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Our Team

Cheri Leavy

Co-Founder
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Cheri Leavy is a connector, cheerleader and marketing consultant for fellow entrepreneurs. Constantly on the lookout for the newest talent in the South, Cheri has a passion for helping entrepreneurs create and share their brand storytelling through her endeavors – The Southern Coterie • guide2athensBulldawg IllustratedCoastal Illustrated.

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Whitney Long

Co-Founder
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After a successful career as a scout, stylist and contributing editor for some of the biggest names in print media like Coastal Living, Southern Accents, Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens plus various special interest titles, Whitney took time off to focus on her favorite job – being a mom to four.  After the youngest began school, Whitney longed to again find a creative outlet and the result was the founding of The Southern Coterie.

Whitney draws on her years of curating unique places and people for the lifestyle magazine industry to create connections, find strategic partners and cultivate a talented team for the Southern C Summit and Retreat.  She enjoys working alongside some of the South’s most creative minds while supporting both established and upcoming brands.  “Whitney has her finger on the pulse of the South, old and new, which makes her such a visionary for the network and at our events,” says Cheri. Born in the quintessential southern town of Elba, Alabama, Whitney now calls the quaint seaside village of St.Simons Island, Georgia home.

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Libba Osborne

PR + Brand Strategy
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Over her tenure at Leapfrog PR, Libba guided many of her clients, both large and small, to become prominent brands among the shelves of national retailers. A storyteller at heart, she looks for common threads – pride in the process and an authentic history – in all of the companies she works alongside. Now as a founder of the creative consultancy Add Lib, she focuses on only a handful of carefully selected clients who have a truly great story – business owners in the south who have products and services that are inspired by heritage (a recipe, an orchard, a kettle built to last, kinship) and built on people’s need to gather, connect and foster relationships. She advises some of the South’s best-loved brands including Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, Caroline’s Cakes, Sea Island Forge, Schermer Pecans, and The Southern Coterie #tscsummit. She thrives on mentoring entrepreneurs and small business owners. To celebrate these relationships, she offers a pro bono Small Business Mentorship program with three to five women participating each year.

An Atlanta native, Libba found her passion for all things edible as a post-grad student at New York’s French Culinary Institute (International Culinary Center). She segued into restaurant public relations at Baltz & Co. and the Dunn Robbins Group, promoting brands in the food, wine, and spirits industries. Following a move to her husband’s hometown of Charleston, Libba joined Leapfrog to continue her craft, as an owner from 2009 to 2021. She recently founded Add Lib in 2022.

Libba is a graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee. Libba and her husband, Chris, are raising their two sons a stone’s throw from the Ashley River.

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Jenn Agnew

Brand Partnerships Lead
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Jenn Agnew has 20 years of sales and marketing experience. She has developed a knowledge in print and digital marketing strategy as well as sales. She has worked closely with travel and tourism as well as government and business sectors and has a significant background in event management and promotion. Her past involvement includes roles as Senior Director Integrated Marketing and Communications for Atlanta magazine, Marketing Director for Childcare Network, and marketing leadership roles for various resorts including Jekyll Island Authority and Callaway Gardens. 

Jenn is an avid tennis player.  She and her husband, John Agnew, live on St. Simons with their two sons Mason (16) and Kip (13).

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Katelyn Whelan

Digital Media Coordinator
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Katelyn is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a dual degree in Marketing & Visual Communication Design. Settling in her hometown of Savannah, GA, she has spent the past 5 years building a career working with female owned small businesses. From events to retail, she has learned the art of translating ideas into action. Specializing in digital marketing, she seeks to bring the passion of her clients to life through the power of social media & e-commerce. She is the digital arm of a design firm founded with her two sisters, The Whelan Girls.

When she is not working, you can find her at the beach. She loves spending time with her family and can whip up a killer batch of chocolate chip cookies.

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Alison Abernathy

Founder Support + Summit Event Management
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Alison Abernathy is a native of Tyler, TX and graduate of Texas Christian University. Prior to children, she worked as a paralegal in Atlanta at King & Spalding and Cashin, Morton & Mullins which ultimately merged into Burr & Forman, LLP. She now resides in Athens, GA with her husband and two sons. Alison enjoys travel, playing tennis and skiing. She has been involved with The Southern Coterie behind the scenes since its’ inaugural yet torrential Summit on Jekyll Island, making this her 11th event!

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MK Hennigan

Membership Coordinator
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MK’s career has been spent with Waterford Crystal, Macy’s and Berkshire Hathaway in Sales, Marketing and Product Development roles. She has always had a passion for cooking, entertaining and sharing with others her love of Southern inspired foods. She was gifted the opportunity to pivot from her corporate role to one that spoke to her entrepreneurial spirit.

In the Curious Kitchen began in January 2020 to share with others what she had learned so many years ago.

Some of my earliest memories are me standing on a chair at the counter of her grandmother’s North Carolina kitchen. Her grandmother didn’t just teach her to cook, she taught MK that cooking is the catalyst to all good things in our homes, gathering, laughing, loving….

Today MK recreate her heirloom recipes and honored ways in Kentucky kitchen and has found that memories of her grandmothers storied hands and her spoken measurements are the best guide a curious cook could ever ask for.

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Maggie Jordan

Digital Media Intern
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Maggie is a current sophomore at the University of Georgia, where she plans to major in Marketing and minor in Fashion Merchandise. Maggie loves fashion + graphic design and is very interested in the  behind the scenes work of running a business. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. In addition to interning with The Southern C, Maggie works with Cheri creating articles for Bulldawg Illustrated and content for guide2athens’s social media. Maggie is an Athens local, so she finds joy in helping Cheri promote her hometown through the two and loves being a part of the amazing Southern C team.

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Sadie Jordan

Digital Media Intern
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Sadie Jordan is a junior at Athens Academy with a love for Marketing and Media Production. This year will be her fourth year in her Advanced Media Production class. She loves fashion and retail, which makes working at Dukes Clothier a perfect fit. Sadie first heard about the Southern Coterie from her older sister, Maggie. While Maggie was in Atlanta for the summer, Sadie took over the #ispysummitalums campaign. Now, Sadie will be working for Guide 2 Athens and supporting digital media efforts for The Southern C. In her free time, Sadie likes to spend time with her friends and family, play board games and eat ice cream!

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Cissy Thompson

Summit Support
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Having a passion for charity work and helping to raise funds for those in need, Cissy Thompson has been both behind the scenes and front and center as Chair for many Golden Isles philanthropic events including the American Cancer Society Victory Board and Gala and Hospice of the Golden Isles Wine, Women and Shoes fundraiser. She is also founder of “Girls and Pearls”, an annual Christmas dinner charity event where ladies gather to dine and celebrate but also help a local designated charity.  Professionally, Cissy has worked as an executive assistant and office administrator for the Sea Island Company and also in the home healthcare/physician industry. Currently, she is the Membership Director at Sea Palms Resort on St. Simons Island, GA.  In her spare time, Cissy enjoys reading, cooking, gardening and the outdoors.

 

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Gigi Lastinger

Summit Support
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With twenty plus years in retail, Gigi Lastinger is passionate about people and the friendships she builds from serving customers. She splits her time working for two small retail stores, both owned by hard-working women. Helping with sales in the two stores, she also manages the social media accounts and everything in between. When not at the store, Gigi enjoys fun times with her family and friends, entertaining at home and working in her yard.

 

Gigi is from Valdosta, GA but she and her husband along with their two children call Athens, GA home.

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Molly Lloyd

Summit Support
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Molly Lloyd began her career in New York City working in the fashion industry for Trina Turk. About 8 years ago, she made the move south to work in the wedding industry as a Graphic Designer for Paper Daisies Stationery. Molly has returned to her true love of fashion and is now in the process of opening an online clothing boutique, Hampton Point, set to launch in February of 2021.

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Ashley Jackson

Summit Support
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If you were to look up the definition of “Mompreneur” you would see a fabulous picture of Ashley Jackson, plastered right there. Vibrant, and unique, Corporate America wasn’t enough for this creative. After years of being a banker, Ashley trusted herself, took a leap of faith, and started working her business full time. One of her most notable passions is helping small businesses achieve their branding goals, and motivating others to muster up the same trust in themselves, take that leap of faith, and become an entrepreneur in their own right.

From hosting seminars and workshops, assisting people with becoming entrepreneurs, and being heavily involved in the branding for local and nationwide nonprofits. Ashley is also well known in her community as she serves on the Selden Park Advisory Board in Brunswick, GA.  During the summers, you can find her assisting a local youth nonprofit, Team Next Up. As she builds her empire, Ashley enjoys spending quality time with her husband and toddler, doing photoshoots, and taking family walks.

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Caroline Bramlett

Summit Social Media Support
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Caroline Bramlett is a Palm Beach-based photographer and blogger. Emerging as a fashion and lifestyle blogger in college, Caroline now has 6+ years of experience creating professional content for her blog + social channels, LCB Style. Upon moving to Palm Beach, Florida in 2019 (originally from Birmingham, Alabama), she began offering photography services to clients. She works with brands, bloggers, creatives, designers, couples, and families from across the country to create striking images that share the story of each brand + individual in a beautiful way. With experience being both in front and behind the lens, she brings a unique perspective to photoshoots, helping clients create images that inspire and perform well across platforms.

Caroline’s clients include Four Seasons Palm Beach, The Greenbrier Resort, Stoney Clover Lane, MICHELE Watches, Hinckley Yachts, Neely & Chloe, and many more.

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Elizabeth Cook

Summit Social Media Support
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Elizabeth has a background in publishing and lifestyle public relations in New York City, combined with a successful history as an entrepreneur. Her first business, Elizabeth Heard, a line of carefully crafted hair accessories for women to find their finishing touch by adding a dose of flair to the hair, led her to be named a 2017 Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 finalist. The brand was later acquired and you can read about the company sale, here.

While working on her first business, Elizabeth founded Domino Media Group in the Spring of 2016. Domino Media Group is a nationally-recognized public relations and brand strategy firm specializing in the growth of lifestyle-based businesses. The firm was established with the belief that access to the right tools and team will create a Domino effect for your brand. As such, Domino offers resources for everyday businesses to build their buzz and work as a strategic partner for those under their umbrella by providing fresh out of the box strategies to successfully generate a national presence. While president of Domino, Elizabeth, represented dozens of home decor e-commerce clients from San Francisco-based home décor brand Hudson Grace to Weezie Towels to local Atlanta businesses from St. Regis Atlanta to Jamestown Properties’ Ponce City Market. In February 2021, Elizabeth left her role at Domino to pursue other creative passions.

Today, Elizabeth lives in Columbus, Georgia with her husband, Travis, and toddler, Louisa. She self describes as a solution-oriented, curious creative, with a love for elevating businesses and brands. In her spare time, she loves to hunt for unsuspecting gems online via Live Auctioneers or in-person at local estate sales.

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Kelli Boyd

Photographer + Summit Photographer
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A classic and skilled photographer – whether documenting engagements or weddings, lifestyle or commercial shoots, Kelli Boyd exudes a relaxed and fun sensibility while preserving memorable moments in a precise, yet artful, manner.

Kelli’s sincere client dedication means that your important days are also her important days. Her discerning eye coupled with great attention to detail will create timeless images, making your celebration feel like it was just yesterday.

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Sirena White-Singleton

Summit Photographer
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Sirena White-Singleton captures intentional visual stories for creative entrepreneurs, authentic love stories, and organically candid moments between the ones you love…your family. She believes life is a beautiful story and she’s here to capture it. Sirena loves trying new locations, finding amazing light in clients’ homes or offices, and documenting families in situations that they typically do! She’s all about capturing the REAL you! Every creative, couple, and family is different and the goal is to not only create art, but memories that they will have forever.

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