he worked at Gilligan’s Restaurant as a server and continued to work his way up the leadership ladder. He is currently the Area Supervisor of all of their locations. He is also in charge of the catering department and the Food Truck operation. Dan is a huge Virginia Tech fan. His favorite NFL team is the Kansas City Chiefs which makes for a tumultuous Sunday when they play the New England Patriots, Danielle’s favorite team.
Danielle is a Charleston native and has never lived elsewhere. She attended Bishop England High School. Post high school, Danielle enrolled at the College of Charleston. In 2007 she earned a degree in Business Administration, emphasizing Hospitality and Tourism Management. Danielle enjoyed many years in the business and continues to fill in as a bartender on occasion. Her future plan is to assume the role of Office Manager at Seel’s Outboard when her mother Debra retires from that position.
The twins Ali and Maya enjoy soccer, basketball, and dance, but above all else, they love school! Throughout the pandemic, they have been fortunate to attend class in person. Both girls love math and have been on the Honor Roll and received recognition for their reading skills the past few years. The girls play soccer in the Spring and Fall. “It has been truly awesome to watch them grow in skill level over the last few seasons. Maya is very competitive, and Ali is an excellent goalie,” said Danielle. Dan is the assistant coach for their soccer and basketball teams. Dan has a passion for sports, and he loves teaching kids how to play and how to be good teammates. Ali and Maya have fun spending time with their grandparents, Gran Gran and Gran Dori. They go on adventures and spend lots of time crafting together. Much to Dan’s chagrin, the twins are big Clemson Tigers fans!
The Tolbert Family are all animal lovers. They have 2 dogs and a cat. Chief, a 1-year old Black Labrador, and Buddy, a 1-year old German Shepard/Labrador mix. Webster is the 14-year old cat, affectionately referred to as the most precious boy and the best cat to ever walk the Earth! They adopted Chief as a puppy to give their 13-year-old dog, Stella Bean, some companionship after her best friend Butter Bean passed away. Chief brought much life and happiness to Stella for 6 months before she passed away in November 2020. The Tolberts rescued Buddy to give Chief a playmate. The two quickly became best of friends. They enjoy playing in the yard and chewing anything in sight.
The Tolberts have been residents of The Pointe at Rhodes Crossing for 3 years. They love the safe environment of the neighborhood and their friendly neighbors. Danielle says, “People are always around, walking their dogs, and there are plenty of kids playing outside. Many people work from home, making us feel safe because they look out for each other. It’s just a bunch of friendly people here.” Phase 2 building has begun in the neighborhood. Dan and Danielle are considering building a new home to have more space and a bigger yard for the dogs, but they are adamant about staying close to their awesome neighbors, who have become close friends. During the pandemic, they had the opportunity to meet new people in the neighborhood when Dan implemented his idea to set up Food Trucks to come out weekly and serve in their driveway.
They had Kickin’ Chicken, Tobo, and of course Gilligan’s. It was beneficial to those that were stir crazy inside. Dan also loved the opportunity to help local businesses and their employees that struggled during the shutdowns. Danielle recalls, “We practiced social distancing standing around meeting each other more officially than just a wave. We built friendships out of it.”
Dan, Danielle, and the girls take an annual trip in October to Disney World for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. They had to skip in 2020 but hope to resume their tradition this year. Ali and Maya’s favorite ride is Splash Mountain. They cackle with laughter every time Danielle inevitably gets stuck under the waterfall soaking her. They travel to Hickory, NC, to spend Thanksgiving with Dan’s parents. Working in the restaurant business Dan has a busy and fluctuating schedule. Spending family time together is savored. Dan and Danielle enjoy cooking together and walking the dogs.
As a family, when they are not on a soccer field or basketball court, their time is spent hanging out and watching dance shows. Being together is their favorite place, and even in the midst of a busy life, they know time is on their side!