Amanda Lawrence named Lowcountry’s Community Impact Leader

  • Saturday, March 1, 2014

A national search to find the best person to lead Trident United Way's Community Impact Process reached an unexpected conclusion: The best person for the job has been working one office away from the person leaving the job.

Amanda Lawrence, formerly Trident United Way's Director of Financial Stability, has assumed the role of Vice President of Community Impact. She replaces Dr. Bonnie Bella, who had requested the opportunity to return to her role as Director of Education.

The position that Lawrence has accepted puts her squarely in the middle of the community's effort, spearheaded by Trident United Way, to establish a collective impact model for organizations to address the most critical human service issues in the community. Through collective impact, organizations agree to work closely together using a common agenda, shared metrics, rigorous evaluation and ongoing communication in order to achieve measurable impact on complex issues like education, poverty and health.

The cutting-edge collective impact process is a complex effort employing dozens of volunteers, millions of dollars, 40 nonprofit agencies and many other organizations in business and government. Trident United Way serves as the backbone to a pair of large collective impact initiatives: Links To Success and The Prosperity Centers.

In Links to Success, for example, agencies work together to provide academic, poverty and health services to children and families in 11 low-income schools across the three counties. Trident United Way provides the organizational support and develops the outcomes metrics.

Lawrence's diverse professional background has prepared her well to assume this leadership role. Beginning her career in community relations and marketing consulting laid the foundation for strong project management skills, coupled with extensive collaboration and coordination efforts with high-level business leaders and key grassroots stakeholders. From there, Lawrence worked with a national promotions agency in Chicago and focused on branding strategies for McDonald's North American Consumer Market, where she used consumer data and research to develop national promotions.

Returning to South Carolina, Lawrence worked in community affairs and sales marketing with a CBS affiliate television station, where she managed a team of salespeople using market research to develop community initiatives into revenue-generating sales products. She also created comprehensive media plans to maximize exposure for community partners and events.

Shortly after completing her MBA at the Citadel, Lawrence took the position of Director of Financial Stability at Trident United Way, where she has generated $1.26 million in grants over four years to support integrated TUW initiatives. She has also led the building of large-scale collaborative partnerships, such as the Prosperity Centers, which leverage the expertise and dollars of several financial stability partners, including Goodwill Industries and Family Services, to provide coordinated financial stability services that lead to positive long-term outcomes for individuals.

“This work is my passion and this opportunity allows me to apply every aspect of my educational and professional development to this point. It means even more for me to be able to lead work to solve community issues in my home state of South Carolina and close to my Lowcountry roots in Beaufort County,” Lawrence said. “I live by the mantra that service is my payment for living, and look forward to working with corporate, nonprofit and government sectors locally to grow the capacity to measurably improve economic development, education and health in our tri-county area and in South Carolina.”

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