Meet Jimmy Bailey. The former head of the Daniel Island Property Owners Association and administrator of the Daniel Island Community Fund, Bailey took the reins this past week as the new president of the Kiawah Island Community Association.
“This is such a great opportunity in my business,” said Bailey.
From managing a staff of eight to 115 employees and a budget ranging from $2.5 million to $10 million, Bailey will have his work cut out for him as he steps into a role that’s been vacant for the past four months.
“I’m really excited to be working with the staff at the Kiawah Island Community Association. They’ve held it together for the past several months and I feel as though I’m walking into a well-oiled machine,” said Bailey.
A native of Charleston, Bailey’s family has owned property in Rockville on Wadmalaw Island since before the Civil War. He has fond memories of growing up on the islands, and even proposed to his wife at their family home in Rockville. Bailey’s father, Jimmy Bailey Sr., was born on Johns Island at the corner of Maybank Highway and Main Road and was a proud student of St. Johns High School.
“He still sings the Islanders fight song every time we drive by,” Bailey laughed.
A former employee of NBSC on Daniel Island, Bailey took the job as head of the Daniel Island Property Owners Association seven years ago. In that time, he worked with the Daniel Island Community Fund, an organization that has given $1.5 million to date to area non-profits. In 2007, he was proud to present the Charleston Fire Department with a check for more than $235,000 just months after the Sofa Super Store tragedy. The donation also kicked off the Fund’s “52 Weeks of Thanks,” inviting island residents to sponsor the fire department for a week at a time throughout the year.
For all of his efforts with the Daniel Island POA, Bailey received the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award in 2009, given annually to Charleston’s brightest entrepreneurs and community activists.
Today, the 37-year-old is looking forward to becoming a beneficial part of Kiawah Island.
“The fundamentals [of Daniel Island and Kiawah Island] are similar, but the communities are different. Daniel Island was mainly owner occupied while that’s a flip percentage with Kiawah. However, the core of the job is working with people, providing good customer service, and maintaining good relationships to ensure that everything is handled well,” said Bailey.
Over the next few weeks, Bailey plans to meet with all of the island departments.
“I want to get to know the people where they’re most comfortable,” said Bailey.
He also plans on dropping by the Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club, meeting with the mayors of both Kiawah and Seabrook islands, and visiting the Johns Island Rotary Club.
“It’s so important to build up good relationships with all of the different community groups. Many of the things that are important to Kiawah are what make Johns Island special: preservation and the protection of natural habitats,” said Bailey.
He also believes that, with the wealth of talent and interesting people making up Kiawah Island, that together they can make the island a better place and ultimately make people feel like more a part of the community as a whole.
“We’re all a part of this together and by talking to each other and working together we can do great things,” said Bailey.
For more information on the Kiawah Island Community Association, please visit http://www.kica.us/.