Laura and I first came to Kiawah in the mid-nineties for a beach and golf vacation with our young kids, and we have been coming back for nearly 25 years now – as renters, vacation homeowners, and as full-time residents after I retired. For our family, Kiawah holds a powerful attraction as a unique community with its blend of beautiful, unspoiled natural habitat, unrivaled sporting and leisure activities, and a diverse and welcoming group of residents, all with close proximity to one of the greatest small cities in the country.
Running for office was definitely not something I ever saw in my future. Living in Kiawah has convinced me otherwise. I feel a responsibility to try to contribute to the effort to ensure that Kiawah remains unique, a special place for your first or second home, a desirable place to visit, and a great place to do business in – all while preserving the natural and still largely unadulterated beauty of the island.
Laura and I have been closely involved with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League for over twenty years, and we are also active supporters of the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston and Reading Partners of South Carolina. In 2018, the year we became permanent residents, I ran for and was elected to the Town Council. To say the past two years were a rewarding experience would be a significant understatement.
Mayor Weaver asked me to chair the Audit Committee, represent Council at a Sea Level Rise workshop, and work with the Town Planner and the Town Administrator on various special projects. Additionally, I was deeply involved with the rest of the Council on the two major issues during this period: the short-term rental regulation with all its complex issues and the Town’s response to and management of the COVID pandemic.
I believe excellent work has been done on the Council under Mayor Weaver’s steady leadership, and I would like to continue that leadership as Mayor. Many issues loom for the next four years, and they all will require increased and improved cooperation between the Ks on Kiawah – Kiawah Partners, Kiawah Resort, Kiawah Island Community Association, and the Town. I would like to think that my long career running large, complex trading businesses with a diverse group of stakeholders has prepared me for this challenge.
My educational background includes Jesuit High School in Germany, a BA in Business from the University of Cologne, Germany, and an MBA from St. Gallen Graduate School of Business in Switzerland. I worked for JP Morgan for 17 years in Frankfurt, London, and New York, followed by six years at Credit Suisse, running some of the firms’ largest sales and trading businesses. I also spent time as a portfolio manager at a large family office and, in 2013, co-founded an independent currency trading firm. Laura and I have been married for 32 years. We have three children, aged 25, 27, and 30, all of whom spent many summers here when they were young, and they all use every opportunity to come back to a place they love as much as we do. If elected, I pledge to do my very best to ensure that Kiawah continues to thrive.