From The Blog

Meet Your Board Chair, Jerry McGee



“I’m going to rely heavily on the expertise of the ladies and gentlemen on the board as we work to achieve our directives from you, the community. The board’s mission is strategic overall guidance, supervision, stewardship, and making sure that we’re setting the right strategies for the association. We have an incredible staff. Their dedication and knowledge make this place hum. I think it is also the board’s responsibility to support them, listen to them, and to make sure that their needs are being met. We will go forward as three entities, you the community members, this board, and our incredible staff. What a team!”


Personal Background

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.

Community Involvement

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.

Professional Background

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 at Ogilvy and then going on to be the global lead of the Microsoft and subsequently IBM businesses as well as running the Region (yes, I did get to work with Bill Gates). I also worked with Symantec and Qualcomm.

Board Service Statement

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.

Watch Jerry’s Video Interview

View your current directors and contact info here.