Nearly a dozen Charleston-area entrepreneurs have been working over the past year to bring Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) to the Lowcountry. EO is a global business network of more than 13,000 entrepreneurs in 179 chapters in 57 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables business owners to learn from each other through global events, leadership-development programs, private forum groups and executive education opportunities.
Three local businessmen are responsible for making the request to EO’s global headquarters about starting a Charleston chapter. They are Haig Berberian, the president of Charleston-based Speciality Food Solutions; Brannon Poe, the founder of Poe Group Advisors, an international accounting brokerage firm; and John LaVerne, the founder of Charleston’s popular Bulldog Tours company. The three attended EO’s global leadership conference in Toronto, Canada, last year to begin the chapter-development process.
Over the past several months, seven more local entrepreneurs have joined as founding members. To be eligible for EO membership, an entrepreneur’s business must have more than $1 million in annual revenue.
Jessica Munday, president of Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO), a marketing communications agency headquartered in Mount Pleasant, joined the chapter in November to become the chapter’s first female member. “I’m super excited to help bring EO to Charleston,” said Munday. “I had often wondered why our community didn’t have a chapter given the fact that we represent so many incredibly successful businesses.”
“When Brannon reached out to me about joining, I was immediately interested in helping to bring this dynamic organization to the Lowcountry. It is a true honor to be the first female member to join and I hope to see more women entrepreneurs become part of the chapter. It really is a first-rate organization, unlike any other I have ever experienced.”
Munday is joined by six other local business owners bringing the chapter closer to receiving its official charter from the global organization. Additional members include:
Adam Witty - founder and CEO of Advantage | ForbesBooks. Witty has been a member of the EO Charlotte chapter since 2015.
Jeff Luther - owner of Home-Probe Inc. Luther recently relocated to Charleston from Atlanta, where he was active with the EO Atlanta chapter since 2016.
Thomas Donohoe - founder of Level Agency, a digital marketing agency with offices in Pittsburgh and Charleston.
Dane Palarino - president and founder of DAP Consulting Group, a global executive search firm.
Derek Astorino - president of Carolina Dock & Marine, a dock building and repair company based on Johns Island.
David Warren - founder of Light Gauge Co., a commercial construction company.