Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Berkeley, Charleston & Dorchester Counties

Printed from www.crda.org

Staff Directory

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance provides a full spectrum of support for our clients and investment partners.

 Our fulltime professional staff serves as a confidential, single point of contact for companies considering the Charleston region for a competitive business expansion or location.



David T. Ginn

, President & CEO | 843.767.9300 | direct 843.760.4524 | dginn@crda.org

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In his leadership role with the CRDA, David works closely with the region's top business, academic and political leaders to shape and execute a comprehensive regional economic development strategy. He also leads the organization's day-to-day efforts, and is directly involved with global business development and global marketing initiatives.

David has been with the CRDA since its inception, serving as the organization's executive vice president and project director before being named president and CEO in 2000. A Certified Economic Development professional, he maintains keen awareness of current issues in economic development, thanks to affiliations with the International Economic Development Council and as past president of the S.C. Economic Developers Association. He has also held professional economic development and industrial marketing positions in Atlanta and Savannah.

David grew up in the Atlanta area, and holds a degree in economics and international business from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also studied abroad at the London School of Economics. David serves on Trident Technical College's Foundation Board, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's Education Foundation Board, and the Charleston Gaillard Center's Management Corporation Board. He and his wife, Jean, live in Mount Pleasant with their two children.

Stephen C. Warner

, Vice President, Global Marketing / Regional Competitiveness | 843.760.4539 | mobile 843.906.8305 | swarner@crda.org

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Steve serves as the CRDA's global marketing strategist, using his experience in corporate brand management to integrate the organization's competitive research, business development and marketing communications programs. He also works with stakeholders from throughout the three-county region to help align and strengthen efforts related to key economic development issues.

Steve's career includes more than 25 years in the marketing communications field, where he provided brand planning services for such global giants as Ritz-Carlton, Dow Corning, CNN and Coca-Cola. Immediately prior to joining the CRDA team, he was partner in the Atlanta marketing firm Sawyer Riley Compton.

A native of Ninety Six, South Carolina, Steve is a College of Charleston graduate with a degree in business administration. He and his wife, Jan, live in Charleston.

Karen Kuchenbecker

, Vice President, Operations | 843.760.4534 | mobile 843.906.2329 | karenk@crda.org

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In her role with the CRDA, Karen works to align the organization's strategic priorities with its human and financial resources. On staff for more than a decade, she also uses her "institutional memory" to provide insight and context for moving the organization forward.

Karen's previous experience includes directing both business-to-business and consumer accounts for communications firms in North Carolina and Charleston, plus serving as regional marketing manager for a national service firm. She holds a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A native of the Chicago area, Karen has also lived in the California Bay Area, western Massachusetts and western North Carolina. She and her husband, Todd, now reside on James Island.

Hugh Owens

, Director, Global Business Development | 843.760.4525 | mobile 843.209.1599 | howens@crda.org

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Hugh Owens is the CRDA’s Director of Global Business Development. With more than 27 years of economic development experience, including a significant period working with international companies, Hugh will focus on nurturing leads and will specialize in foreign direct investment for the CRDA.

Hugh spent six years as director of our state’s European office, based in Frankfurt, Germany. He then served another six years as Director of International Business Development for the SC Department of Commerce where he led a successful effort to attract new capital investment and job creation. He also has many years of experience in upper-level management at economic development firms and chambers of commerce and speaks French and German.

A native of Bennettsville, SC, Hugh and his wife, Mary, have one daughter, Emma, who teaches in Charleston County schools.

Hugh is a true Gamecock with both a BA in history and a Master’s in International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina. He has also studied at the L’Universite de Louvain in Belgium.

Tara N. Spicer

, Director, Investor & Community Relations | 843.760.4523 | mobile 843.693.0209 | tspicer@crda.org

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With a strong background in corporate development, Tara serves a critical role in keeping CRDA investors, regional stakeholders and the local community apprised of the CRDA and its activities. In addition to directing the organization's investor and community relations programs, she is closely involved with the development of new strategic initiatives.

Tara is a native of the Charleston area and has strong ties to the local community. She worked for S.C. Governor Mark Sanford during his 2006 re-election campaign and also managed the 2006 National Governors Association meeting held in Charleston. Prior to that, she spent time working in national politics on Capitol Hill and has owned her own business, Palmetto Development Strategies.

Tara is a member of the Junior League of Charleston and she serves on the board of directors for the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center. She holds a B.A. in political science from the College of Charleston and resides with her husband Jeff and their son, Scott, in Mount Pleasant.

Becky Ford

, Director, Business Development Programs | 843.760.4531 | bford@crda.org

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Becky brings a strong background in strategic project management to her role with the CRDA. As the point person for the organization's business development program, she manages the planning and details for national and international marketing missions, visits by corporate executives and consultants, and a comprehensive suite of site selection tools, including a GIS-based mapping system.

A seasoned economic development professional, Becky's past experience includes positions with local county government, a regional workforce development organization, and a coalition that provides marketing support for the nation's shrimpers. Throughout her career, she's tackled complex issues and multi-faceted projects while never losing her positive outlook and keen sense of humor.

Becky holds a B.S. in biology and business from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and a Masters degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina. She also has advanced training and certification from numerous economic development organizations.

Claire A. Gibbons

, Director, Marketing & Communications | 843.760.3351 | cgibbons@crda.org

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Claire brings expertise in corporate communications, issues management and public affairs to her role as Director of Marketing & Communications for the CRDA. In addition to staying apprised of developments throughout the three-county region, she directs a multi-tiered branding and communications program including public relations, community relations, advertising, social media, sales literature and direct marketing.

Claire has extensive experience counseling executives and public officials on spokesperson and presentation skills, message development and delivery, and crisis communication strategies. She is a seasoned campaign veteran and former executive communications advisor for leading public relations agencies in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Charleston, S.C. While working for a local advertising agency, her strategic campaigns netted two coveted national Silver Anvil awards from the Public Relations Society of America. She is a recipient of the 2012 Influential Women in Business - Rising Star Award and a 2013 Forty Under 40 Award winner for outstanding leadership in the Charleston business community.

Claire earned a B.A. in political science and psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Master's degree in political management and media from George Washington University. A native of western North Carolina, Claire cultivates serious wanderlust, appreciates good storytelling, loves Tar Heel basketball and all things 80's. And she possesses firm opinions about what constitutes good BBQ.

Kayla Boyter

, Marketing Services Manager | 843.760.4522 | mobile 843.696.7117 | kboyter@crda.org

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Kayla brings expertise in marketing communications, digital marketing, graphic design, and online analytics to her role as Marketing Services Manager. In addition, she manages all social media and digital content, special events, presentations, and works in coordination with the business development and engaged leadership teams at the CRDA.

Her previous experience includes marketing for SCRA, an applied research and development organization, as well as a captive insurance management company. She is passionate about Charleston and now combines that with her marketing expertise to promote the region for economic development.

Kayla is a native of Ware Shoals, South Carolina and located to Charleston in 2007. She earned a B.S. in Graphic Communications from Clemson University and a Master's Certificate in Organizational and Corporate Communication from the College of Charleston. She loves all things orange including her Clemson Tigers. She and her husband, Benji, live on Johns Island.

Michael J. Graney

, Vice President, Global Business Development | 843.760.4526 | mobile 843.697.5917 | mgraney@crda.org

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Michael J. Graney leads the CRDA's comprehensive, strategic global business development efforts focused on five industry clusters - Information Technology, Aerospace, Biomedical, Advanced Security, and Energy Systems. Mike joined the CRDA after successfully managing the Business Development program at the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts for more than eight years.

Mike has had an eclectic career, working in industries as varied as economic development, commercial development, and sports and entertainment. Mike has spent his entire career on the East Coast, primarily in New England.

Mike was born in upstate New York and received his B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He currently resides in Charleston and enjoys living 5 minutes from the beach.

Wendy Moore

, Executive Assistant to the CEO / Operations Manager | 843.760.4521 | mobile 843.277.7470 | wmoore@crda.org

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Wendy serves as the CRDA's "manager of first impressions," often providing the initial face and voice of the organization. She also plays a vital behind-the-scenes role, supporting the organization's overall economic development efforts with the hospitality and charm for which the Charleston region is known.

A native of Loveland, CO, Wendy gained work and business education experience in Columbia, MO, while attending the University of Missouri. She has lived in multiple states in the Midwest and South, and chose to relocate to Charleston because of its beautiful weather, fascinating history, and appealing lifestyle. Wendy loves any opportunity to promote the region’s assets to others relocating to the area.

Her previous experience includes positions in banking and legal services and an administrative role in a non-profit organization. She loves enjoying the outdoors as much as possible, grilling burgers and drinking sweet tea all year long, and traveling the country. Wendy and her husband, Ryan, currently reside West of the Ashley River.