Hilton Head Island real estate broker Paul Cale tells a story that, to those who know his longtime friend Jack Alderman, doesn't seem to stretch the truth too far:
"John Douglas Alderman was born Oct. 10, 1948, in Cincinnati, Ohio. By 12 noon that day, he left the hospital for a luncheon honoring the volunteers of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. He quickly left that meeting to join his dad for 18 holes of golf and concluded his first day on this earth chairing the stewardship committee of the Westwood First Presbyterian Church."
Cale told the story Thursday to a crowd gathered at First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head to honor Alderman, who was named the 2011 Man of the Year. The annual award from the Men of the Church recognizes selfless service by a Christian man.
"Over the last 20 years, Jack has been an outstanding example of volunteer leadership in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island," said 2008 Man of the Year recipient Jim Collett.
Alderman, 62, moved to the island in 1990 to take over land planning for Union Camp's holdings from Savannah to Hilton Head. One of his earliest accomplishments came while serving as senior vice president of the Branigar Organization, Union Camp's real estate arm. He led the company's efforts to get Bluffton to annex the 20,662-acre Palmetto Bluff and the 620-acre Schultz tracts. The deal turned the one-square-mile town into the state's fifth-largest municipality.
Alderman also gained company approval to donate five acres to Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity's New Hope Village on Simmonsville Road, as well as land for the public schools campus in Bluffton and the University of South Carolina Beaufort's southern Beaufort County campus.
He was chairman of the "Born to Read" and "Success by 6" early childhood development programs and oversaw a $3 million capital campaign for the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club. He serves on numerous other local boards of directors, including chairman of a steering committee with the Greater Island Council to promote implementation of a mayoral task force report issued last year to guide Hilton Head's development for the next 25 years.
Last year, Alderman received the first Howard A. Davis Community Service Award from the United Way of the Lowcountry for "extraordinary vision and commitment to the Lowcountry region.""I am honored and humbled," Alderman said of receiving the award.
"I checked on my dad a couple of days ago in Ohio. ... He asked, 'How do you get to be Presbyterian Man of the Year? What are the criteria?'
"I said, 'Well, it's all in the name, Dad. First, you have to be Presbyterian. Second, you have to be a man. Third, it has to be a year. I hung around for all these years, and finally, my name came up.' "