Family ties drive giving, engagement for PLC family

photo of the Veal family

Written by Johnathan McGinty

There’s no doubt the family ties for Daniel and Zachry Veal run deep.

In fact, it’s evident in everything they do.

The brothers and their wives, Elizabeth and Leigh, own and operate The Beachview Companies. It’s a rather diverse network of businesses that supply equipment and resources for events and parties, as well as logistical support for organizations and communities impacted by disasters.

Their five children are more like “brothers and sisters” than cousins, Daniel says, sharing a bond so tight they can finish each other’s sentences.

They also share some mutual connections with the University of Georgia. While Daniel and Elizabeth didn’t attend UGA, the families have long been avid Bulldog fans, watching games Between the Hedges since they were kids.

Now, their own children are making their marks on campus and beyond. Daniel and Elizabeth’s son, Luke, is a junior at University of Georgia, while their daughter, Maddie, is a recent graduate of the UGA Terry College of Business. Zachry and Leigh’s oldest son, Thomas, is a sophomore at UGA. Their two younger children, Smith and Eliza, are already aspiring to one day be Bulldogs.

Driving connections

With two students currently on campus, Daniel, Elizabeth, Zachry and Leigh have become actively involved with the Parents Leadership Council (PLC), an organization of parents who are eager to contribute to the University and support student-serving organizations. Given that the Veals live in St. Simons, the connections forged by the PLC have enabled them to stay engaged with their children despite the geographic distance.

“It made such a big pond feel a lot smaller,” Zachry said of the PLC. “It’s daunting coming onto campus at Georgia and going, ‘Hey, I’m looking for help here,’ or ‘How do I get there?’ To have someone you could call and help direct you, it makes the process a lot less daunting.”

Elizabeth pointed to a time when Maddie fell ill with mononucleosis during her freshman year. Being more than 280 miles away from their child was unnerving enough, and it was magnified with end-of-semester tests coming up and Maddie trying to get in touch with all of her teachers to talk through her situation.

Elizabeth said the relationships afforded by the PLC removed that physical divide, enabling Maddie to get the support she needed to reschedule her tests so she could focus on getting better.

The importance of giving back

The Veals also credited the PLC with widening their view of how to support the university by putting a spotlight on the litany of programs, scholarships and initiatives offered to enhance the student experience. Whether in their professional endeavors or their personal goals, giving back is a foundational value for the family.

“In our business, we’ve always invested in people, and really that always has been the style for the four of us,” Daniel said. “People helped us along the way, and when the opportunity to get involved with some of Georgia’s need-based scholarships like the Georgia Commitment Scholarship came up, it was a no-brainer for us. It helps to bridge the gap for a student who needs a hand. Those monies go directly to a tangible need.”

The Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program offers nearly 700 endowed scholarships to need-based students on our campus.

“I feel like we’ve worked hard and gained certain success in a variety of areas, but that’s only to give back to other people,” Elizabeth said. “The four of us all strongly feel that way, and we want our children to live a life of giving back whether it’s of your time, your resources or your finances.

“It’s good to look beyond yourself – for us, it’s important. It keeps our eyes off ourselves as we look to see how we can help others.”

Want to know how you can get involved? Consider being a part of parent philanthropy at UGA by joining the Parents Leadership Council or learning about ways your family can make an impact by contacting parents@uga.edu.