Former Sea Pines VP returns to job while replacement sought

tbarton@islandpacket.comJanuary 19, 2014 

More than eight years after retiring from Sea Pines Community Services Associates, longtime Hilton Head Island resident Ward Kirby will return to his old job as the association's chief operating officer until a permanent replacement is found.

Kirby, a Sea Pines resident and former CSA executive vice president, was hired Jan. 2 while the association's board of directors searches for Cary Kelley's replacement.

CSA maintains the common property and roads within the gated community, as well as providing security. Kelley left at the end of December to become executive director of the First Colony Community Association in Sugar Land , Texas, near Houston.

Kelley was hired by CSA in June 2005 to replace Kirby, who retired that year after overseeing operations at CSA for more than eight years.

An attempt to reach Kirby was unsuccessful. CSA officials said Kirby was on a cruise and not expected to return until Tuesday.

Newly elected CSA board president Charlie Ryan said Kirby was chosen for his experience. Since his retirement in 2005, Kirby has stayed involved in the community. For example, he served for a time as chairman of the Town of Hilton Head Island's Disaster Recovery Committee. He also is a trustee of the Heritage Classic Foundation, overseeing a committee that awards scholarships to local high school seniors. The foundation runs the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, the PGA Tour event played each April at Sea Pines' Harbour Town Golf Links.

CSA's board has formed a six-member committee to search for Kelley's replacement, a process expected to last about four months, Ryan said.

He would not say how much Kirby would be paid or how much CSA had paid Kelley.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at

Related content: Sea Pines gate fee to increase; CSA executive leaving: Dec. 14, 2013

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