Buck Inabinet is described by co-workers as the “quintessential civic volunteer” and a true gentleman who should be the next mayor of Summerville.
Inabinet laughs off that last bit – politics isn’t part of his plans – but he has quietly and consistently made his mark through his volunteer activities.
Inabinet and his wife Laurie moved to Summerville when their now-27-year-old eldest son was six months old.
The two were high school sweethearts from Orangeburg County who moved here because of Inabinet’s banking position.
More so then than now, banks made sure their employees got involved in civic organizations and sat on boards, Inabinet said, so he found himself teaching students how to run a business as part of Junior Achievement.
Inabinet soon moved from banking to insurance, but he’s continued to be involved in the community, whether by serving on the board of the Boy Scouts’ Coastal Carolina Council or simply by picking up trash as he takes his neighborhood walk each morning.
“I have this issue with litter. I can’t figure out the psychology of people who litter. It drives me nuts,” he said.
In fact, on a visit to a small town in Georgia for a wedding, he saw a sign proclaiming the town a “litter-free community” and realized that it was indeed the cleanest little town he’d seen. He thought he’d like to find a way to bring such a program to Summerville and increase litter awareness here.
His passion takes a lot of patience from his wife, he jokes, as she has to slow down her walk each morning as he stoops to pick up roadside trash.
Beyond basic cleanliness, Inabinet has been involved in beautifying the community.
Susan Morris, former DREAM director, said Inabinet was the engine behind the “flower the town” project, which installed hanging flower baskets downtown.
“Buck is very hands on and would be out there watering the baskets, climbing on ladders to measure brackets for the flower baskets, speaking to local groups to encourage the donation of funds for the baskets. He was also behind the two clean-up days done in the downtown in the last year to spruce up things,” she said.
Inabinet said he likes working with the people downtown because “that’s where business really starts.”
In his line of work with the Taylor Agency, he’s past president of the Independent Insurance Agents, where he helped raise money for the American Red Cross’s Heroes for Fire Victims program.
It takes an average of $1,250 for the Red Cross to help a family of four get back on their feet after a fire, Inabinet said, and there are far more fires in the region than one would realize by watching the news.
He likes fundraising for the program because it lines up so well with insurance work.
He also enjoyed watching his friend Brian Mitchum spearhead the campaign to pass the school bond referendum last November.
Inabinet himself led the charge for the last successful school bond, in 1995, and he said he did so because he could look around and see the need.
His sons, Hollis and Andrew, are grown and out of college now, but he still knows the importance of schools.
“We are a school town to be sure,” he said.