KICA Board Election Results

The association welcomes Jerry McGee and Brad McIlvain to the board of directors.

Official Election Results

JERRY McGEE: 20.47%
TOM BAKER: 18.16%
WRITE-IN: 0.39%
ABSTAIN: 20.87%

62.5% of the community participated in the 2020 Election. The quorum requirement was met on the final day of the election, when the vote exceeded 51% participation. Jerry McGee and Brad McIlvain were elected to fill the two board seats. The newly elected directors will officially begin their three-year term on March 13, 2020 at the association’s annual meeting. Next week Jerry and Brad will prepare for their service by participating in an orientation and board planning session.

KICA would like to thank all three candidates for offering their service to this special community.

Ban and Cathy

“Board chair Ben Cheatham and director Cathy Pumphrey will fulfill their service term on March 13, 2020. Ben has led the board as chairman since 2018 and oversaw the successful renovation of The Sandcastle. Cathy served as the 2018 Nominating Committee chair and has been truly committed to hearing each community member’s perspective. Ben and Cathy have been invaluable contributors to the community and board. On behalf of the community, we thank Ben and Cathy for their outstanding and selfless service.” – Jimmy Bailey, Chief Operating Officer


February Digest – A look at LSVs and more

Low speed vehicles (LSVs) have been a frequent topic of conversation since they started appearing on the island a few years ago. Under KICA regulations, LSVs, which look similar to golf carts but are licensed for road use by the SC Department of Motor Vehicles, were permitted on the island’s roads. In 2018, with increased rental LSV usage on the island, members expressed their frustrations to the KICA Board of Directors, including concerns about operators not following traffic laws and traffic backups on the parkway in the wake of an LSV. Read the full article on low speed vehicles in February’s Digest.
This issue also takes a look at the KICA Finance Committee and KICA’s refreshed branding. Check out the event calendar for community events, such as Conservation Matters, and a look at the Our World series.
Read the February issue of Digest now.


Looking Back – 2019 at a Glance

At the Jan. 6 board meeting, KICA Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Bailey highlighted many of the association’s 2019 projects, initiatives and accomplishments, as well as a few exciting Kiawah Island happenings.

  • Kiawah cares raised $105k in humanitarian aid for Johns and Wadmalaw islands
  • KICA introduced new fitness classes at Sandcastle
  • Sanctuary earned the AAA Five Diamond Award and Forbes Travel Guide 5 star rating for the 11th straight season
  • Kiawah named a top ten beach in the world and 2nd best island in the country by travel magazines
  • Board passed a conveyance policy
  • Elected two new directors, the Dave Morley and David DeStefano
  • Another very successful Celebrate Kiawah member event
  • Our financials received an excellent audit – special kudos to our finance team as the outside auditors did not require a single journal entry
  • British Airways launched a Charleston to London flight
  • Sandcastle hosted a successful season of Thursday night dinners by Cru
  • April 26th – earliest turtle nest ever recorded on Kiawah and marked the start of an unbelievably active turtle nesting season with over 500 nests
  • Infrastructure Projects
    • Replaced the bass pond fishing dock
    • Over $1 million in drainage repair and replacement
    • Launched pond edge pruning process
    • Eagle Point Bridge – major repairs
    • Envirolok bank stabilization project in the Inlet Cove channel, our biggest drainage outfall
    • Rebuilt 3 boardwalks
    • Leisure trail resurfacing
    • Street sign replacement – multi-year project – one year to go
    • Installed fish cleaning station at Rhett’s Bluff
  • Saw the retirement of our long time Land and Lakes Director, Dave Achey after 28 years and the hiring of his replacement Doug Walter, who joined us from Pinehurst
  • We also said goodbye to Board Treasurer Mike Feldmann, who had to resign from the board when he sold his Kiawah property.  After it became apparent that Mike would not have a replacement property as soon as originally thought, the board appointed Diana Mezzanotte to serve out the reminder of his term
  • Two former Mayors passed away – Bo Turner, the island’s first Mayor, and Bill Wert, who also served as KICA Chair
  • Security spent the year getting their new access system installed – it’s live now and the member portal and app should debut very soon
  • Hired our first ever resilience specialist, Lucas Hernandez and formed the water management task force to develop options for flood mitigation.  I’d like to thank our volunteer committee members who’ve lent their assistance to that effort which we’ll soon share with the community
    • Lucas also developed a tool for members to report flood issues to be incorporated into his water management modeling of the island – with every report of flooding in a specific location, the model gets smarter and better.  That’s pretty important when you consider the fact that we’ve seen abnormally high tides increase from 9.3 events per year in the 1980’s to 42 events per years in the 2010’s (with 89 last year) – data that was just released by National Weather Service Charleston. Lucas is also working with the town to get a new tide station installed in the Kiawah River, to ensure the data we’re collecting is accurate
  • Conducted a community engagement process with three town hall meetings followed by a survey on strategic direction and operational strengths and weaknesses.  More than 2000 members participated. We learned that there is high satisfaction across most areas, though some room for improvement in rules enforcement. That sentiment seemed to be reinforced during the town’s debate on short term rentals, and we look forward to working with them toward improvement in that regard.
  • While our communications received extremely high marks in the survey, our team audited our various platforms, as well as our visual identity with the goal of making our content more readable and recognizable.
  • Members gave very generously to an employee fund to provide a thank you and financial boost to our non-management level employees
  • Another fall, another evacuation order and hurricane.  Dorian came in September, which marked the 5th straight year Kiawah has dealt with some form of natural disaster.  As always, our team performed magnificently in getting the island back in order quickly.




Safety Concerns, Enforcement Issues Earn LSVs a Ban on Kiawah

Low speed vehicles (LSVs) have been a frequent topic of conversation since they started appearing on the island a few years ago. Under current KICA regulations, LSVs, which look similar to golf carts but are licensed for road use by the SC Department of Motor Vehicles, were permitted on the island’s roads. In 2018, with increased rental LSV usage on the island, members expressed their frustrations to the KICA Board of Directors, including concerns about operators not following traffic laws and traffic backups on the parkway in the wake of an LSV. In early 2019, the board of directors responded to member concerns, enacting a test program to monitor LSVs and evaluate their impact.

Tony Elder, KICA director of Security, worked with rental company LightningBugz to implement the LSV rental test program. The program controlled the number of rented LSVs that were allowed on the island at any one time and allowed KICA Security to track the GPS of a rented LSV. The board encouraged members to report problems to KICA Security.  After approximately eight months, the program ended in December with 28 communications from members in opposition to LSVs, most of which highlighted safety concerns, and two in support of LSVs. Additional complaints about the operation of specific LSVs were fielded by KICA security during 2019.

While the comments received from members were largely against the use of LSVs on the island, it wasn’t a cut and dry decision by the board. (To hear each director’s perspective on the issue, view the Jan. 6 board meeting at kica.us/livestream.) After reviewing the results of the pilot program and evaluating the options, the KICA Board of Directors voted 4-2 to ban LSVs on Kiawah Island, on all KICA roads (inside the main gate). The rule took effect on January 6, 2020 and LSVs are no longer permitted on the island’s roads.

Vice-chair Sue Schaffer struggled with her position, but ultimately pointed to several reasons she voted in favor of the ban. KICA’s mission is to provide services that meet the needs of homeowners; the study overwhelmingly showed that these vehicles were being used “almost, if not exclusively, by renters, not by homeowners.” Sue also expressed concern over the amount of staff time used to attempt to track down vehicles that, for the most part, could not be located after a violation was reported. The lack of ability to enforce laws solidified the idea that “we do have a safety issue.”

KICA is currently aware of only four LSVs owned by members. The board granted a limited exception to the ban for those members who had purchased their LSVs prior to the January 6, 2020 board meeting. LSVs that meet all of the following conditions will be allowed to continue to operate:

  • The LSV was purchased prior to Jan. 6, 2020 when the ban was put in place,
  • The LSV is registered with the SC Department of Motor Vehicles,
  • The LSV is operated by the owner or their immediate family only,
    The operator of the LSV complies with all SC traffic laws and town ordinances, and
  • The LSV is registered with KICA as a vehicle, with a bar code &/or owner’s pass visible.

LSVs that are grandfathered in will not be eligible for replacement or to be transferred with property sale. If you own an LSV that does not have a KICA barcode, you must register your LSV by Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 in order to continue to operate it on the island. Simply complete the barcode application at kica.us/gate to get the registration process started or contact KICA Member Services at 843-768-9194 with questions.


KICA Introduces a New Visual Identity

The community association is refreshing the visual identity of the organization to more accurately reflect the look and feel of our Kiawah community. Our visual communications ultimately reflect on perceptions of the island as a whole, and therefore your property’s value, so we are doing our part to uphold the Kiawah brand. In the coming months you’ll see us roll out the new designs, with intentional improvements to functionality, in emails, a new website and an adaptation of our Digest newsletter. 


For three decades, the association’s visual identity remained unchanged. In 2019, KICA underwent a brand audit to reflect on how accurately our identity represented the organization today, how our identity relates with other Kiawah entities and how well KICA is supporting the overall brand of Kiawah Island.


Like KICA, all of the Kiawah organizations have grown and evolved over the last several decades. There are many Kiawah Island entities, and many of these entities utilize the signature Kiawah Island script font within their logo and the logos of their sub-brands (like events and groups). Within this sea of Kiawah Island script logos, we found that KICA lacks distinction. Many community members struggle with understanding the different roles of the various entities, and we determined that a departure from the signature Kiawah Island script logo could assist in clarifying the association’s role. The signature Kiawah Island script logo is strongly associated with the island’s brand identity, so although KICA will depart from the script font, KICA will continue to reference the Kiawah Island logo as our parent brand. The Kiawah script logo represents all of Kiawah, and KICA is a member of the Kiawah Island brand family. 


KICA’s new logo features a shorebird graphic mark. The shorebird was chosen to draw community members home to Kiawah’s natural landscape and the island’s most prominent identifier, the beach. Shorebirds are part of what makes Kiawah special and they travel with their flock, or their community. This shorebird most closely resembles an oyster catcher, but may also remind you of a sandpiper or willet, birds commonly seen on Kiawah.

KICA’s logotype most prominently features the word “community,” in a welcoming custom typeface. The association exists to serve the community, so the hierarchy of words was intentional. The font of “community” reflects the fluid movement of the original Kiawah Island script, to maintain a visual reference to our parent brand.



Colors convey feelings and associations, so KICA created an inviting palette to remind your of your Kiawah home. Deep Flora and Dewy Fairway are KICA’s most prominent colors. The dark green of Deep Flora cites Kiawah’s dense lush vegetation and the sea green sage of Dewy Fairway mirrors the color of a dew-covered golf course and also the Atlantic at sunset. Dawn Sky, Boardwalk, Brilliant Cloud and Golden Spartina are KICA’s secondary accent colors. Kiawah’s clear blue skies, represented by Dawn Sky, will provide balance to the earthy greens. The sandy grey of boardwalk and bright white of Brilliant Cloud will provide a neutral base for the palette’s colors to mingle. Finally, Golden Spartina reflects the rich orange of winter marsh grass and you’ll see this color being used in design to draw attention.



Within a single photograph, an entire story can be told without a word. Photographs are strong communicators, so KICA has adopted a mindful approach to photography to ensure the organization is representing our community and island accurately. You’ll see beautiful landscapes to remind you of your incredible home and we’ll be sure to capture and share the wonderful moments of community gatherings and island enjoyment.

It is imperative that KICA communicates to our members accurately through the visual elements we share and that we do our part to thoughtfully uphold and enhance the Kiawah brand as a whole. Over the next several months, you’ll begin to see KICA’s updated, strengthened and expanded visual identity introduced throughout the organization and within all of KICA’s communications.


Director Election Voting Issue Explained

Dear KICA Member,

The Kiawah Island Community Association launched voting for the 2020 Board of Directors Election on Friday, Dec. 27. Community members were emailed (or mailed if requested) their ballot information, which included the number of votes allocated for their property, and for some members this number may have been incorrect.

Before the vote allocation issue was discovered, 240 members voted in the election. 219 members successfully cast their ballot with the correct allocation of votes for their property. Their votes are valid and no action is needed. 21 members cast their ballot with an incorrect allocation of votes. The 21 ballots with incorrect vote allocations are invalid and have been removed. Each of these members will be contacted individually, provided with correct voting information and encouraged to recast their ballot.

The association has now verified the correct allocation of votes for all voting members. Going forward, for anyone who votes online at kica.us/vote, your correct number of allocated votes will automatically populate.

Additionally, for those who have not yet voted, a voting reminder will be sent today by email from our ballot processing partner, Vote-now.com, (or mailed if your ballot information had originally been mailed), so that you can view your correctly allocated number of votes before casting your ballot. Further, Vote-now.com sends a confirmation email after your vote is cast, and it contains a link that permits you to view your completed ballot at any time.

We deeply regret this error and apologize for any inconvenience.

A second unrelated voting issue occurred in the first hour of voting on Friday, Dec. 27. Our balloting service provider Vote-now.com shared the following explanation and apology: “At the opening of the KICA vote, the early voters (15 in total) may have encountered errors on the names listed in the ballot preview or ballot confirmation page. This issue has been resolved and we apologize for this error that may have caused some confusion for the voters. The actual ballots were not impacted and were successfully submitted.”

This election started with some difficulties, but we are confident in the integrity of your voting information and the election.

Please take some time to learn about your candidates or attend Meet the Candidates on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 at 4 p.m. at The Sandcastle, and then cast your ballot to elect board members who you believe will best represent your interests and protect your Kiawah investment. You have until Jan. 30, 2020 at 5 p.m. to cast your ballot.


The Kiawah Island Community Association



Timeline and Resolution of Balloting Issue

DEC. 30, 2019

5:15 p.m.

– 240 members had cast their ballots.
– While reviewing a member question about voting, it is determined that there’s a potential problem with the allocation of votes.
– KICA Staff begins the process of verifying vote allocations on all 3,846 ballots.
– Staff also instructs its voting partner, Vote-now.com to suspend online voting until the problem is resolved.

7:28 p.m.

– Vote-now.com shuts down voting

DEC. 31, 2019

6:30 a.m.

– KICA staff resumes ballot by ballot review of vote allocations
– KICA determined that 21 ballots already cast had an incorrect number of votes assigned to them. The other 219 had the correct allocation.¹
– As a secondary control measure, staff cross checked the database information (property type) to the spreadsheet, to make sure there weren’t errors in the database relative to property type, and none were discovered.

¹The number of votes assigned to each ballot is a manual process (see detailed explanation below²) as KICA’s current database does not provide a way to store each property’s vote total and export directly to the third-party vote processor. Instead, the voters and their property type are exported to a spreadsheet, with appropriate vote totals added manually by association staff. This process is subject to human error, and while KICA deeply regrets that error occurred, we accept responsibility for it and are glad it was caught early.

10 a.m.

– Review of all ballots completed
– Staff develops action plan for resumption of voting:

– Notify Board of Directors of issue and action plan
– Instruct Vote-now.com to take a snap shot of all 240 votes cast at the time the error was discovered, in order to maintain an audit trail
– Instruct Vote-now.com to take a snap shot specifically of the 21 ballots cast with incorrect numbers of votes
– Instruct Vote-now.com to void and remove the 21 incorrect ballots
– Instruct Vote-now.com to remove registration codes for the 64 members with mailed paper ballots and reassign codes to prevent the improper counting of paper ballots
– Provide Vote-now.com with a revised and verified balloting spreadsheet
– Re-open system to voting

2:56 p.m.

– All corrected data sent to Vote-now.com

8:12 p.m.

– Vote-now.com reopens online voting

JAN. 1, 2020

– KICA and Vote-now.com offices closed

JAN. 2, 2020

– Inform candidates and community of issue and resolution
– Vote-Now.com to send voting reminder emails to all members who have not voted
– 21 voters with incorrect and voided ballots to be contacted with new voting codes
– New ballots mailed to the 64 members who had requested mailed voting information

Ballot Preparation Process

²Explanation of process for preparing ballot information to be transmitted to third party voting partner (whether Vote-now.com or other):


1. Receive excel file of full database from Abacus (KICA member database). Queries run to separate member types (Type A, Acreage, and Commercial) as voting allocations are different for each.

2. Save files as originals and create copies to work from.

3. The database files only identify the property types, so votes have to be manually assigned based on property type.

4. Identify all owners with multiple properties, and customize ballots for each based on their number of properties owned, property types, etc. Copy and save these unique voters to a new spreadsheet. At the same time a “final” spreadsheet is made with a copy and paste of the single owner “type A” properties (both single property and multiple property owners).

5. Similar steps for acreage and commercial properties.

6. The “final” ballot data spreadsheets are sent to Vote-Now.com.

7. Vote-Now.com assigns registration codes to each unique client ID (type A and commercial) and sends the sheet back to KICA to be used in merging the member information into the email sent to each member.

From what we can tell something happened in the merge of the Type A single property owners and the Type A multiple property owners data to cause the sort in the vote allocation column to be off. No other data across columns were out of sync. This caused a complete randomness in the data fields affected. This is a cumbersome process. KICA is in the process of converting to a new, more robust member database, which we anticipate will automate most or all of the ballot data.


Pay Your Annual Assessment Online

Your 2020 annual assessment payment is due on Jan. 31, 2020.  To make a payment, click here.


Vote in the 2020 Board of Directors Election

Cast your Kiawah Island Community Association (KICA) ballot by Jan. 30, 2020 at 5 p.m. to elect two new board members and assign your proxy to the board secretary to help KICA reach quorum for the Annual Meeting.

All members who complete their ballot will be automatically entered to win a $500 annual assessment refund.


Dec. 27, 2019 – Jan. 30, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Voting information was provided by email on Friday, Dec. 27, unless previously requested by mail. If you had unsubscribed from KICA emails in the past, your voting information will be resent by email from our third-party balloting service, Vote-now.com by Dec. 31.

Election Info



New Year, New Focus in January’s Digest

“It’s hard to believe it’s 2020 already. I hope all of you enjoyed a relaxing holiday season with your families, whether on Kiawah or elsewhere. It’s certainly hard to leave behind the festivities and beauty of the holidays but the association is hitting the ground running.
The start of each new year is always a time of excitement, as we get started on projects with renewed focus and clear vision.”
-KICA COO Jimmy Bailey
Read Jimmy’s full message for the new year.
This issue also contains candidate biographies for each of the three candidates for the KICA Board of Directors, a look at January’s events and Digest’s very first seasonal book recommendation.


Nominating Committee Makes Board Candidate Recommendations

“85% of KICA property owners are not full-time residents. The Nominating Committee’s recommendations are crucial for people who haven’t had the chance to meet the candidates or aren’t clear on what issues the community will be facing in the next few years.” – Nominating Committee Chair Sue Schaffer

The Nominating Committee is an advisory committee to the KICA Board of Directors. The committee is comprised of members of the community, staff and board members. The committee has two objectives: to identify and recruit candidates to serve on KICA’s board or committees, and to interview and recommend candidates.

KICA received five applications for board service by the Oct. 4 deadline. Brad McIlvain chose not to participate in the Nominating Committee review and two applicants withdrew for this year, including previously announced Philip Mancusi-Ungaro.

The Nominating Committee members highly recommend

Tom Baker and Jerry McGee

for the two board seats.

According to their applications and interviews, the two recommended candidates offer demographic diversity, as well as different skills and professional expertise from each other and from returning directors. One is a recently retired top-level executive at a large advertising agency who has strong technology and communications skills and one is still working as head of a high-end hotel and resort company and of a company that manages planned residential communities. One grew up on Kiawah and one has been coming to Kiawah for nearly 20 years and has owned a home here for more than 10. Both currently have homes in regimes (no returning board members are regime residents) and are part-time residents who live nearby in Beaufort and Charleston.


Sue Schaffer, Amy Jenkins, Steve Ronaldo, Thomas Roberts, Gaye Stathis, Eric Robinson

Learn more about the Nominating Committee.