About Us


Lowcountry Local First advances economic prosperity and local ownership through innovative and inclusive initiatives that build our community’s wealth and wellbeing.


– 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.


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.



1859 Summerville Ave, #800,
Charleston, SC 29405
Call: 843.801.3390 // For Good Enterprises, call: 843.212.6298
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* 2021 Annual Report // 2021 Form 990
* 2020 Annual Report //
2020 Form 990
* 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



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.

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, 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, USC, and MUSC cementing her skills in fundraising, marketing, budgeting, and event management. In her role, 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

Director of Economic Development

Steve earned his BA from the College of William & Mary and his MPA from the College of Charleston. He's worked as a PR account executive but he's also been a brewery tour guide, a door-to-door fundraiser, a bartender, and a traveling musician. Since 2019, Steve has been advocating for the Lowcountry's local-independent businesses. He currently sits on the board of the William & Mary Alumni Charleston Chapter and formerly served as Head of Partnerships at Startup Grind Charleston. Steve hosts and produces two podcasts that have been selected as finalists for the City Paper's best local radio show category. When he's not hanging with his cats or dog, you'll find him rummaging through the records at Gray Cat Music or cycling with his wife to their neighborhood bakery, EVO, for rosemary cheese scones.

Erika Grimes

Communications 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. She recently earned her Masters Degree from the Newhouse Journalism program at Syracuse University, where she fostered 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.

Kip Watson

Community Builder; He/Him

Kip is originally from Boston, but came to the Lowcountry to attend the College of Charleston in 2007. He has been busy as a sailing instructor, equity researcher, financial consultant, policy analyst, and most recently a graduate student once again at the College of Charleston. He has just finished his Master of Public Administration degree with a certificate in Urban and Regional Planning. He tailored his coursework to focus on local level economic development and took his learning outside the classroom working with the MPA Community Assistance Program, NC Growth SmartUp, and the City of Charleston’s Office of Business and Neighborhood Services. When not contemplating the local entrepreneurial ecosystem you can find Kip on or near the water whether on the beach or a boat, working in the yard with his wife Meghan, or planning his next getaway.

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.

Mara Fields

Events Coordinator; She/Her

Mara discovered Lowcountry Local First in 2014 while she was studying at the College of Charleston and was inspired to eat local. She frequents farmers markets and enjoys cooking plant-based meals for her family and friends. She has a background in retail management with 5 years of experience leading a top-selling store on King Street where she partnered with local artists and non-profits for in-store events. Prior to LLF she worked as Event Marketing Coordinator at The Post and Courier. Her favorite place to be is on Folly Beach hunting for shark teeth.

Adelai Brown

Good Enterprises Program Coordinator

At 18 years old, Adelai Brown was a mother, living on her own, and struggling to figure out how she would ever fulfill her dreams in life. Because of this, she now uses her early life experiences and business skills to help individuals, families, and organizations create purposeful solutions that help them effectively and efficiently overcome internal and external conflict.

Through her transformational speaking and coaching abilities, Adelai, known as "The Heart Coach," has written four books, created multiple emotional wellness workshops/courses, and empowered more than 100,000 leaders live and online with companies such as ESSENCE magazine, and The 700 Club.

Her company has also served numerous for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and mentored over 100 youth in the Charleston area with a focus on mental/emotional health, wellness and conflict resolution. Adelai is a licensed real estate agent in the state of South Carolina, a recent graduate of the Community Business Academy, and lives in Charleston with her husband Kevin, their 4 children and 2 cats.

Lauchlan Davis

Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant; She/Her

Lauchlan believes that our community's thriving is deeply rooted in the vibrant network of local organizations. Through bookkeeping, she cultivates her passion for supporting small businesses and nonprofits. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2018 with a B.A. in English and Art History, she discovered her love of bookkeeping and data management while working for small locally-owned businesses in the Charleston area. She is currently pursuing a post-baccalaureate Certificate of Accounting at the University of Virginia. When Lauchlan is not working behind the front desk at Local Works, she's managing her own small businesses, a fine art studio and a boutique bookkeeping practice.

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

David Bennett

Charleston County Parks

Jeff Plotner

Vice Chair

Terri Herubin

Past Chair

Kerri Chisolm

Ameris Bank

Jennifer Ferrebee


Jeremiah Bacon

The Indigo Road Restaurant Group

Edward Kronsberg

Addlestone International

Margie Longshore


Andy McCarthy

The Building People

Sharon L McGhee

HR Cares RX

Charles McLendon

Laurens Capital

VaLinda Miller

Turning Page Bookshop

Jonathan Sanchez

Blue Bicycle Books

Kate Schmieding


Ryan Stewart

Nice Commerce

Employment and Internship Opportunities

Good Enterprises Program Administrator – Part-time. Learn more and apply.
Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant – Part-time. Learn more and apply.

To Apply
NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE. Please email cover letter and resume in PDF format to HR@lowcountrylocalfirst.org with the position title in subject heading.


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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1859 Summerville Ave, #800,
Charleston, SC 29405