Traveling along life's highway, we all encounter hills
and valleys, twists and turns. But at some point, we are
bound to reach a crossroads - a point where a decision
is required. Should we stay the course or veer from the
known path for the chance of discovering a new, more exciting or
perhaps more sensible route?
Kate Hedden has met with her share of bumps in the road -
a divorce, a serious automobile accident and most recently, the
breakup of a long-term romantic relationship and engagement. At
the crossroads, she chose the path leading south, making her way
from New Jersey to Hilton Head Island.
"I was looking for a change for multiple reasons," said Kate, citing
her injuries from a head-on collision in which her leg was shattered
as the initial catalyst. "I couldn't do ice and snow - couldn't do
winters anymore," she explained. When her engagement broke up,
that was one less tie to the area, making a move seem even more
attractive. But what ultimately inspired her was a dream job that fit
like Cinderella's lost shoe.
It was at the urging of her sister, Tricia Gavin and brotherin-
law, orthopedic surgeon, J. Robert Gavin that Kate began to
seriously consider moving to Hilton Head Island. But she had more
qualifications than family ties making her the ideal candidate for
the position of Business Manager for all the departments at the new
Sport and Spine Institute (a comprehensive orthopedic center) at
Moss Creek Village.
For the past 13 years, Kate has worked as human resources
director for a major software developer. Prior to that, she worked
in the insurance industry, first investigating medical fraud and
later as an account executive, dealing with healthcare plans, claim
processing and various administrative tasks specific to the medical
field. With such extensive management experience, her degree in
nursing and prior orthopedic nursing experience was merely the
icing on the cake, sending Kate's rÈsumÈ soaring to the top of the
heap. "With all that bundled together, they would be hard pressed
to find someone with that kind of background," she said.
Having visited here multiple times, Kate said she loved the area. "I
could see myself retiring here. so when they offered me the job, I
decided it was time to pack up and start over." She will miss the more
dramatic seasonal changes and the snow, she says, but she loves the
slower pace of life and the graciousness of the people here.
Kate's immediate goal is to establish herself and demonstrate
that she brings value to her new position. At the same time, she is
working to make sure that her 12-year-old son, Duncan, acclimates
well. He, too, suffered injuries from the accident, she explained. In
addition to his own recovery, he has had to grow up fast in terms of
coping with her surgeries and resulting periods of immobility. He
also leaves behind his school, friends and relatives.
"It's been a difficult break for him and for me," said Kate. "What
has made it a positive transition for him is that his cousins are here.
During previous visits, he has made friends with their friends, so he
wasn't exactly coming into a world of strangers," she said.
"It's with a lot of sadness that these things happened to me [the
accident and the broken engagement]," Kate continued. "But when
it all came together, it was such a good fit in so many ways. And
it happened so quickly. We found this terrific house. Everything
clicked. I thought maybe this was meant to be."
Hometown: Spring Lake, NJ
Moved to HHI: June 15, 2009
Friends describe her as: witty, focused, organized, driven.
People would be surprised to know that: she loves country music.
In her spare time, find her: at her son's Lacrosse games, enjoying the beach or exercising in the pool.
Words to live by: "Life is short-keep it positive."