Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Meet the 2023 Charleston Regional Business Journal Women of Influence

Jason Thomas //November 28, 2023//

The inaugural class of the Charleston Regional Business Journal Women of Influence were honored at an event at The Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston.

The inaugural class of the Charleston Regional Business Journal Women of Influence were honored at an event at the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston.

The inaugural class of the Charleston Regional Business Journal Women of Influence were honored at an event at The Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston.

The inaugural class of the Charleston Regional Business Journal Women of Influence were honored at an event at the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston.

Meet the 2023 Charleston Regional Business Journal Women of Influence

Jason Thomas //November 28, 2023//

Listen to this article

The Charleston Regional Business Journal has revealed its inaugural 2023 Women of Influence honorees.

These 42 women represent a wide variety of industries and sectors in the Lowcountry, including business, entrepreneurship, public service, education, law, communications, health care, hospitality and finance, to name a few. These women were nominated because of the impact they have had in their fields and because they have demonstrated exceptional leadership, resilience, and innovation, not only having impact on the business world and in the community right now but also paving the way for future generations.

The women were honored at a luncheon held Oct. 25 at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, an event which allowed them a day of recognition and helped the community as a whole learn about the continuing contributions of remarkable women of influence in the Lowcountry.

Jason Thomas, executive editor, SC Biz News

Ani Paulson, vice president, investments, Marcus & Millichap

For the last three years, Ani Paulson has been the top salesperson at commercial real estate investment company Marcus & Millichap, where she is vice president of investments. Named one of the nation’s top 100 people in her industry by Top 100 magazine, Paulson opened her own company under the M & M banner, The AP Group.

Her commitment to exceptional client service and hands-on involvement in every transaction has resulted in increased property values for her clients. Her advisory services and premium asset disposals have proven instrumental in preserving and growing her clients’ wealth. The crew at Marcus & Millichap accounted for $32 billion in bought and sold properties last year.

That’s a long way from Paulson’s seven-year stint in automotive repair as a Meineke Car Care franchise owner.

Aris Ferguson, general counsel, Charleston Housing Authority

Aris Ferguson is working hard to expand affordable housing as general counsel for Charleston Housing Authority. She recently spoke to Congress about allocating more funding for public housing.

Ferguson is dedicated to public service. She has extensive experience in property and landlord-tenant matters and assisted Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services and the Housing Court Pilot program in that area of the law. She also offers her time to Big Brothers Big Sisters, Charleston Law School and Junior League.

One law school classmate and friend says Ferguson is an advocate for everyone, the type of woman who will shout your name when she gets the opportunity. Quote, “You can’t help but love her!”

Ashley Richardson, director of strategy and communication, Charleston County Economic Development

Every time you brag about economic development in Charleston, you’re bragging on Ashley Richardson – at least a little. As senior director of strategy and communication at Charleston County Economic Development, Richardson has assisted 90 projects in their expansion announcements and earned an industry consulting firm’s recognition as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. Richardson was also named a Forty Under 40 by this publication.

Richardson Richardson is involved in non-economic development of our community as well, by, among other things, mentoring in the College of Charleston MBA Program and serving on Charleston County School District’s School Improvement Council at her children’s school.

Beverly Hutchison, executive director, Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center

Despite having served as as a volunteer, board and staff member at Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center for 30 years, Beverly Hutchison had no thoughts of becoming executive director while sitting on the search committee for the agency’s new leader. But as the committee began sketching out the qualities their third E.D. should possess, that person looked increasingly like Beverly Hutchison.

So, today she leads the organization where children receive comprehensive care in response to abuse or a traumatic event.

A colleague says, “working with abused children is a very challenging ecosystem, yet I have never seen her lose sight of the child, even among budget challenges, a pandemic and operational forces.”

Charlotte Berger, founder, CharlotteBergerPR

Charlotte Berger, also a Forty Under 40 award winner this year, founded and leads CharlotteBergerPR, which she launched during the pandemic and now employs 10. She also founded TastemakersCHS, Charleston’s only culinary social media group that connects restaurants, nonprofits, and influencers under the same umbrella. She’s leveraged it to benefit local restaurants, raise $60,000 for area nonprofits and another $25,000 for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Berger runs a girls-only club there at Charlotte Berger PR, except for her husband. Because several of them are mothers, including Berger, she has embraced remote work to strike that work-life balance. Having founded two firms before 30, Charlotte mentors young women who want to follow in her giant footsteps.

Courtnay Thompson, market president, Select Health of South Carolina

Courtnay Thompson and the Charleston Regional Business Journal are old friends. In 2020, this former ICU nurse was named one of 40 people under 40 to watch. That was after she became the youngest market president in Select Health’s history. The following year, we recognized her as a Health Care Hero for her focus on serving low-income communities. Following five years at the helm of the health insurer, navigating it through a health crisis that killed 1 million Americans, Thompson is being recognized as a Woman of Influence.

Thompson serves the rest of the community as well, on the Board of Ronald McDonald House and the Trident United Way campaign cabinet, and she was awarded the Palmetto Gold award as a student for exemplifying excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession.

Elizabeth Dees, experience manager, Trident Construction

Elizabeth Dees is serving as president-elect of the Society of Marketing Professional Services’ local chapter while she attempts to create “Raving Fans” of Trident Construction — that’s what they call loyal customers.

Combining a graphic communication degree with an architecture concentration and an MBA, Elizabeth can skate circles around other marketers – literally. She’s earned medals for figure skating skills and free dance, finishing in the top 10 in last year’s U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships.

Elizabeth Russell, executive director and business banking area manager, JP Morgan Chase

Professional volunteer Elizabeth Russell participates in over 25 volunteer events with organizations such as the American Heart Association, Veterans Field of Honor, Lowcountry Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, the Black Pages and more. She serves on the board of Commercial Real Estate for Women and as an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, Low Country Manufacturing Council and the Maritime Association of South Carolina.

Oh yes, she also has a small side job – executive director and business banking area manager for JP Morgan Chase, where she leads a team of 10 business bankers across the Carolinas from her office in Charleston. Russell was JP Morgan Chase’s first South Carolina employee and she serves on an internal women’s interest group and mentors up-and-coming women in the company.

But only when she is not busy attending events for Accelerating the Legacy, Center for Youth Development, Women’s Business Center and the list goes on.

Gaelyn Zafred, associate team leader, DWG Consulting Engineers

Gaelyn Zafred’s climb to the top is not about her job as associate team leader with DWG Consulting Engineers. Her climb involves grueling bike rides up mountains, like those in the Alps. She even conquered one mountain stage of the Tour de France.

Zafred’s been defying stereotypes about women for a long time, for example, as a female engineer in a male dominated industry. Her in-office mentorship of women has propelled several of her co-workers into leadership roles. She recently joined Thrive, the Chamber’s women’s organization, to keep that momentum alive.

Zafred’s got another hill to climb: she wants to visit all 63 National Parks. With only 16 under her belt so far she’s got a long road in front of her. But no one is doubting her endurance.

Jamie Dement, brand manager, Charleston Regional Development Alliance

The Charleston region is booming, and just a little bit of the credit goes to Jamie Dement, brand manager for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, which works to attract companies, talent and entrepreneurs to the Lowcountry. Dement’s expertise is in marketing, which is helpful when working to land a big catch like Volvo or Scout Motors.

A 40 Under 40 honoree in 2019, Dement is dedicated to improving life in the region. She’s a Riley Fellow, a Diversity Initiative graduate, a Palmetto Goodwill board member and an active participant in Women in Tech.

Dement is a “speak softly and carry a big stick” kind of person. She’s rarely the loudest but often the most compelling. That yin-yang approach makes sense for someone who both played rugby and sang in an acapella group in college.

Janet Bates, client solutions manager, JE Dunn Construction

Janet Bates knows what it’s like to work in a mostly male industry. She heads JE Dunn Construction’s efforts to build long-term strategic relationships with clients.

Janet was nominated by her business partner, who truly loves her. That’s why he married her. The Charleston Chamber named Bates to its “One to Watch” last summer, just six weeks after the birth of her third child. She serves on the board of the Charleston Metro Chamber, of the Women’s Business Center at Increasing Hope financial training center and at her synagogue, KKBE, one of the oldest in the nation.

Bates isn’t afraid to have that tough conversation that leads to change, which has helped JE Dunn earn recognition from SC Biz News as a Best Place to Work in SC.

Jenean Petoskey, chief operating officer, Finkel Law Firm

By day, Jeanean Petoskey is the chief operating officer at Finkel Law Firm. As COO, she leads the firm’s practice and business support functions, including the areas of compliance, information technology, human resources, and office operations.

By night Petoskey is an an aerial yoga instructor, philanthropist and artist whose work has previously been featured at the Columbia Museum of Art and donated to numerous charities. She led an award-winning fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, raising more than $50,000, and serves as vice president of a local non-profit organization. Petoskey  was named an Unsung Legal Hero by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly last year and is named in this year’s edition of Who’s Who in America.

Jennifer Charzewski, principal, Liollio Architecture

As a principal at Liollio Architecture, here is a list of awards bestowed upon Jennifer Charzewski: she is a Business Journal Forty Under 40, she’s won recognition for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects and well, unless you have a half hour, you don’t have time to read the rest. Suffice to say that Charzewski is a highly decorated architect, volunteer and public servant.

As principal in charge of business development, Charzewski must understand how to build and how to interact with other humans. In fact, she’s often asked to speak about the built environment. You might have seen her at Pecha Kucha Charleston last year.

A working mom of three, Charzewski champions opportunities for women in architecture, as well as office policies to support growth and leadership opportunities, especially working mothers.

Karen Perlmutter, owner, Collaborative Consulting

Karen Perlmutter admits that her favorite client is every single one – their needs, vulnerabilities courage and grit inspire her. The founder of Collaborative Counseling and a Ted Talk speaker on addiction, Perlmutter is balancing the desire to help people selflessly with the need to run a business.

Specializing in the treatment of substance abuse and mental illness, Perlmutter has developed an evidence-based curriculum for families coping with substance abuse. She also serves as a board member of the Lowcountry Addiction Treatment and Recovery Alliance. In her Ted Talk, Perlmutter notes that families of those with substance abuse issues need their pain validated, their knowledge of the disease expanded, their own island of sanity, and a community of others like them.

Katie Blomquist, founder and CEO, Going Places

Katie Blomquist is Going Places. That is, she’s the founder and CEO of a non-profit by that name, which gets bicycles into the hands of low-income children to increase their mobility, experiences and opportunities. A former teacher whose heart hurt for the challenges facing her students, she got bikes for 400 kids last year.

Blomquist makes things happen even when she’s standing still, which isn’t often. She founded a social media management company, co-owns an online academy to teach people how to start a nonprofit, and teaches two social media classes at The College of Charleston. Taking a break from all that, Blomquist boarded 26 airplanes this summer.

Dr. Kay Phillips, executive director, Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center

Under the 20-year leadership of Dr. Kay Phillips, the Dorchester Children’s Advocacy Center has grown from one employee to 22, from a 1,000 square foot facility to 16,000 square feet, and from serving 57 children annually to 1,200. And has now the organization has expanded into Berkeley County. It is the state’s largest children’s advocacy agency.

Employing an evidence-based response to child abuse, the Center reduces trauma and provides treatment for children and their families. Because of the success of its care model, the agency has earned accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance, which also conferred a lifetime achievement award on Phillips. That followed her recognition by Trident United Way as the nonprofit leader of the year in 2018.

Krisdee Clark, Mrs. American 2022-23, blogger

Here she is, Mrs. American, The Blonde Bombshell, Krisdee Clark. The director of corporate affairs for the largest hospice in the Southeast, Clark is best known as one of the nation’s leading advocates for survivors of breast cancer.

As the winner of the 2022 Mrs. American pageant, Clark has used her platform to educate, support and uplift those affected by the disease. The Blonde Bombshell is her blog about thriving after breast cancer.

But it’s more than that: She was chosen by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to serve as keynote speaker on Capitol Hill. She personally lobbied members of Congress, helping get four bills passed to support breast cancer research.

Kristen Nichols, shareholder, Turner Padget

Is Kristen Nichols a good attorney? Well, she was offered a partnership at Turner Padget, one of only four voting members on its executive committee. She has been named one to watch this year by Best Lawyers in America for bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights and insolvency. And for banking and finance law. And for commercial litigation. And she earned a Martindale Hubbell peer review rating of pre-eminent. So, yeah, she’s pretty good. Maybe that’s why United Community Bank recently hired her away as vice president of their creditors’ rights counsel.

Nichols had been trusted to lead Turner Padget’s women’s committee and its diversity, equity and inclusion committee. Her peers say she is passionate about listening and collaborating, and is particularly focused on creating best-in-class work/life balance solutions for her staff in a high-pressure profession.

Kristie Rasheed, managing director, The Dewberry Hotel

A mother of three, a graduate student, a mentor for women, and the managing director of an award-winning downtown hotel – that’s all Kristie Rasheed.

This Renaissance woman at The Dewberry Hotel runs the best rooftop bar in Charleston, according to the Charleston City Paper, and has been lauded for actively promoting and creating leadership roles for women, providing opportunities for those coming up behind her.

Previously recognized as one of 40 people under 40 to watch, we’ve been watching. With her membership on the boards of the Lowcountry Hospitality Association and Meals on Wheels, along with all her other activities, Rasheed is a Woman of Influence.

Lindsay Leonard, senior director, national strategy and engagement, The Boeing Co.

Lindsay Leonard seems to wear roughly 137 hats at Boeing, where she is officially the senior director for national strategy and engagement. That means she is in charge of basically everything but building the planes. Most significantly, she leads the company’s philanthropic efforts, which amount to $90 million in a variety of educational, equity, veterans and sustainability areas.

A consensus builder who has been a catalyst for strengthening and maintaining relationships in the community, Leonard is a member of nearly every business and education group the Lowcountry has to offer.

Leonard was also a critical leader in helping Boeing South Carolina navigate the post-COVID work environment. One colleague calls her Superwoman, which is impressive coming from a company that knows a bit about flying

Lindsey Donohue, owner, Moxie Park Salon

Besides running a business that took off from the start, Lindsey Donohue and her business partner, Tiffany Munoz, use their salon to host events for female entrepreneurs and offer their expertise regularly to help other women succeed in business.

They host charity events and have reached out to other stylists – competitors – to join with them. And they have made their business a safe space for women in an industry where women aren’t always treated well.

Says one admiring employee, “it almost leaves me speechless. I’ve never met two women more proud to watch their team succeed.”

Lindsey Halter, partner, Carolina Retail Experts

If you were going to attach a number to Lindsey Halter, it would be 100. A founding partner of Carolina Retail Experts, a boutique commercial real estate firm that is one of the few women-owned in the state, she has leased out 100% Shannon Park Shopping Center in Goose Creek. She’s got St. Andrews Shopping Center 100% leased too. And Market Square at Carnes Shopping Center – 100%.

That Halter oversees 3.2 million square feet of retail real estate is almost as impressive as her position in the field to begin with. Women comprise just 9% of the commercial real estate industry.

Halter understands that with great success comes great responsibility. She serves as president of the Commercial Real Estate Women – Charleston chapter to help women in her field – 100% of them.

Liz Ashley, founder and CEO, Align People + Results, a Workplace Strategies Consulting Firm

What makes Liz Ashley such a successful workplace strategist who has helped everyone from family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 clients improve their processes and retain their employees? It started at Estee Lauder, the cosmetics company, where she worked as a sales and education executive, turning the lowest performing territory into the highest performer.

Now running Align, a People + Results Consulting Firm, she also volunteers her expertise by chairing Thrive, the Chamber’s women’s organization, and serves on the board at the Harbour Club, at WestEdge, and as the first female board member of the Warrior Surf Foundation for veterans with PTSD.

Lisa Metheney, senior civilian (deputy district engineer for programs and project management), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District

Lisa Metheney is a senior civilian with the Army Corps of Engineers, leading a team of 250 who develop engineering and environmental solutions for all 32,000 square miles of our state.

Metheney says her biggest challenge is a common one for women in business – knowing when to ask for help. Brought up not to burden others, she now realizes that seeking help is a sign of strength, and a great way to find the most efficient solution.

Prior to her selection as a Woman of Influence, she had already earned five achievement medals for civil service, a small business champion award and the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest honor.

Lucinda Brasington, chief operating officer, ERA Wilder Realty

Leading a 300-agent brokerage with 10 offices across the state, it’s not surprising that Lucinda Brasington is considered an expert in her field. The COO of ERA Wilder Realty is a national speaker on lead management and conversion, and has been quoted many times in industry publications on agent connectivity and successful agent adoption of tools and technology. Because of that, she was featured in a recent issue of Realty Biz News.

Her dedication and support for agents and staff earned her the company’s Always There for You award, and two years ago she created the firm’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.

Brasington has helped guide the company to heights in the industry as well, winning numerous awards and spearheading $168,000 of charitable fundraising efforts.

Mackenzie Crabtree, broker-owner, Mackenzie Crabtree Real Estate

Former radio talk show host Mackenzie Crabtree was not someone you wanted to antagonize. She’s got a black belt in karate.

Mackenzie Crabtree Real Estate specializes in foreclosed properties. She and her team have sold more than 800 foreclosed properties in an average time of one day for an average price 3% above list price. She has been a top 1% sales producer nationally for 15 years in a row.

“If it’s distressed, then we are the best!” she says, and she has more than 70 clients who will testify it’s true.

Maggie Griesman, broker-in-charge, Carolina One Real Estate Services

The youngest person in Charleston Trident Association of Realtors history to be named a broker in charge, it’s no surprise that Maggie Griesman earned Forty Under 40 recognition from this publication a few years ago. Still the youngest person on the leadership team of the area’s top residential real estate company, Carolina One, she’s also the president-elect of the first Women’s Council of Realtors in the state.

Griesman has attracted a social media following for her online words of inspiration. Here’s one: “You are the only you that will ever be. You’re kind of a big deal.”

If that doesn’t make you feel good, how about all the good Griesman does in the community, like getting Thanksgiving dinner to 20,000 people in need, and delivering gifts to kids in need from a North Charleston Fire Department hook and ladder.

Maka Aptsiauri, president, CHS4Ukraine

Maka Aptsiauri hails from the Republic of Georgia and remembers Russia’s illegal invasion of her country, supported by all the same false rhetoric that precipitated its invasion of Ukraine last year. That’s when the owner and chef at EuroFoods grocery and café founded CHS4Ukraine with her Ukrainian husband, to provide aid to the besieged people of that country.

With volunteers from the U.S., Poland and Ukraine, they have raised and shipped thousands of pounds of humanitarian supplies and helped settle Ukrainian refugees.

Aptsiauri came to the U.S. without knowing a word of English but she is an American citizen and entrepreneur now. What could make her more American than that?

Natalie Wright, CEO, broker-in-charge, Real Estate House International

You’ve heard all about how the real estate market has nearly come to a halt. Well, not at Real Estate House International, where closed deals have increased by 45%.  It speaks to the leadership of Natalie Wright, CEO and Broker-in-Charge. A board member of the South Carolina Realtors Association, Wright championed the development of a virtual home-buying experience, which allows clients to explore properties remotely.

Treasured by staff for her collaborative approach, her support of employee success and her innovative ideas, Wright is active in her professional life, as a founding and charter board member of the Women’s Council of Realtors and director of the Darla Moore School of Business Black Alumni Alliance. She also serves her community by serving as treasurer of her local PTA and youth director of her church.

Phyllis Martin, executive director, Jewish Foundation of South Carolina

Phyllis Martin is dedicated to the ancient concept of Tze-duck-kah, the Jewish philanthropic obligation to do what is right and just, as an important part of living a spiritual life. As executive director of the Jewish Endowment Foundation of South Carolina, she has the opportunity to contribute to the broad ecosystem of Tze-duck-kah.

Says the former CEO of Tri-County Cradle to Career, “connecting people and organizations to their passion, purpose, and resources; ensuring the legacy and perpetuity of Jewish education, culture, and values is the very best thing about my job.”

Pixie Paula Dezzutti, owner/CEO, Striped Pig Distillery, Ghost Monkey Brewery, Skirt, Charleston, Sycamore BioPharma

Being a mother of nine children would drive any woman to drink. Instead, Pixie Paula Dezzutti opened a distillery. One of only a few women worldwide to own a distillery and brewery, Pixie’s Striped Pig Distillery in North Charleston is the Lowcountry’s first since Prohibition.

Spirits are a small part of Paula Dezzutti’s secret sauce. She’s a cryptocurrency expert, record company executive, brand strategist, a CBD entrepreneur and more. She has worked in finance, real estate, import/export, and even as an ordained minister. She’s instilled the entrepreneurial spirit in her children too.

During the first year of Covid, Striped Pig was acclaimed for pivoting its alochol production to make hand sanitizer and donating it to the food bank and MUSC.

Robin Phoenix Johnson, CEO, motivational speaker, professional comedian, talent manager

Did you hear the one about the lieutenant colonel in the Army who became a comedian? Well, you’re about to. After 20 years in the military, Robin Phoenix Johnson is using comedy to heal, particularly veterans and the

ir spouses through her companies, Best Medicine Brigade and Heal-Arious.

This is serious business. Phoenix Johnson started her work after seeing too many of her fellow soldiers commit suicide. She knew that laughter is the best medicine and wanted to be the doctor to administer it. Phoenix Johnson is a comedy boot camp instructor for the Armed Services Arts Partnership and a Level 2 Certified Humor Professional with the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. She has performed on Broadway and was voted Charleston’s Best Comic last year.

Ronda Dean, founder, president, CEO, Afaxys

Ronda Dean provides oral and emergency contraceptives in U.S. clinics, now serving more than 8,400 public health centers across the nation. Her company has delivered more than 27.5 million months of contraceptive protection to patients. Ronda says a woman’s access to contraception is critical in her ability to control her own life, pursue her educational goals, and achieve economic mobility. Yet that access is dependent more than anything on her zip code, something Afaxys is working to change.

Being at the forefront of women’s reproductive rights afforded Dean the opportunity to meet Justice Harry Blackmun, and chat about Roe v. Wade, the controversial Supreme Court decision he authored legalizing abortion, which was recently overturned by the current court.

Stacy Waters, president Roper St. Francis Foundation, vice president, Roper St. Francis Healthcare

All you need to know about Stacy Waters is that colleagues moved here from Austin, Texas to continue working with her when took over as president of the Roper St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, the fundraising arm of the healthcare system. Roper St. Francis is the only private, not-for-profit hospital system in the area.

Waters has since more than doubled the size of the team and created ambitious new goals to raise philanthropic dollars. Just months into her tenure Stacy and her team landed a $5 million gift from Parker’s Community Fund to establish community health initiatives.

None of this was any surprise to those who worked with Waters at the University of Texas. There she was awarded the Go Bigger award, one of only 20 in a university system employing more than 100,000 people.

Stephanie Kelley, executive director, East Cooper Community Outreach

In the past six years, with Stephanie Kelley at the helm of East Cooper Community Outreach, the agency has exceeded its capital campaign fundraising goals, more than doubled its operating budget and the number of major donors, increased services to Mount Pleasant residents in need and earned a Chik-fil-A True Inspiration award worth $175,000. No wonder she was named Non-Profit Leader of the Year by Trident United Way.

A leader who cares for hearts as well as business, Kelley and her staff at ECCO established an online ordering system for clients of the food pantry during Covid and bought a handicap-accessible van to shuttle clients facing transportation challenges.

It’s all a full circle experience for Kelley, who’s been volunteering for ECCO since she arrived in town in 2012.

Sunshine Goodman, speaker/Consultant/Activist, Sunshine Bella Global

If sunshine on your shoulder makes you happy, Sunshine Goodman in your corner can be a godsend. A leading advocate for transgendered individuals specifically and for the queer community generally, Goodman is the first Black trans woman to serve on the board of the Alliance for Full Acceptance. She served as grand marshal of Charleston’s Pride Parade last year.

Goodman is good for your hair and your wardrobe too. As a stylist for the last 15 years, she helps people feel beautiful on the outside for a living, while she advocates in the community for us all to feel beautiful on the inside.

She says, “my personal mission is to empower people to lead with authority while living their most authentic lives.”

Tammy Coghill, manager of economic development and local government, Dominion Energy

Tammy Coghill’s job as Dominion Energy’s manager of economic development and local government is to connect people and organizations for solutions that build community and opportunity for all. But her passions are photography and volunteerism.

Coghill has served on the Trident Tech board for a decade, now as board chair. She volunteers with Sea Island Habitat’s Women Build, the Charleston Chamber and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. She gives her time to numerous women’s groups like Thrive and Charleston Women in International Trade, and says all those experiences have been the highlight of her career.

What might be a highlight for those organizations is that she donates her photography to them for auction, combining her two passions in one beautiful picture.

Tiffany Johnson-Wilson, CEO, Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company, J&W Construction & Design, Johnson & Wilson Development Company, Johnson & Wilson Title Company, Tiffany’s Teachings, J&W Mortgage Solutions, Hope For Homes

Tiffany Johnson-Wilson’s husband Todd Wilson says he is in awe of his wife’s work. And folks, he’s underselling it. Johnson-Wilson runs seven companies and a non-profit while serving as broker-in-charge of her real estate firm. Spread so thin, she can’t possibly be good at any of them, except she’s a top 1% producer nationally in real estate sales.

But Johnson-Wilson was not destined for greatness. She had myriad challenges growing up. Despite that start in life, she earned her bachelor’s degree, set industry records, began writing a book, coached 60 agents, raised two kids, started Homes for Hope and became a multi-millionaire. Oh, and by the way, she’s running for Summerville Town Council.

Tiffany Munoz, co-owner, stylist, Moxie Park Salon

Tiffany Munoz, the co-owner and stylist at Moxie Park Salon, is a bit of a psychologist. Twenty years of listening to clients’ life stories, woes and complaints, dispensing sage advice and adding beauty to their lives does that. In fact, her salon partners with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to provide training to her staff.

Of course, one could argue that Munoz needed her own head examined when she opened her salon during a pandemic. She and her team learned about flexibility and ingenuity to survive – and then thrive – from that experience.

Moxie Park has been voted Charleston’s best salon all three years of its existence. True to form, her staff says, Munoz credits their success to her determined and kind business partner, Lindsey.

Tosha Connors, CEO, My Sister’s House

Tosha Connors has done the most terrifying thing any leader can: She took over a stagnant 40-year-old agency and introduced change. She serves as CEO of My Sister’s House, a non-profit organization that provides direct services and support to victims of domestic violence and their families.

Prior to Connors, My Sister’s House was a shelter-first organization. Today victims of domestic violence are housed throughout the community and offered more expanded services, like court advocacy and representation, education and prevention through trauma-informed tactics and strategies. She has engaged businesses and other non-profits to increase the agency’s reach.

Taking calculated risks, Connors is moving a venerable non-profit forward to keep up with today’s realities.

Yolanda Roary, master coach, Grace Coaching Academy/Beautifully Empowered

You might say Yolanda Roary is ambidextrous. She provides master coaching both to individuals and to organizations, a combination you don’t see very often.

For individuals, this certified life coach and licensed marriage facilitator provides the tools to assess where they are and the strategy to help them accomplish their dreams. For organizations, she provides work style assessment and image shifts that change the trajectory of the business. She’s even written “The Coaching Guidebook: A Biblical Approach.”

Even when she’s not at work Roary is a coach in everyday life. She mentors other life coaches and offers a helping hand to those around her struggling with grief.

Says one satisfied customer, “she teaches and equips you with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding completely provided through education and lived experiences.”