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New economic development hire to focus on marketing

Posted: September 4, 2012 5:41 p.m.
Updated: September 5, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Visitors to the Kershaw County Economic Development Office (KCEDO) have been greeted with a new face lately after the recent hiring of Lauren Branham as a marketing and administrative assistant. Branham, a 2012 graduate of Clemson University, will be serving a variety of functions under Economic Development Director Peggy McLean.   

“My main job duties are going to be assisting Director McLean with all of our economic development activities associated with business recruitment, existing industry expansion, as well as community development,” Branham said.

A lifelong resident of Camden, she explained she was drawn to the job because of the strong connection she has with her hometown.

“I was born and raised in Camden. My fiancée was born and raised here as well. Both of us went to Clemson and after graduating, we said ‘where do you want to go?’” Branham said. “We both said we wanted to be back in Kershaw County and back with our families. We love the people and the great charm that Kershaw County has.”

After graduating from Clemson in May with a business management degree, Branham also wanted to cultivate her interest in economics and marketing.

“I’ve always had a passion for marketing and when I was at Clemson as a business major, I took multiple economic classes and truly enjoyed it. Getting to combine those two passions was a true win-win situation for me,” she said.

At Clemson, her major also included an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

“When you have an emphasis in something, it involves taking additional classes on a more focused level. With the entrepreneurship emphasis, it’s about knowing the ins and outs of a business, including starting up a company and how to make it succeed,” Branham explained.

In her new position, Branham will also be involved in overseeing clerical, financial and data maintenance, as well as managing grant projects at the federal, state and utility-funding levels. 

She will also be involved in coordinating all the activities of the Kershaw County Committee of 100, a group of local business leaders and political representatives that help enhance economic development in the community.

“That will include our meeting organization, financial keepings, as well as correspondence,” she said.

Branham will also help to maintain the KCEDO’s website and social media outlets like Facebook.

“You don’t look in the phonebook to find anything anymore. You Google a telephone number and you look up people on Facebook,” she said, explaining the importance of an online presence in today’s market.   

One of the top goals in the early stages of her new role will be “learning the ropes” from McLean.   

“I’m going to be taking in all the lessons that Director McLean gives. She’s such a great educator. She’ll sit down and talk to you and explain things very well,” Branham said.

McLean introduced Branham during Kershaw County Council’s Aug. 28 meeting, saying she has been a “great addition” to the office.

County Administrator Vic Carpenter, noting the recent hires of Branham, McLean and new County Tourism Director Darron Kirkley, said he believed each “reflects very well the face of Kershaw County, what we’re trying to do and where we’re trying to go.”

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