Get to Know Tom Nevin, New COO of The Kiawah Island Club
Tom Nevin relocated from Branford, Connecticut to our sunny Island shores in mid-April, bringing with him over 35 years of hospitality industry experience to our team and to our Members.
Q: Where are you originally from?
TN: I was born in Yonkers, New York. My parents moved to Dobbs Ferry, New York, located on the Hudson River just north of Yonkers when I was eight years old. Dobbs Ferry is the quintessential small town. I’m very fortunate to have many friends that I grew up with still living there today.
Q: Tell us a little about your career path.
TN: I’m very blessed to have had a great career in the hospitality industry, beginning with working through high school in my father’s Irish pubs. I officially started my career with Restaurant Associates in New York City. Over the course of six years, I held various positions, culminating in my role as Director of Catering at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
From there, I went to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York where I was a Senior Catering Sales Manager. After seven years, I returned to Restaurant Associates, serving as the Senior Vice President of Catering.
In 2000, I accepted my first club management position at Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working at some of the best clubs in the United States, and am thrilled to be leading the team now at Kiawah Island Club.
Q: If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?
TN: It would be to study harder in high school and college. To understand that all classes may not be relevant to your future career goals but are required to ensure that you can complete tasks you may encounter down the road. I wish I had the same commitment to excellence in school that I have now.
Q: Tell us about your first trip to Kiawah. What was your initial impression?
TN: On one of my first days on the Island, I took out my phone and videotaped my drive from the River Course to the Beach Club. The light coming through the canopy of trees on the road was simply beautiful. I sent the video to my son Tommy, who lives in Boston, and my daughter Kaitlyn, who’s in Philadelphia. I tried to capture the beauty of simply driving on a road here. This is truly an amazing place!
As far as my first trip to the Island, it was during my interview for this amazing position. My wife Kimberly and I were blown away by the Island’s beauty and how much effort has been dedicated to protecting the environment. The balance of developing a community while maintaining a safe harbor for all species is truly amazing.
Q: Since moving here, what is your favorite part about the Island?
TN: This is an easy question. The beach!
Kimberly and I absolutely enjoy starting our day with a run or a bike ride on the beach. While I had a few rookie mistakes on my first efforts biking into the wind, I now know to check twice before I proceed. I also now know: check the tide!
Q: What is your motto on hospitality?
TN: My daughter is a manager with the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia and I believe they say it best: “Hospitality is not a career, it’s a way of life.” We have fantastic professionals that work at the Club, and they embody hospitality every day. I also firmly believe in a service culture of “the difficult will be provided for immediately; the impossible may take a few moments longer.”
Q: What are your hopes for Kiawah Island Club?
TN: Hopes are not needed for a place as spectacular as our Club. Realizing our potential is what we will do. This Island–and this Club in particular–are second to none and we will work every day to ensure that Members know that their Club is the best in the country.