I reported at the Annual Meeting that weather-related events were a common theme in the summary of the 2018 operations. The year was marked by a series of insurance claims including removal of debris from tropical storms, a freak hail storm that damaged the entire communication system in the Welcome Center and an even more bizarre incident when a patrol car caught on fire from the friction of pine straw trapped around the engine. But as much as these were a disruption of normal operations, Shipyard and Hilton Head were again spared the horrendous flooding caused by Hurricane Florence that devastated parts of the upper state and North Carolina.
In addition to the challenges of weather, the challenges of hiring and retaining personnel was another storm brewing for all island businesses last year. The trifecta of long commutes, skyrocketing rents costs, and plenty of work off-island made all businesses aware of the realities all of Hilton Head is facing with labor shortages.
Shipyard, with the support of the Board, has kept excellent benefits and above-average wages to keep staff in place and familiar faces in the POA operations. Even with the transition of Chief Brian Pettersen’s retirement and the relocation of longtime ARB Chairman Mike Wallis, Shipyard moved forward smoothly with the addition of resident Joe Strivieri as the new ARB Chair and Lawrence Alexander stepping up for the big shift change in Security as the new Chief.
Joe was later recognized by President Kevin McMahon as the Community Spirit Award winner for his extraordinary efforts in project work for construction and filling important shoes as the volunteer ARB Chairman.
The bottom line for our finances last year included a banner year in real estate sales, operations within budget, a less than 1% receivable and a thriving community that also gets to enjoy a south island location and the most prized amenity, the beach.
We are gearing up for another big year of operations and hopefully smooth sailing in 2019.