About Us

OUR MISSION 

Lowcountry Local First cultivates an economy anchored in local ownership, because local-independent businesses are the cornerstone of our culture, economy and character.

WHAT WE DO

– Educate the general public on why it’s important to choose local and influence them to do so.

– Work with our elected officials, decision-makers and opinion leaders to foster a better environment for creating and sustaining local businesses.

– Deliver resources, programming, networking, mentorship and more to local businesses of all shapes and sizes.

WHY WE’RE DIFFERENT

We develop innovative models for sustainable and equitable local economies. Our work leverages our understanding of the 1,500+ local businesses we’ve served and is informed by staff with expertise and on-the-ground experience in local economy building, innovative economic development, entrepreneur support, sustainable agriculture, and food systems. We are connected to local economy and sustainable business organizations throughout the country, granting us access to the best models, case studies and thought leaders.

We value diversity of perspective, identity, and passion and believe we are all better when surrounded by those with unique lived experiences from our own.

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CONTACT 

1859 Summerville Ave, #800,
Charleston, SC 29405
Call: 843.801.3390 // For Good Enterprises, call: 843.212.6298
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HONORS & RECOGNITION

ANNUAL REPORTS AND FINANCIALS

* 2020 Annual Report // 2020 990 Coming Soon
* 2019 Annual Report
// 2019 Form 990
* 2018 Annual Report
 // 2018 Form 990
* 2017 State of Local // 2017 Form 990
* 2016 State of Local – Celebrating 10 Years
 // 2016 Form 990
* 2015 State of Local 
// 2015 Form 990

View recent press coverage
Explore our guiding Manifesto

KEY FUNDERS & STRATEGIC PARTNERS

Staff

Jacquie Berger

Executive Director; She/Her

Jacquie brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management, fundraising, planning and inclusive practices to the organization. Prior to joining LLF, Jacquie most recently served as Director of Development for the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry and as Executive Director for Just Food, a nonprofit in New York City that shifts power, health, and wealth of historically and economically marginalized communities through advocacy and work in food and environmental justice, and sustainable agriculture. Her previous work displays her ability to balance dedication to mission, the need for bold entrepreneurial initiatives, and the application of sound nonprofit management practices. Jacquie received her Master of Business Administration with Yale’s School of Management.

Lauren Gellatly

Director of Operations; She/Her

Lauren loves to say "every dollar we spend shapes our community," and brings her background in city planning, economic development, and nonprofit management to lead LLF's advocacy and operations. After earning a B.A. from the College of Charleston for Preservation & Planning, and a M.S. from Pratt Institute in City & Regional Planning, Lauren found a use for her 20+ year boycott of Walmart and joined the team at Lowcountry Local First in 2013. Today, you'll find her speaking at a city council meeting, leading a quarterly team planning meeting, brainstorming with the keynote speaker for the Good Business Summit, or writing an op-ed.

Jordan Amaker

Director of Marketing and Communications; She/Her

Jordan came to be the lead story-wrangler and cheerleader for the organization in 2015 after 7 years in the full-service marketing agency world. When not touting the local scene, you may find her enjoying time with her daughter, riding her bike, digging in the dirt, or listening to her husband perform spoken word. Jordan has previously served on the board of directors for Charleston Moves and the Charleston American Marketing Association and chaired the 2013 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Raquel Padgett

Good Enterprises Program Director; She/Her

Raquel is a graduate of SC State University, with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, PR and business consulting. She has worked with large entities such as Charleston County Government, Charleston County Parks & Recreation, the USC and MUSC cementing her skills in fundraising, marketing, budgeting, and event management. In her role as Good Enterprises Program Director, Raquel combines her love for community with her extensive experience in business development to help existing and future entrepreneurs achieve economic sustainability through business ownership. As the owner of a business consulting firm, The Peacock Company, Raquel knows first-hand the amount of perseverance and grit it takes to run a successful business. She is a passionate advocate for the minority business community.

Steve Fletcher

Development Manager; He/Him

Steve's personal and professional adventures have brought him to destinations as far-flung as Florence, Italy and to places a little closer to home like Florence, South Carolina. A New Jerseyan by birth, Steve received his BA at the College of William and Mary. He's worked in the private sector as a PR account executive and content strategist, but he's also been a brewery tour guide, a door-to-door fundraiser, a bartender, and a traveling musician. In 2019, Steve graduated from the College of Charleston's Master of Public Administration Program, where he cultivated a deep appreciation for the power and purpose of social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management. When he's not thinking about ways to better steward and support local businesses, you'll find Steve and his wife McKayla walking their dog, Dell, or grabbing some sushi from Aji, one of their favorite James Island eateries.

Lydia Dodd

Coworking & Office Coordinator; She/Her

Lydia’s professional background includes running a Spanish interpreting & translation business for 10 years and working in the tech sector on language-related technologies. She worked from Local Works Coworking Space for several years before joining the team at LLF. She knows first-hand the value of coworking and loves sharing that with others. Originally from South Carolina, she has also lived in Arizona and South America. When not working, Lydia can be found with her husband and daughter at one of the parks, playgrounds, and libraries in the Charleston area.

Jocelyn Patterson

Program Coordinator; She/Her

Jocelyn brings her strengths of networking, strategic planning, creative development and more to her role as Program Coordinator, ensuring the programs of the Good Enterprises Initiative run effectively and create the biggest impact possible. As a graduate from the first cohorts of the Community Business Academy, she continues to build her own company and uses her experience to encourage and assist other entrepreneurs along their journeys. An alumna of Clark Atlanta University, Jocelyn lives out the school’s two mottos of “find a way or make one,” and “culture for service,” bringing determination and compassion to everything she does. When not helping to create a diverse local economy, you can find Jocelyn traveling, spending time with family and friends and furniture thrift shopping.

Erika Grimes

Member Engagement Coordinator; She/Her

Born and raised in the Charleston area, Erika loves and appreciates all things local. She has worked in communications at MUSC and Atlantic South since graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Public Relations in 2018. Currently, she is a master’s candidate at the online Newhouse Journalism program at Syracuse University, where she is learning how to foster her love of storytelling. During her personal time, she enjoys writing, spending time with her loved ones, anything music-related and exploring the dining scene in Charleston.

Maud Bentley

Brand Manager; She/Her

Never one to shy away from bright colors or bold patterns, Maud is the creative crusader at Lowcountry Local First where she brings visual awareness to the local movement in Charleston. Some might call her attention to detail and design fanatical —we call it brilliant. Maud has been conquering the design world since 2013 when she launched her own freelance graphic design business after earning a degree in Art History from the University of Virginia and mastering a multitude of various design courses.

Jamee Haley

Founder; She/Her

Jamee Haley is the co-founder of Lowcountry Local First and served as the executive director from 2007-2020. A small business owner prior to launching the organization, Jamee owned and operated a product design company. Under her leadership, Lowcountry Local First worked to fill the gap in the business ecosystem through advocacy with both elected officials and the community at large; by providing technical support, training and affordable workspace; and through building a network of businesses that are part of the relationship economy. In 2021, Jamee launched her own consulting company and keeps getting into good trouble!

Board of Directors

Terri Herubin

Greystar
Chair

David Bennett

Charleston County Parks
Vice Chair

Nicki Root

Grassroots Wine Wholesalers
Past Chair

Jessica Slaughter

FIG/The Ordinary
Secretary

Melonie Hammond-Trace

Tideline CPA
Treasurer

Kerri Chisolm

Ameris Bank

Justin Ferira

Seine Group

Stephanie Hall

Estelle Colored Glass

Andy McCarthy

The Building People

Charles McLendon

Laurens Capital

Katherine Perrin

Perrin Woodworking

Jeff Plotner

Brackish

Employment and Internship Opportunities

No positions are currently available.

Volunteer

We’re almost always on the lookout for volunteers who can help with event coordination, office work (filing, mailing, phone calls, etc.), business coaching or entrepreneurship support. If you have the time, talents and passion, we’d love to hear from you. Fill out this form to let us know your availability and interest and we’ll reach out to you with any upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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Contact

1859 Summerville Ave, #800,
Charleston, SC 29405