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Steve Dykes, SCCED, AICP 
Executive Director

Exec. Assistant Janel Spencer: 843-958-4513 

Steve directs all aspects of the Charleston County economic development mission, which include recruitment, retention and expansion of primary businesses, as well as improvement of the business climate. As Executive Director, Steve develops the strategic direction for Charleston County Economic Development department to help grow the Charleston region as a preferred place to do business.

Merle Johnson

Director of Operations


Merle supports the Executive Director and is responsible for the operation of all facets of the Charleston County Economic Development department. He works to integrate the department’s strategic plan into tactics and techniques for all operations. Merle manages the day to day operations of the department.

Jennifer Brown
Director of Business Retention & Expansion


Jennifer oversees the Charleston County Existing Industry and Business Concierge Program, which involves extensive company visitation, ombudsman-ship, expansion support, sector building and special events activities. In a typical face-to-face visit, she addresses issues, makes key connections to County departments and other agencies while advising on any incentives, financing, infrastructure, workforce, and other matters affecting the success of a business. Jennifer fosters relationships with economic development allies in municipal governments, workforce development, higher-ed institutions, utility companies, the Port of Charleston, railways, aviation authority, and departments of tourism.

Jay Kramer Existing Industry Charleston County Economic Development SC

Jay Kramer
Existing Industry Specialist


Jay supports the Director of Business Retention and Expansion with Charleston County's Existing Industry and Business Concierge Program. With frequent face-to-face visits, he works with primary industry companies to help problem solve, discuss potential expansion opportunities and advise on any applicable incentives.  Jay serves as a liaison between existing companies, Charleston County, municipalities and strategic economic development allies. A central goal is to create future programs and events to further network, market and showcase the numerous companies within select industry sectors that make Charleston County’s economy a continued success.



Kedyky Sherrill
Director of Business Research


Kedyky develops and implements the research strategy serving to strategically position Charleston County's competitive advantages.  Responsibilities include database collection and maintenance, completion of Requests for Information and GIS.

Ashley Richardson
Director of Marketing & Communications


Ashley architects the marketing strategy and communication efforts for the department.  Responsibilities include outreach initiatives in support of existing industry, event planning, sponsorships and maintenance of the department website and social media efforts. 


Reggie Fuller
Director of Finance & Technology


Reggie spearheads incentives accounting and compliance functions in support of both recruitment and expansion projects. He serves as department liaison to the County Auditor and Treasurer. Reggie also oversees the department-specific technologies, ensuring that the staff benefits from cutting edge information and presentation tools.


Janel Spencer 
Executive Assistant


Janel is responsible for supporting the Executive Director and acts as his primary point of contact. Janel also oversees all economic development grants, assists in the facilitation of financial incentives and maintains the department website and social media marketing efforts.


Heather Ford
Office Manager

Heather is responsible for daily administrative and office support functions. Duties include receiving guests, event planning, accounts payable and receivable, inventory and record keeping.


*Photography by Jack Alterman studios.