Lowcountry Local First cultivates an economy anchored in local ownership, because local-independent businesses are the cornerstone of our culture, economy, and character.
WHO WE WORK WITH
We work with a diverse range of partners from the nonprofit, private and public sectors:
* Local-independent businesses
* Local, state, and national nonprofit and governmental partners
* Donors and funders who share our values
WHAT WE DO
Our programs implement a new model of local economic development – integrating advocacy, education and training, and relationship-building toward a more equitable, diversified economy.
WHY WE’RE DIFFERENT
We develop innovative models for sustainable and equitable local economies. Our work leverages our understanding of our over 550 local business members and 12,000 employees across all sectors, 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.
CONTACT & VISIT
To visit (for GPS): 1630 Meeting Street Road, Building #2, Charleston, SC 29405
Mailing address: 1630-2 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29405
HONORS & RECOGNITION
- 2018 Winner Best Non-Traditional Marketing Campaign – Charleston American Marketing Association
- 2014-2017 Winner Growth Accelerator Fund Competition – U.S. Small Business Administration
- 2016 Charleston County Ambassador for Economic Development, Jamee Haley – S.C. Department of Commerce
- 2016 Winner Best Promotional Video and Best Non-Traditional Marketing Campaign – Charleston American Marketing Association
- 2015 South Carolina Small Business Ally of the Year – SC District Office, Small Business Administration
- 2015 Winner Best Event Promotion, Runner-Up Guerrilla Campaign – Charleston American Marketing Association
- 2014 Institution of the Year – Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
- 2014 South Carolina Innovation Fund – S.C. Department of Commerce
- 2010-2012 Best Local Cause – Charleston City Paper ‘Best Of’ Awards
- 2008 Sustainable Communities Award – The Sustainability Institute
KEY FUNDERS & STRATEGIC PARTNERS
Recklessly optimistic that the world can be a better place. She leads the organization with fierce determination to show the value our homegrown businesses bring to our community and quality of life. People connector, big idea thinker and new idea junkie.
Favorite quote (not just because of the name) Buckminster Fuller; "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." Jamee also currently serves City of Charleston’s Health and Wellness Advisory Committee, College of Charleston’s Sustainability Literacy Institute’s Advisory Board and Together SC's Lowcountry Membership Chair.
Director of Development
Matt hails from the D.C. area and brings the Lowcountry a passion to inspire communities to rally behind worthy causes. This former semi-pro basketball player turned beach volleyball novice brings new heights to the Lowcountry Local First team, literally and figuratively. Matt's a proud pop of a rescue mutt named Murphy and a 5-time Funcle (Fun Uncle) of the Year Finalist. When not volunteering his time with a number of community organizations, he can be found enjoying live music or fumbling on his own guitar.
Community Development Director
Lauren works with independent businesses, consumers, and policymakers to cultivate place-based economic development through advocacy, policy, communications, and project management. Lauren earned a B.A. from the College of Charleston for Preservation & Community Planning, an M.S. from Pratt Institute in City & Regional Planning, and completed a fellowship in Urban Planning at the Pratt Center for Community Development in Brooklyn, NY. After nearly 10 years in non-profit leadership and community planning, Lauren found a use for her 18-year strong boycott of Walmart and joined the team at Lowcountry Local First in 2013. Lauren has served on the Charleston Regional Development Alliance Economic Scorecard Task Force; the Charleston Upper Peninsula Equitable Development Task Force; and currently serves on the ReThink Folly Road Steering Committee and the James Island Neighborhood Council.
They say Rome wasn't built in a day... neither is a thriving local economy, or an epic beard. Larry is dedicated to both! As Community Manager, his focus is connecting members in a way that strengthens the bonds of Localism. He has a deep understanding of the members who are engaged and can thus make valuable connections. This love for relationship-building translates to helping businesses at Local Works, LLF's coworking space, make connections with the larger community of local businesses. When he's not playing business matchmaker, you can find him fixing the internet, cursing the printer, taking out the trash, or chasing lizards from under desks.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Jordan came to be the lead story-wrangler and cheerleader for the organization after 7 years in the full-service marketing agency world. When not touting the local scene, you may find her on her bike, with her hands in the dirt, or listening to her husband perform spoken word. Jordan served on the board of directors for Charleston Moves from 2011 - 2017, previously served on the board of the Charleston American Marketing Association and chaired the 2013 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Director of Sustainable Agriculture
Starting with his toddler days of being propped up next to a basket of peaches in his grandfather’s orchard and selling pumpkins at his family's roadside stand, through his years educating high schoolers about food systems, production, and nutrition, Brian’s background in plant science and ecology have always steered him towards training and supporting farmers. Life in Upstate, New York and Minneapolis, Minnesota just got too darn cold for him and the idea of an extended growing season led him to Charleston where he helps to support and promote sustainable agriculture and usher in new and beginning farmers. Also an avid forager, cook, and musician, Brian sets our team up nicely for any apocalypse situation. Brian also serves on the Sustainable Agriculture Research Education committee.
C.T. is a firecracker visionary with a people-loving personality that lights up any room. She focused on hospitality and event management while studying at the College of Charleston, and was the recipient of the School of Business’ Outstanding Student of the Year Excel Award in 2011.
She has found great success in the event planning and management world in Charleston, through events like the Jewish Community Center’s KidsFair and the City of Charleston’s First Day Fest. C.T. also served as Market Manager for the Charleston Black Expo and as an event organizer for the 2017 Taste of Black Charleston Chef event that exceeded 1,300 attendees.
C.T. continues to connect local businesses here at Lowcountry Local First. As a small business owner, she understands the importance of relationships and having access to resources in this community.
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.
Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant
Kaylee brings her love of numbers and organization to Lowcountry Local First with a background in nonprofit and small business bookkeeping. When not working hard to further the Local cause, she is completing her bachelors degree in accounting and finding time to enjoy Charleston’s beaches and booming food scene. Her life motto? “If you aren’t happy with your life, change things until you are. If you can’t change something, change your attitude about it.” Kaylee is the Joint Base Charleston nominee for the 2018 Air Force Association Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of the Year Award, recognizing her extensive work as a Key Spouse during two major emergency evacuations, her insistence upon helping to care for the squadron's fur children, and the work that she does for the entire community.
Board of Directors
South State Bank
Grassroots Wine Wholesalers
Central Park Accounting
Urban Electric Company
Lou Hammond Group
Ruth’s House Event Rentals
“Mini” Mariana Hay
Croghan’s Jewel Box
South Carolina Federal Credit Union
Medical University of South Carolina
Employment and Internship Opportunities
We’re almost always on the lookout for volunteers who can help with event coordination, office work (filing, mailing, phone calls, etc.), or even getting your hands in the dirt for a day. If you have the time, talents and passion, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com.
1630 Meeting Street Road, Building #2
Charleston, SC 29405