Accelerate 2030

Funding our region's solutions

Thriving communities require strong leaders who are willing to meet the challenges and opportunities of shaping its future. The Chamber embraces the responsibility for leading our community into our future. Accelerate 2030 will fund our commitment to drive solutions for our region through Talent, Government Relations and Leadership. The work we do together through Accelerate 2030 will shape the next decade and beyond. See How: Talent Video Government Relations Video

Learn more about how you can be part of accelerating our region

Eight Years of

Accelerated Success

Almost a decade ago, the Chamber’s Board of Directors recognized the need for added capacity to meet the challenges of transformative economic growth reshaping the Charleston region. Their response was Accelerate Greater Charleston, which launched in 2012. Fueled by 228 investors over the first two campaign cycles, Accelerate Greater Charleston has focused on tackling our region’s biggest challenges: bridging the talent demand gap and proactively advocating for a healthy business climate. Thank you to all of our Accelerate Greater Charleston 2 Investors


Career Academies 60 Career Academies 22 High Schools 125 Business Partners 5 Industry Sectors TEALS Computer Science 380 Programmer Volunteer Hours per Month $740K Annual Value Provided to Charleston Region Schools 1,000+ Students in Work-Based Learning Opportunities 250 Students Taught Annually Youth Apprenticeships 232 Youth Apprentices to Date 125 Host Companies Registered 17 Career Pathways AGC Scholarships $400K Funding Awarded 2,495 Credits Earned 72% Credits Attempted and Completed 46% First in Family to Attend College



  • $640 million new dollars generated annually through the Roads Bill to improve transportation network
  • Automatic Stay and Nuisance Lawsuit reforms protect manufacturers and help move major infrastructure investments forward faster
  • High Impact Incentives help attract and retain more high value STEM jobs
  • During the 2018 Legislative Session, Chamber Lobbyist George Ramsey was in Columbia 53 days and had 68 meetings with legislators and staff.


  • Launched Investment Opportunity Study
  • Successfully opposed blanket moratoriums and other land use restrictions that would further strain attainable housing
  • More than $700 million in new transportation projects in the region since 2006 funded through successfully supported local option sales taxes
  • Reached 1,500+ business influencers and engaged 35,000 community members on social media with the Attainable Housing Campaign
  • Prioritized the region’s top infrastructure projects and lobbied for their inclusion in the region’s long-range transportation plan
  • Every month, local government liaisons Erica Wright and Ian Scott represent business interests at more than an dozen city and county council and other civic meetings.

Three platforms Accelerate Prosperity

To respond to our region’s challenges and opportunities, Accelerate 2030 will focus on three primary platforms: Talent, Government Relations and Leadership.

Meet the Cabinet


The tri-county will add 35,000 new jobs over the next five years; we must make sure local graduates have the skills necessary to fill high-demand positions. Accelerate 2030 funds the staff and resources to advance our efforts in bridging the gap between our education systems and employers. Activate Goal: Increase the percentage of students graduating college and career-ready from 46% to 60% Advance Goal: Increase the percentage of degreed adults in the region from 43% to 60% Align Goal: Track and analyze the skills and interests of 10,000 high school students to identify where gaps exist with forecasted employer demand

Government Relations

Thriving communities don’t just happen. They are the result of strong vision, smart planning and collaboration. The Chamber’s Government Relations team advocates on behalf of employers to drive solutions to the region’s most critical challenges. Accelerate 2030 gives the Chamber capacity to engage with government officials at the regional, state and federal levels on a daily basis. Our proactive approach positions the business community’s voice at the front lines of decision-making. Mobility Goal: Complete priority infrastructure projects to move people and goods quickly, safely and efficiently Livability Goal: Better align housing and land use policies to improve quality of life for all residents Business Climate Goal: Reform the legal, regulatory and tax systems to strengthen our competitive advantage


The Chamber has a powerful leadership portfolio that develops, engages and empowers our region’s current and future leaders to drive solutions for our future… but we have room to grow. Through Accelerate 2030, we will expand our portfolio with enhanced programs targeted for leaders at every career stage. We will cement the Chamber as the region’s thought leader and the go-to source for business leadership development. Empower Goal: With our partners, be a catalyst for a community where diverse perspectives are valued, encourages and essential for the future Engage Goal: Activate the next generation of leaders who more accurately represent our community and are prepared to integrate their voices into civic, political and economic positions Develop Goal: Enhance our region’s leadership capabilities by training and cultivating 1,000 emerging leaders annually

In Their Words

As the Charleston area's greatest advocate for a prosperous business climate, the Chamber remains the constant voice driving solutions to our region's critical issues.

Len Hutchison, Former Chamber Chairman

In Their Words

Local talent development is essential for our community to achieve continued prosperity. The Chamber is enhancing pathways that connect students to jobs in our region.

Anita Zucker, The InterTech Group, Inc.

Messages from the Chairs

Accelerate 2030's government relations platform is strategically focused on advocating for the policy chances necessary to strengthen the business environment.

Michael Wilson, Ingevity

Messages from the Chairs

We must enhance the talent initiatives with Accelerate 2030 to connect education and business leaders with research and effective programs to produce a competitive workforce.

Lorraine Lutton, Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Messages from the Chairs

Accelerate 2030's leadership platform is about investing in our region's, and your company's, most important asset - human potential.

Tony Boor, Blackbaud

Did You Know?

Accelerate provides the funding for Key Chamber staff – including our Talent Advancement, Government Relations and Leadership Programs teams.

Talent Advancement Team

Program Officer, Lowcountry Career Collaborative
Barbara Stapleton
Director of Emerging Workforce & Trident Regional Career Specialist
Darryl Brown

Government Relations Team

Senior Vice President of Government Relations
Scott Barhight
Senior Director of Legislative Relations
George Ramsey
Manager of Local Government Affairs
Bailey Vincett

Leadership Programs Team

Senior Vice President of Community Advancement
Adrian Cain
Leadership and Programs Manager
Erica Deese
Executive Fellow of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Consultant
Kenya Dunn
The Power-Filled Woman
Associate Vice President of Leadership
Therese Gordon
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Grace Hamilton

In The News

Learn More About Accelerate 2030