South Charlotte

This Southern gentleman is really 'squared away'

The idiom "squared away" precisely describes Edward Tillman.

Prepared, well put-together, articulate and genteel, Tillman is a pleasure to talk to. He was born in Atlanta, attended Harper High School and played a lot of tennis.

Upon graduation, Tillman attended Georgia Southern University for two years.

He was unsure of his direction, so he opted to join the Marines. He's a Desert Storm veteran of four years.

"Since I'm an only child and close to my mom, I wanted to complete my education in Georgia, where she lived," Tillman said.

He received his degree in journalism from Georgia State.

"I relocated to the south Charlotte area in 1998, where I worked for the Fort Mill Times and the Rock Hill Herald. I enjoyed my employment, but eventually needed to make more money, hence my move to Bank of America."

"I stayed with BofA until 2007," said Tillman.

That year and the next were big ones for Tillman. He got married, his father died and he became a father.

"I've learned there's always going to be a challenge in front of you," Tillman said. "Having a good partner helps."

Tillman and his wife, Raquel, a Spellman University graduate, both have master's degrees. Raquel works for Liberty Mutual and Edward Tillman is an agency owner for Nationwide Insurance.

They have a daughter, Emma, 3.

"We work to maintain a good work-life balance," Tillman said. "I used to play softball two or three nights a week, but now I like spending my evenings doing family activities."

The Tillmans enjoy professional sporting events. Emma already has been to seven pro baseball games in seven cities.

"I can't help it, I'm still a Falcons, Hawks and Braves fan," said Tillman.

He's fully involved in his adopted city, however. He's a member of South Meck Rotary, he volunteers at the Charlotte Rescue Mission and the family attends Transformation Church in Indian Land.

The Tillmans also are hoping to expand their family by adopting a baby boy.