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Charleston Business

2018 Best and Brightest 35 and Under

Nov 09, 2018 10:41AM ● By Kathleen Maris
The Lowcountry is home to a host of young professionals who contribute to their community as well as their careers and families. Starting this year, Charleston Business Magazine will be honoring several of these individuals in our annual Best and Brightest 35 and Under feature. This year, our recipients were selected based on their corporate accomplishments, as well as their activity in giving back to Charleston.

This year’s Best & Brightest section includes short biographies, written by each winner.

Chad Frampton
Age 33
Frampton Construction

I was born and raised in Charleston, and I am the president and CEO of Frampton Construction. My love for construction began in middle school while working for my father’s construction company during the summers. Every summer through high school and college, my interest in construction and business continued to grow, and I knew I wanted to join his company, Frampton and Associates, when I graduated. Starting as an assistant project manager, I took the opportunity to learn from other business professionals and trades and gained valuable hands-on experience.

In 2010, I joined company leadership and focused my responsibilities on strategic planning and business development, which paved the way for Frampton Construction, established in 2014. Since then, the company has grown from a modest local operation to a regional construction firm delivering best-in-class construction services. We have experienced many achievements along the way, including being ranked No. 267 on this year’s Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies.
In 2016, I participated in the Roper St. Francis Foundation Fellows Program, which gave me the opportunity to interact with healthcare staff and physicians and to learn more about the hospital’s programs and facilities. Since completing the program, I have been honored to help raise money for the foundation, create more community awareness about its offerings, and encourage others to volunteer.
Another organization close to my heart is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After months of campaigning and ultimately raising $214,000, I was honored to be named 2017 LLS Lowcountry Man of the Year. Since then, my team and I remain involved with the organization by volunteering at local LLS events like the Light the Night Walk.

While I take pride in my work accomplishments, I am most proud of being a husband and father. I owe so much of my happiness to my wife, Michaele, our daughter,  Mary-Katherine, and our son due in February.

Sarah Glass
Age 27
LIOLLIO Achitecture
Project Architect

As a Charleston native, I take pride in being able to work on local projects. Upon graduating as a master of architecture from Clemson University, I joined the talented team at Liollio Architecture, where I have taken part in several community projects in the greater Charleston area.
The practice of architecture is largely about taking cues from local culture and community; good design goes hand-in-hand with the way people live, work, and play.  
I enjoy my spare time volunteering on the local American Institute of Architects board, chairing Charleston’s Equity in Architecture committee, and volunteering with local groups such as Enough Pie. The time in-between work and volunteering is reserved for playtime with my pup, Abby.
I have been lucky enough to be able to grow personally and professionally with the help of my friends, family, and mentors, and I am incredibly honored to be included among Charleston’s hardworking young professionals.

 Sean Holmes
Age 30
Nectar Sunglasses LLC
Vice President/COO

I attended VCU in Richmond, Va. on a baseball scholarship in 2006. A semester shy of graduating, I chose to leave school early in order to pursue entrepreneurship. Nectar Sunglasses was born in my apartment in Atlanta, Ga. and launched in February 2012. As founder and CEO of Nectar, I continue to be hands-on in all of the day-to-day aspects of the business and lead the company as it evolves into a truly authentic lifestyle brand.

We have partnered with the Savannah Bee Company and donated a portion of every sale to help repopulate the decimated honeybee population. We purchase the bees that are placed into viewing hives all around the U.S. and Canada so that the kids in these elementary schools can learn about the importance of our flying insects. We have helped to generate more than 500,000 honeybees in a year.
Nectar’s mission is to empower the free thinkers, embrace the risk takers, and encourage every individuals’ right to pursue their own unique version of “the sweet life.” Through Nectar, I hope to inspire a relentless passion for creativity and adventure by remaining firmly rooted in its fundamental ideals: that quality can be affordable to the masses, not just the elite—and that style and authenticity are synonymous.

 Gretta Kruesi
Age 35
Beacon Community Bank
Business Development Officer

Looking back on my eclectic career accomplishments, it may not seem obvious on paper, but it could not be clearer today that all roads would lead to Beacon.
I am an entrepreneur driven by my passions, determination to succeed, and deep-rooted desire to be the best version of myself possible. I love creative problem-solving, I love to connect people, and I love to make things happen. For many years, my athletic and artistic ventures became small businesses. Each success or accolade that followed became an opportunity and a platform to give back. I believe that giving back to the communities you are a part of — whether its location-, interest-, or industry-based — is not only a duty but a keystone to true success and personal satisfaction. As a surfer and kitesurfer, I’ve been an advocate for groups like Surf for Life, Surfrider Foundation, Surfers Healing, and the Coastal Conservation League. Through my travels, one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences was volunteering at a Syrian refugee camp. And as an artist, I used my work to support and deliver messages for schools and groups like the MUSC Children’s Hospital, the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
I believe my return home to Charleston is a move forward, especially during this exciting time of growth. I look forward to furthering my dedication to serving our community through Beacon and through my art.

 Gillian Mechling
Age 31
Momentum Marketing
Agency Manager

I am the agency manager at Momentum Marketing, a local full-service marketing agency, where for the last six years I have been responsible for day-to-day business operations and management. I’m also the account manager for the Cooper River Bridge Run and co-manage the internal creative department. 

In addition to living the agency life, I am the executive director of the American Marketing Association Charleston Chapter and serve on the board of directors for the Asheville Half Marathon. I also sit on both the Business License/User Fee Board and the Weed and Trash Abatement Hearing Board for Charleston County Council.
After earning my bachelor’s degree in economics from Clemson University, I left the rolling hills to pursue my MBA at College of Charleston. The city won my heart — I never left, and I don’t plan to. 

On the weekends, I love dabbling at every new hot spot downtown. With a passion for music, animals, neon colors, and positive energy, I can be found where the jams are or where my puppy, Lulu, is. And truth be told? If I could have any super power, it’d be to fit anything in my pocket.

 Erin Michalewicz
Age 30
Northwestern Mutual
Director of Talent Acquisition

I am the director of talent acquisition for Northwestern Mutual, overseeing the search and selection of professionals in the Northwestern network for coastal South Carolina. 

Prior to returning to South Carolina, I oversaw recruiting for Northwestern’s Florida-Gulf Coast offices. 

I bring a great love of the Lowcountry and all things South Carolina to the position. As a graduate of the College of Charleston, Charleston is where I got my professional start. Helping people achieve their greatest career potential is what I love and what gets me out of bed in the morning. 

When I am not on the recruiting trail, I enjoy giving back to our community as a member of the Junior League. In my free time, I love visiting Charleston’s beautiful beaches and cheering for my CofC Cougars and the Clemson Tigers.

 Savannah D. Murray
Age 25
Palmetto Community Action Partnership
Executive Coordinator

I hold a bachelor’s degree in business management with a political science minor from Coastal Carolina University.  Currently, I am matriculating at the College of Charleston in the Master of Public Administration program.
At present, I am the executive coordinator for Palmetto Community Action Partnership. In this capacity, my daily duties are ever-changing, and I am a sought-after national presenter on a wide range of topics, including community relations and database management. In addition, I plan and facilitate community programs such as “Calling All Colors,” which is held annually as a part of the Emanuel Nine Commemoration Events.
Giving back comes naturally to me. It has always been my passion to help others. Never did I think that I would be recognized for doing what comes instinctively. I am humbled to be one of Charleston Business Magazine’s Best and Brightest 35 and Under. I love Charleston and I am grateful for the opportunity to work for its people. In the words of Coretta Scott King: “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

 Charlotte Park
Age 27
Lou Hammond Group, TastemakersCHS, Crumbs4charleston
PR Account Supervisor

After growing up in Michigan my entire life and graduating from college in 2013, I visited Charleston on a weekend trip with a friend and fell head over heels in love with the city. That summer, I booked a one-way plane ticket and never looked back. For the past five years, I have been on a mission to weave my passions for travel, food, and nonprofits into my daily life. I am so thankful to have secured a job in the PR industry five years ago with Lou Hammond Group and love the work we do to give the destinations, hotels, and restaurants we represent the press they deserve.
Outside of my PR career, I knew I wanted to use my love for the culinary world to foster community, fuel my faith, and give back to a city that has given so much to me. Crumbs4Charleston allows me to fuse my obsession with baking with the calling I have been given to give back to awesome charities in Charleston making a true impact. My other passion project, TasteMakersCHS, has quickly become like family to me, providing an opportunity to give the remarkable restaurants and chefs in this city added exposure, as well as give locals and visitors ideas for their next meal out. I’m so pumped to see where our new TasteMakersCHS charity partnership program goes and hope to continue to use the power of social media to raise awareness and funds for as many nonprofits in our city as possible.

 AJ Richichi
Age 24

I grew up in New York but went to a small boarding school in New Hampshire called Phillips Exeter Academy. There, my classmates and I learned the value and importance of “Non Sibi,” which translates to “not for oneself.” These lessons have inspired me to make positive changes in the community.
Non sibi encouraged me to work in the United States Senate, build a life-saving social network in Upstate New York where I was named Technology Executive of the Year, and bring the community-driven conference DisruptHR to Greenville. 
At Charleston-based SENTIO, we use artificial intelligence to help companies make awesome hiring decisions. Our mission is to democratize assessments which are currently reserved for big companies and C-level positions. SENTIO is built for every position at every company, spanning from the C-suite to the assembly line. Our clients include car dealerships, hotels, restaurants, manufacturing plants, schools, call centers, and so much more. 
In my “down time,” I mentor student businesses at the College of Charleston and The Citadel business schools, sit on the board of Charleston Open Source, or spend time with my wonderful wife, Jordan.

 Brooke Rowan
Age 25
King Street Hospitality Group
Director of Marketing & Public Relations

Originally from Greensboro, N.C., I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications and knew early on that public relations was my calling. 

I started my experience as an intern on Capitol Hill, and soon after as an intern with MPA Strategies, where I remained for four years as the vice president of public relations. Almost two years ago, I made the move from Columbia to Charleston and recently accepted a position with King Street Hospitality Group as the director of marketing and public relations.
In my profession, I love helping companies discover their distinct brand, allowing them to connect with the public through a clear message and identity. It is an honor to be named alongside so many admirable professionals as one of Charleston’s Best and Brightest 35 and Under, and I look forward to being an active member of this amazing community for many years to come.

 Madison Simon
Age 30
Gwynn's of Mount Pleasant
Women's Wear Buyer, Stylist, & Director of Digital Marketing

While I started my career in New York City, fashion has been the life and breath of my family for generations. I used to watch my mother choose her outfits down to the finishing touches of her lipstick color, and I always fantasized about becoming a woman in the world of fashion.
In my five-plus years in New York City, I interned for the fashion director of Vogue Japan and worked for Bergdorf Goodman and Nest fragrances before returning home to carry on the legacy of a third generation Charleston business.
As a women’s wear buyer, stylist, and director of digital marketing, my focus is the future of Gwynn’s. Along with my vision for the store, my mission is to inspire and give women confidence through the art of fashion. It’s an honor to learn from my father who challenges me every day as I grow within the company. I know I have big shoes to fill. We are engaging a new wave of Gwynn’s shoppers, and I’m currently spearheading the creation of an e-commerce store to reach customers on a global scale.
Charleston, of course, has a special place in my heart, which is why I support organizations that embody and give back to our amazing community. I am fortunate enough to participate in the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, Spoleto Festival USA, and YESCarolina.

Alicia Williams
Age 26
Eunoia Resuce

I am incredibly fortunate to say that I’m a Charleston native, Clemson University graduate, and founder of the nonprofit organization Eunoia Rescue. Eunoia Rescue is a foster-based animal rescue that pulls from high-kill shelters within South Carolina and finds them “fur”-ever homes.
I have loved animals for as long as I can remember, so when I found myself unemployed in 2015, I figured I had nothing to lose in starting a nonprofit geared towards my passion. In just three years, Eunoia Rescue has saved more than 200 animals, and we are not slowing down.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the volunteers of Eunoia Rescue who contribute their time and love to help these creatures with their happily ever after. I also would like to thank my family and friends who keep me motivated, even on the gloomy days. I have learned that surrounding yourself with positive people is the biggest key to success — and I’m blessed to have so many on my team.

 Matt Williams
Age 34
Vice President

At JLL Charleston, I serve as vice president and team lead for our project and development services practice. We provide project management and owner’s representative services for construction projects, large or small, across all market sectors. We manage scope, budget, schedule, and risk, allowing our clients to focus on their core mission. Our services extend from transaction due diligence, pre-project planning, and design leadership, procurement, and construction administration through post-occupancy. We exist to advocate for our clients’ best interest at all times, maximize value creation, and thoughtfully produce the best possible outcome on project goals.
Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time on the boat, exploring my native city of Charleston, and cheering on my alma mater, Clemson University. I also serve on the board of ambassadors for YESCarolina, volunteer with Carolina Youth Development Center, am a member of Urban Land Institute South Carolina, and attend St. Andrews Church. I live in Mount Pleasant with my beautiful wife, Sarah, our son, Matthew, and newborn daughter, Elliana.

It’s an honor to receive this acknowledgement, and the credit goes to my family, mentors, and colleagues that have supported me along the way and our clients that continue to put their trust in the dynamic team here at JLL.