Lawson Still is CBI’s Market Leader in our Charleston location, and he has been an instrumental part of the organization for the last two years. In his role, Lawson is responsible for leading the Charleston team and ensuring that CBI is partnering with our clients in this market to develop innovative workplace solutions to achieve their unique business goals and objectives.
While Lawson is an admired leader within CBI, he also makes a regular impact in the Charleston community by volunteering his time with various non-profit organizations. We talked with Lawson about his community involvement and asked him why giving back was important to him. See his full story below.
Q: What is your involvement in your local community?
Lawson: Outside of work, I spend time volunteering with three different Charleston organizations. I am currently serving on a committee supporting the March of Dimes where I am helping to plan one of their largest fundraising events – the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction. I also serve as the Coastal Program Chair with the Urban Land Institute of South Carolina, and I am involved in the planning and publicity for the Spoleto SCENE which is an arts festival that occurs in Charleston each year.
Q: It sounds like you stay busy! Tell us a little bit about your work with the March of Dimes and what that involves.
Lawson: The March of Dimes is a national organization that fights for the health of all moms and babies. Prematurity is the #1 killer of babies in the United States, and the March of Dimes works to prevent it by improving the healthcare available to expectant mothers and families, pioneering research to find solutions and educating and equipping the community with tools and resources that promote healthy pregnancies.
The Charleston Signature Chefs Auction is a 22-year strong tradition and one of the largest annual fundraisers supporting the March of Dimes. At this event community members come together for an evening of culinary excellence with top chefs providing delicious food and drinks. Guests of the event also participate in a Silent and Live Auction where they can bid on prizes to help support the March of Dimes mission. As a committee member for this event, not only am I assisting with the planning and promotion, I am also responsible for making connections in the community and soliciting corporate partners, event attendees and silent auction donations.
CBI Charleston plans to participate with industry partners at the event in November,and the committee is well on our way to meeting our fundraising goal by the event date in November.
Q: The March of Dimes has a great mission and this event sounds like one that most people wouldn’t want to miss. What led you to get involved with this organization in the first place?
Lawson: I learned about the March of Dimes and its Signature Chefs Auction through a Coalition Partner of CBI. An architect we partner with often is a co-chair on the committee and invited me to join. Although I do not yet have children myself, I feel the March of Dimes mission is an important one and was eager to support it when I learned more.
Q: What about your involvement with the Urban Land Institute of South Carolina? Tell us more about that.
Lawson: I have been a member of the Urban Land Institute for more than six years now, and I have been the Coastal Program Chair for the past three years. ULI is an organization with the mission of shaping the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. ULI South Carolina carries forth that mission by serving Upstate, Midlands and Coastal South Carolina’s public and private sectors with pragmatic land use expertise and education.
In my role as Coastal Program Chair, I’m responsible for putting together educational and networking programs to teach people about what is going on in our area’s real estate industry and how they can help support the restoration of historical buildings and properties as well as the responsible and smartest use of new developments. I am also a member of the ULI Young Leader’s committee and have a responsibility for recruitment of new members.
Q: Finally, tell us about the Spoleto Festival.
Lawson: The Spoleto Festival is a historic arts festival that has been hosted in Charleston for the last 45 years. It is modeled after the famous Festival of Two Worlds that takes place in Spoleto, Italy each year. For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera; theater; dance; and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music. Now approaching its 46th season in 2022, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival.
I sit on a committee for this festival focused on bringing younger generations to the event. Many of our attendees in the past have been of the Baby Boomer and older generations, and there is an initiative in action to draw younger audiences to many of the performances. Our committee is working to promote and plan certain experiences that might draw in the next generations and drive continued excitement for the Spoleto Festival in the coming years.
Q: Wow, all the work you are doing in your community is truly amazing. What inspires you personally to give back?
Lawson: It’s easy for me to give back for a few reasons. First, I love the city of Charleston and think it offers so much to the people who live here. I am proud to help support and promote these organizations in the area because they are what make up our community and make it so unique. Second, I believe it’s important to give back to neighbors in need. I am grateful to be fortunate enough to be able to give back and feel it’s important to return those blessings to the community when it’s possible. Finally, at CBI we embody the Live Love Serve Philosophy. This means we use our time, talent and treasure to love and serve our clients, Associates and our communities. My work in Charleston is an extension of CBI’s Live Love Serve Philosophy which is so important to our organization.
As you can see from his story, Lawson is truly a Leader in Action not only at CBI but in the community. Learn more about the March of Dimes, ULI and Spoleto Festival and stay tuned for another Leadership in Action Post in the coming weeks.