Jeannine and Greg Adams
How did you two meet?
Jeannine: I’m from Atlanta and went to college in Hollywood, Florida.
Greg: I went to school in New Jersey and played baseball. Sophomore year, her school hosted a spring break [baseball] tournament, and we met on the beach. We then dated long distance for almost three years.
Jeannine: After graduation, we got married. That was forty-six years ago!
Tell me about your career.
Greg: We had a corporate career with IBM for thirty-seven years in multiple cities around the U.S. and also an assignment in Tokyo. One stop, in the mid-eighties, was in Knoxville, Tennessee, and we became lifelong friends with the future governor of the state and his family. In 2010, after Governor Haslam was elected, he called and asked if I would join his team. We were living in Atlanta at the time, so I retired from IBM, moved to Nashville, and became his chief operating officer. Jeannine’s friendship with the first lady allowed her to help in many community activities. It was a special time for us.
How did you find Kiawah?
Jeannine: With our moves, we had spent many years living in the Northeast, and I really missed my Southern roots. Some friends told us about Kiawah, and we did a comparison tour from North Carolina down to Jacksonville and over to the Gulf Coast. I immediately felt at home on Kiawah.
Greg: We wanted to find a place to gather our family—Lord willing—if we had grandkids.
How many kids and grandkids do you have now?
Jeannine: We have three married children: Brian in Chicago, Matt in Tulsa, and Katie in Nashville. We have eleven grandkids, ages newborn to sixteen. The older kids are wonderful with the younger ones, and even though they don’t see each other often, with FaceTime and Zoom, they stay close.
How has it been seeing your grandkids grow up coming to Kiawah?
Greg: When we heard about the wildlife—the bobcats, the deer, the alligators, the turtles—we just thought, what a wonderful up-close way to learn about God’s creation. And then what clenched it for me was riding bikes on the beach. I turned to Jeannine and said, How special would this be? Riding our bikes out here with our grandkids?
Jeannine: We’ve seen so much wildlife over the years and have been able to teach them the names of many of the animals and birds. We have a chalkboard in the hallway where they list the animals they see while they are here. Kayaking to see the dolphins is a highlight, and all of them love to surf. They’re fascinated with how the moon affects the tides and so enjoy searching for sand dollars and unique shells. These are great memories for them, and us.
Greg: We have eight granddaughters, so we’ve renamed the observation tower the Princess Tower. Our grandsons love basketball. Night Heron Park is a common request: “Papa, just drop us off. We’re gonna play for two hours.”
Jeannine: They have loved the GoKids camps, too. They have made many friends there they now see every summer.
Did you build this house?
Greg: We bought the lot in 2005, but it took two years to build. We rented a house with our kids for the next two summers to get their buy-in. We were hoping they would be as excited about Kiawah as we were, and they were!
What do you do when you’re here without the grandkids?
Greg: I golf and enjoy the sports center activities, and we play pickleball and tennis.
Jeannine: We can’t take enough bike rides, and we really enjoy eating at all the club venues.
Greg: We also love to walk. We usually walk from the Beach Club to The Ocean Course and back two times a day.
Tell me about the Kiawah community.
Jeannine: There are some amazing women who work at the club, and we’ve known them since we joined eighteen years ago. They know every member’s name and every child’s name. I love them dearly.
Greg: We have wonderful neighbors. We look forward to seeing everyone and catching up when we get here.
Jeannine: We are fortunate that we even have friends here who go back to our college days and our IBM moves, as well as so many new friendships. What a treasure Kiawah is for us.