From The Blog
Introducing New Director of Land and Lakes
One of Kiawah’s defining factors is the unique balance of being in such a natural setting while having all the comforts of home. Finding someone who understood that feeling and its importance was one of the many considerations in play when KICA began searching for its new director of Land and Lakes. Dave Achey, the former director, had served the community for nearly 28 years when he retired in May of 2019. His replacement would need to understand the needs of a top-tier community while recognizing Kiawah’s unique sense of place. Meeting that need, COO Jimmy Bailey is thrilled to announce KICA’s new director of Land and Lakes, Doug Walter.
Doug comes to KICA from Pinehurst, North Carolina where he was the director of Grounds for the Forest Creek Golf Club. He places a high value on member input, saying “I want to see what they’re seeing –Kiawah is a big property and I can’t be everywhere at once. I welcome the comments I get from members. It gives me important feedback as well as a chance to get to know them.” Former Kiawah property owner and community developer Barton Tuck recommended Doug highly, saying “he has a really good eye for what he does. Details that other people will miss, Doug
His understanding of the importance of member experience, landscape quality and property values are essential skills but the challenges of land management in a large-scale residential community are sometimes unpredictable. Doug has shown he’s adept at meeting those challenges head on. Over the last 15 years, he has collaborated with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on endangered species management, implemented a biological control program for a problem insect, worked with conservation groups on easement management and even constructed a five-mile BMW Off Road Excursion with the BMW Performance Center.
Doug mentioned he is excited about shifting gears in his career, and learning a new dynamic on Kiawah. The first challenge he will tackle, like anyone new to the island, is getting familiar with the Maze of K’s to understand the boundaries of responsibility between the resort, developer, regimes and KICA. He will also instate his personal docket of management tactics to improve the daily efficiency of the department. Beyond that, he hopes to incorporate technology solutions to more closely control and conserve water and chemical use. “Everyone on my team is fantastic,”
Currently, he’s doing research on where in the Charleston area he and his family should call home. His wife and two daughters, both in college, are excited to spend time in town. One bonus of no
longer managing golf courses, Doug is looking forward to enjoying his time on the golf course again instead of having to critique the details of the links. An outdoor enthusiast, he’s also an avid biker and hiker. He knows something of the wonder that everyone feels upon coming to the island. His first trip to Kiawah in 2000 was incredible, he says. “It was like no place we’d ever been to before.”