From The Blog

Introducing Member Director Nominee Bruce Stemerman

At the upcoming 2015 KICA Annual Meeting, scheduled for Friday, March 6 at 2 p.m. at the Sandcastle Community Center, one candidate is running for one open member director position on the KICA board. Watch your mail for your Annual Meeting report and ballot, including information on online voting, a message from the board chair, a recap of 2014 on Kiawah, and a chance to win a $500 rebate on your 2015 assessments.

This year’s candidate for board, as identified and selected by the KICA Nominating Committee, is Bruce Stemerman. For more information on the Nominating Committee’s selection process, see the article on the following page. Below you can find more information on Bruce, including his Statement of Focus and bio.

Bruce Stemerman – Statement of Focus
Kiawah is a remarkable place, with incredible attributes. I traveled a lot during my career, including to many resort locations. Acknowledging some bias, I never found a place with Kiawah’s special and unique features. Serving on KICA’s board and playing a role in helping to maintain and enhance what makes Kiawah so appealing would be a privilege.

As indicated in my work experience, I have enjoyed a varied career. I began as a CPA and moved into the hotel business about 25 years ago, first with Marriott, and then with Host Hotels and Resorts, a Marriott spinoff. At Host, I managed the Asset Management group for 10 years. My career concluded at Jones Lang LaSalle where I was Managing Director of their Hotel Asset Management and Advisory business for the Americas. During my career, I served as a board member and president of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association, a board member and chairman of the Marriott Employees Federal Credit Union and on several Marriott Hotel advisory boards.

Having spent so much of my career in the hotel real estate business, I feel particularly well suited for a role on KICA’s board. My focus for much of my career was representing owners’ interests in hotels, dealing with both operational and capital issues. Maximizing revenues and profitability through smart and focused investment was key to realizing our objectives. Long-term planning was critically important in achieving value enhancement. I believe my familiarity with finance will be particularly helpful if I am elected to a board position.

My experience will also be helpful in working with the board and KICA’s leadership team in identifying Kiawah’s long-term needs and objectives while preserving what makes the island so special. Maintaining the status quo is not, in my view, the optimum way to protect our considerable investments here. We need to constantly seek appropriate, cost-effective and value-enhancing opportunities to retain our position as one of the finest islands in the country and the world.

I am particularly impressed with everyone I have come into contact with at KICA. The team does an outstanding job keeping the island beautiful and well maintained, delivering member interactions that are positive and friendly and operating facilities that maximize Kiawah values. With such effective day-to-day management, the board can keep its focus on long-term strategic planning. If elected, it will be an honor to serve on KICA’s board.

Bruce Stemerman – Candidate Bio
I am a widower with two adult children who live in the Washington,D.C. area. I have been coming to Kiawah for more than 20 years, initially on summer vacations. In 1999, we purchased a villa in Turtle Cove and then, in 2003, a home on Bluebill Court. We built a home at 37 Salt Cedar Lane and I moved here full-time in the spring of 2014.

On Kiawah, I am on the board of the Kiawah Island Motoring Retreat, which took place in November 2013. The event was highly successful and included a weekend of activities that exposed the island to folks from outside the area who might not have otherwise experienced Kiawah. Planning is underway to hold another event in 2016.

In April of this year, John Wilson and I started the Sea Islands Cars and Coffee that takes place monthly at Freshfields. I have also served since August 2014 on KICA’s Major Repair and Replacements Committee. I also volunteered as a hole captain at the 2012 PGA Championship at the Ocean Course.

Over the years, I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity both on Johns Island and in Montgomery County, Maryland (near D.C.), where I resided for nearly 30 years before moving to Kiawah. I also served on an advisory board to Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection.

Career Highlights
• 1996-2003: Senior Vice President, Asset Management for Host Hotels and Resorts in Bethesda, Maryland.
• 2003-2007: Executive Vice President for Capital Hotel Management in Washington, D.C.
• 2007-2011: Managing Director, Asset Management and Advisory Practices for the Americas for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in Washington, D.C.

Other Professional Experience
• Chairman of the Board, Marriott Employee Federal Credit Union, a 55,000-member, $125 million federally chartered credit union serving numerous companies in the hospitality industry.
• President, Hospitality Asset Managers Association, an international association of lodging asset managers representing more than 300,000 hotel rooms throughout the world.
• Board member of various Marriott International Advisory Committees. Including Owner, Rooms, Food and Beverage and an association of Marriott franchisees and owners.
• Frequent speaker at hospitality industry conferences. Regularly quoted in industry press on issues involving hotel ownership.
• Authored chapter on hotel owner/manager relationships for a lodging asset management textbook used in college hospitality programs.

• Bachelor’s Degree, Accounting, Rochester Institute of
Technology, Rochester, New York
• Certified Public Accountant (Inactive) – New York State