Elections

David Warren questionnaire

David Thomas Warren

Age: 55

Number of years living in Ward 3: 19

Family: Wife, Sally Warren; son, David Warren Jr.

Education: Bachelor of Science from University of Richmond School of Business Administration (1978); master's in business administration from LaSalle College (1981)

Current occupation/employer: Marketing consultant, David Warren Marketing

Employment history: David Warren Marketing (2008-present); director of marketing, The Sea Pines Co. (1995-07); director of sales and marketing, Royal Golf and Tennis, LTD (1993-94); Warren and Warren, Inc. (1983-93); the Idea Factory Inc. (1986-89); The Anderson Group (1983-86); research and marketing consultant, the Scott Co. (1982-83).

Military history: None

Volunteer history: Chairman, Town of Hilton Head Accommodations Tax Committee (two terms); board of directors, Chamber of Visitor and Convention Bureau; member, Spanish Wells Club board; president of Wells East Homeowners Association; board member, Hilton Head Humane Association; vestry, rector's warden and committee work, St. Luke's Episcopal Church; soccer, basketball and Dixie Youth Baseball coach; marketing assistance and photographer to Smith Stearns Tennis Academy; board member, Programs for Exceptional People; Fish with Friends volunteer and photographer.

Public offices to which you've been elected: None

Unsuccessful bids for public office: None

Key endorsements: Tom Taylor, Jack Qualey, Stan Smith, Rick Reichel, Bob Kolb, Frederick Hack, Robert Graves, Mark Stuckart, John Munro, Rob Reichel, Drew Butler, Bill Baldwin, Jim Collett, Marjie Gaynor, Larry McElynn.

Why should people vote for you?

The primary development phase of Hilton Head has come to a close. The challenges ahead are to expand our current economic drivers of tourism and real estate, and to broaden that base to create a positive climate for redevelopment and new business. I have 30 years of hands-on experience, including resort operations, real estate, business development, public relations and vital town experience as a two-term chairman of the Accommodations Tax Committee.

What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?

The three most important issues are the economy, the economy and the economy.

The economic impact of losing the (Heritage) tournament goes way beyond the quoted $80 million estimated annual influx to the community. So much of our brand was established through the national exposure created by this tournament and the experience of the visitors who have come for 40 years. Finding a solution is vital to our economy on a short- and long-term basis.

Hilton Head Island has been the leader in developing a combined resort and residential community that protects the environment and preserves the resources. We need to become the leader in how to sustain a community, post-development, with an extreme makeover in the land management ordinance and the atmosphere at the town to encourage new business and sustainable but environmentally sensitive growth to our economy. We will also have great pressure fiscally as we approach a tax re-evaluation that could impact our current level of funding.

The town has become the main advertising entity for Hilton Head Island, with the absence of major developers and reduced resort marketing. This role is designated to the chamber of commerce, and we need to be good stewards of those allocated funds and the message of our brand as a world-class resort and residential community. How we market ourselves has a dramatic input on the major economic engines of tourism and real estate.

What other issues do you see as important?

The world of communications is going at lightning speed. Texting, computers, smart phones and instant communication are changing at an incredible pace. We need to be world class in what we have island wide in this arena and be on the leading edge, not on the tail end, of these changes. Our visitors and residents expect and deserve excellence in access to these communication vehicles.

Environmentally and economically sustainable dredging for our island is a complicated issue for both the private landowners and the town. The road we go down here is important and needs to be thought through very carefully for the precedent it sets and the impact on our environment.

What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?

I would strongly recommend that the Town Council meetings be televised because people have become involved and interested in the town decisions through the mayor's election, and we need to keep that education and interest going. We need to make steps to eventually put the town checkbook online. Social media programs are also a perfect way to provide increased communication with interested residents and visitors.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you?

No

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes?

I have never filed for bankruptcy or to my knowledge been late on federal, state or local taxes.

Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?

I believe I represent the true fabric of Hilton Head, with a three-generational perspective and a 30-year career in working and supporting the island as a volunteer. My family is foremost in my life. Sally and I are incredibly proud of my son, who formed at 501(c)3 charity before he was 21 and is now a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Spain representing a local Rotary. And, of course, there is music. My brother and I have been playing guitar since we were kids, and I can be found playing the blues on Saturday night or in the Praise Band on Sunday morning.

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