From The Blog

Meet Your Board Candidates


The KICA Nominating Committee recommends Tom Baker for board service.

My wife Adriana and I reside in Beaufort, SC. We have one daughter Samantha that is currently attending Clemson University pursuing a Masters in Accounting. We enjoy boating, fishing, biking and entertaining friends. We currently own two properties on Kiawah in the Fairway Oaks and Mariners Watch regimes. I first moved to Kiawah in 1978 at the age of 12 and basically grew up on the island! I was a member of the Kiawah youth swim team, participated in the early turtle patrols, and worked on the island as a teenager at various golf shops and the beach during the summer months. Asa family we returned and lived full time on Kiawah in2000-2002 then moved to Dallas, TX for my business. We have visited Kiawah every year until we moved to Beaufort, SC and purchased property on Kiawah in2015. Having grown up on the Island, I have always felt Kiawah as my hometown with so many cherished memories of which I am always happy to share! My wife and I spend a week on the island every month and feel it’s the right time to get actively involved with the community. Our long-term plan is to build and retire on Kiawah.


I serve on the board of the Fairway Oaks Homeowners Association and am currently working with the board on upcoming renovations to the exterior patios and building color selection. I have restructured my business travels and have more time available and would like to be more involved with the community.


I co-founded and am the CEO of Access Hotels and Resorts and COO of Access Residential Management. Access Hotels and Resorts currently manages 16 luxury properties in the United States. We have managed large scale luxury resorts such as the Baccara Resort in Santa Barbara (now The Ritz Carlton) and several Independent BoutiqueHotels across the United States. Access Residential Management currently manages over 30 full service “Life Style” communities in Florida with planning and oversight of all community services ex. Security, Planning, Accounting, Maintenance, and Community Services. Given Kiawah is both a Resort and a Residential Community, I have extensive experience in all aspects of day to day operations and strategic planning in both environments. This direct work experience would apply to my potential KICA board service and provide additional insight into the various levels of community management for all


I have experience working with a variety of different property ownership groups and have been successful in balancing owner feedback into long term strategic planning in the best interest of the entire community. I have a long association with Kiawah Island and would offer a transparent business and historical perspective governing my board service and balance this with the communities/islands best long-term interest in all decisions made on behalf of the board. Kiawah’s rapid growth has presented many unique challenges that have impacted our community. I intend to approach each and every issue presented with a thoughtful, transparent and well researched approach. I have seen Kiawah grow and evolve as a community over the decades and am eager to giveback to a community that has brought me and my family many happy memories.


The KICA Nominating Committee recommends Jerry McGee for board service.

Our family love affair with Kiawah started in 2000 when we gathered with friends at sunset on the deck of a lovely home for our wedding. Since then our family has rented homes and vacationed here every summer. We never even considered another place to vacation.

In 2008 we found our permanent little piece of paradise in Inlet Cove and bought a cottage overlooking the Kiawah River. Each year after that, we spent more and more time on the island availing
ourselves of the abundance of activities here. We enjoyed turtle Patrol, golf, kayaking, fishing, nature in abundance and each time we visited, it became harder and harder to leave.

Two years ago, we sold our California digs and bought a home in downtown Charleston and wonder why we waited so long to make South Carolina our permanent home. We also recently joined the Kiawah Island Club. People often ask, “what’s your favorite thing to do on Kiawah?” The answer is and has been the same for many years; near sunset we hop on our bikes and head down Beachwalker Drive. We ride out to Captain Sam’s spit where, hopefully, we are lucky enough to watch the dolphins strand feed as the sun sets. Hard to beat.


I have been and continue to be very civic-minded. In Los Angeles I served on several non-profit boards including: US Vets (the largest provider of housing for homeless vets), KCET (public broadcasting), Harvey Mudd (Clairmont Colleges), and The Museum of Flying in Santa Monica. After the OJ Simpson trial  and along with Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, I co-founded Victory over Violence to raise funds for victims and families of domestic violence. At UCLA extension school I was for 16 years the lead professor for the Institute of Advanced Advertising studies class and at Loyola University was a co- founder of the M School.

In Charleston, I am now working with Turning Leaf an anti-recidivism organization and my wife and I are sponsors of an author presentation at this year’s Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival. I raised my hand at a recent Inlet Cove homeowner’s association meeting and now serve on the newly formed Security Committee.


I retired in 2019.Formerly: Executive VP of The American Association of Advertising Agencies; President CEO J Walter Thompson advertising Los Angeles; Chairman and CEO Ogilvy & Mather Los Angeles; Member Worldwide Board of Directors Ogilvy & Mather .

Overview: My career has had two distinct phases. First as a creative director and second as a global manager. First, I wrote major advertising campaigns for American Express, Mercedes Benz, Maxwell House, Microsoft, IBM, Owens Corning, Callaway Golf and many other leading global brands. Following that, I went on to manage the Western Region including Hawaii and Japan for Ogilvy and Mather.

My particular skill set includes a strong technology background having started the technology practice as well as running the Region (yes, I did get to work with Bill Gates). I also worked with Symantec and Qualcomm.


I am running for the Board because at this time because I am now retired, a full-time SC resident and have the time to be able to serve and make a commitment to the activities and learning required for effective Board membership.

Having helped manage two large and very complex global communications and marketing companies, I feel my background fits well with the many aspects and diverse challenges facing the KICA Board.

With almost 20 years of wonderful experiences on Kiawah both as a renter and now 11 year homeowner, I have witnessed many changes to our beautiful island and hope my contributions as a board member will continue to help KICA be an effective steward of what I believe will be challenging times ahead. I don’t know enough at the moment about the operations on Kiawah and KICA to say I have an agenda, but I do have a purpose and that plainly stated is to bring my expertise and experience in complex management challenges along with strong communications and technology skills to compliment a group of dedicated board members who must adapt and develop strategies and programs for the challenges brought on by our popularity, desirability and growth.


I first came to Kiawah in the late 1970’s with my parents and stayed at the old Inn. In 1998, I was reintroduced to Kiawah when we began to visit the Island with our children. We returned almost every year thereafter, with Kiawah representing a special place where our family could enjoy golfing, biking, and walking on the beach while being surrounded by incredible wildlife. Based largely on our connection to Kiawah and Charleston, our daughter chose to attend the College of Charleston. Upon graduation, she remained in Charleston to begin her career. When we considered a place to build our eventual retirement home, Kiawah was our natural and, frankly, only choice. In 2010, my wife and I purchased a lot in the Preserve. We completed our house in March 2017 and moved in part-time. At the end of 2018, we both retired and in January 2019 we fulfilled our dream of living fulltime on Kiawah.


We have been members of the Governor’s Club for a number of years and enjoy playing golf. We have also supported the annual Kiawah Conservancy Legacy Gala for the last few years.


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Duke University Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School Over the course of 34 years, I was an associate and partner in three major Philadelphia law firms and managed the largest department of one of the firms-Litigation. I retired from my law firm at the end of 2018, but remain a Member of the American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators.

With an engineering background, many of my matters involved complex technical issues which needed to be boiled down to easily understood concepts. While I handled a number of different
types of matters, I focused on environmental and construction issues. In my career, I represented major stakeholders in many of the most significant projects in the Philadelphia area, including the Eagles Stadium (Lincoln Financial Field), the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the National Constitution Center and the Philadelphia International Airport. I served on the University of Pennsylvania Law School Board of Managers for six years and currently serve on the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering Board of Visitors.

For more than ten years, I was actively involved in theMarch of Dimes in a number of capacities, including as a member and Chair of the Board of the March of Dimes Philadelphia Transportation, Building and Construction (TB&C) Lunch. During my time on the TB&C Board, the annual Lunch became one of the ten largest special events nationally for the March of Dimes and it served as a model for similar events throughout the country. I also served on the Southeastern Pennsylvania March of Dimes Board, serving as Revenue Chair and then Board Chair. While Board Chair, the March of Dimes reorganized from state to metropolitan area regions. I led the effort to successfully combine two state-based Boards, working with Board and staff members to make sure they felt comfortable and properly utilized in the new structure. I then chaired the newly-created Greater Philadelphia Area Board.


In recent years, KICA Board candidate statements have stressed a need for greater transparency. Yet, after the election of candidates endorsed by the KICA-selected Nominating Committee, it seems that KICA’s actions have become less transparent. Because I believe KICA needs to fundamentally change how things are done, I chose not to seek the recommendation of KICA’s Nominating Committee.

Simply stated, something is wrong. Over the past year, KICA staff has provided dramatically inaccurate information to KICA members and the Board. When it became clear the information was wrong, the Board did not address the errors. In this same time period, KICA also took actions which appear to be contrary to the legal opinions it obtained.

More recently, KICA passed the 2020 budget, probably the most significant action it takes each year. KICA only provided members a draft of that budget (totaling two pages). The draft budget lacked meaningful details and was provided less than one business day before the meeting. From the draft provided, it was unclear if assessments were being increased and, if so, by how much. It was also unclear why assessments would be increased given KICA’s projection of a budget surplus for 2019. KICA also did not advertise the Finance Committee meetings preceding the budget vote. Real transparency would have included:
• the Board actively engaging with KICA members;
• the Board openly exchanging information so that we can reach the best possible decisions;
• the Board giving proper notice and meaningful opportunity to comment on significant matters; and
• the Board requiring staff to provide accurate information and, if an error is made, noting and correcting it as soon as practical.

Providing inaccurate information and depriving neighbors of the ability to provide meaningful input on something as important as our organization’s annual budget are also contrary to KICA’s espoused interest in fostering collegiality. In short, as a significant operation, with thousands of stakeholders and an annual budget of more than $15 million, I believe KICA can, and should, do better.

Doing better is particularly important because Kiawah is an island with a mature infrastructure which will have to be replaced, repaired and improved over the coming years. While the Board will lead the direction of those efforts, resources will not be unlimited so prudent decisions will have to be made. With my technical and legal background, I believe I would bring valuable insight to that process. But, because no person knows everything, we will all need to work to find solutions that maintain, and improve where required, the island we love, all in a fiscally responsible way. To me, fiscal responsibility and transparency do not mean springing fees or assessments on members without explanation.

I realize many people come to Kiawah to get away from it all and to “unplug.” However, for those members who wish to be involved, KICA needs to allow them to become actively involved in the management of their island and not push them away. KICA is a community association. Collegiality, communication, transparency and accountability are critical to community, and I pledge to work to make those KICA’s core principles, not just empty words. Those principles will help us make sure our island remains fiscally sound, while ensuring it remains the special place that drew us all here in the first place.