Michael Heidingsfelder, Mayor Pro Tempore

(843) 531-1110 mheidingsfelder@kiawahisland.org 4475 Betsy Kerrison Parkway, Kiawah Island, SC29455
Our family first visited Kiawah Island in 1999 and instantly fell in love with its nature, beach, and relaxing setting. We purchased our home in 2004 and moved here full-time in 2015. We love this island, as do our children, who come here as often as they can.

My Master’s education in Engineering and Business Administration prepared me well for my roles as COO and CEO with large private and public cooperations in the consulting, automotive, and instrumentation industries. Building companies from the ground up and enhancing the professionalism of organizations to be best prepared for the challenges in their businesses, improving customer satisfaction and leading them to financial stability have been at the core of my career. These always global business responsibilities have taken me frequently to many countries and cultures worldwide. But whenever I passed the first gate, I was home.

Several years ago, I started to engage in matters important to this island. First with ongoing service to the Lowcountry Foodbank and then as a member of the TOKI Noise Ordinance Workgroup. Earlier this year, I was appointed to the TOKI Planning Commission.

This involvement made me realize that we as a joint community – with all stakeholders from residents and property owners to TOKI and KICA, the ARB, the Partners, and the Resort – need to develop a thoughtful and comprehensive vision for the future of our island. Foremost, to answer the remaining questions: How do we as a community want to be recognized 10+ years from now? What do we not want to look like in a few years?

We have seen positive development in the past. Still, today we are facing challenges triggered by both man and nature: There is an increasing concern in the community about over-development, rising traffic, the impact of a changing environment and rising sea levels, not always transparent decisionmaking processes, a gap in communication about important matters to the community and – unfortunately – sometimes a lack of civil cooperation among certain stakeholders.

I believe that our joint community wants a meaningful and transparent resolution of these challenges without harming our neighborhoods and the island envisioned as a perfect synergy between nature and modern life.

I promise to the community that I will do my best to help preserve, protect and enhance life on Kiawah and foster collaboration between the community and our governance.