Russell Berner, Mayor Pro Tempore and Council Member

Term:  Term Expires November 2027

Councilmen Berner serves on the following Council Committees:
  • Johns Island Task Force - Liaison
  • Public Safety Committee - Chair

My wife, Karen, and family have been vacationing in Kiawah since 1990. In 2016, we purchased our home and became full-time residents in 2020.

I am a licensed Professional Engineer with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and 44 years of experience in the construction industry. Upon graduation in 1978, I started working with Exxon, constructing complex petrochemical facilities in the U.S., Europe, and South America. Later in my career, I worked with NBC Broadcasting in NYC, performing facility upgrades at 30 Rockefeller Center and sound studios in Brooklyn and a construction consulting firm in NYC, where I commenced my construction claim analysis experience. In 1999, I founded my engineering/construction consulting firm, Construction Claims Group, which specialized in providing nationwide construction management services, resolving construction-related disputes (contract and defective work), and testifying as an expert witness. I testified in court as an expert witness 30 times.

My working career included designing and constructing projects that are important to Kiawah; luxury residential communities, retail shopping centers, roads, environmental preservation, hotels, and infrastructure utilities. When I sold my firm and retired in 2020, I immediately became very active in the Kiawah community. In addition to being a Town Councilman, I am currently a Trustee with the Kiawah Conservancy and a Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol member. I also was a member of TOKI’s Board of Zoning Appeals, but that service ended when I was elected to the Town Council. I am currently working on two important projects for Kiawah; a design to improve exiting traffic flow at the front gate and a design to reduce flooding on Governor’s Drive.

I look forward to using my design/construction expertise on future proposed developments in the Town of Kiawah and outside Kiawah’s boundaries to ensure they integrate and complement Kiawah and minimize the impact of those developments on the environment, infrastructure, and utilities. I look forward to working with KICA, KP, KIGR, and the community to preserve the beauty of Kiawah for future generations.