Members of the South Charlotte Partners' leadership team. Photo courtesy of South Charlotte Partners

Updates from South Charlotte Partners

Advocacy group elects new leaders, sets 2023 priorities

By Krisha Chachra

For South Charlotte Partners, 2022 was a year of rebuilding and reviving the group’s signature events after the pandemic.

“We took a new look at our membership and added many action-minded individuals to the board to lead us from a period of rebuilding to a year of action,” says the outgoing chair, Greg Duckworth.

The nonprofit hosted three public events over the year. It continues to keep a close watch on issues and support actions that impact the everyday lives of South Charlotte residents and businesses. The group met in October to elect a new board chair and leadership team for 2023.

Erik Spanberg leads a panel at the 2022 Transportation Summit with Susan Rodriguez-McDowell, Ed Driggs and Wesley Harris. Photo by Daniel Coston
Mayor Vi Lyles and former City Council member Larken Egleston participated in the 2022 Transportation Summit. Photo by Daniel Coston

Wes Jones, managing principal of Progressive AE’s Charlotte office, was elected chair to lead the organization in 2023. Jones plans to continue growing the 12-person board and further define the committee structure to enhance the organization’s ability to “reinforce and strengthen our community.”

“We accomplished a lot last year, given it was a year to get back on our feet,” Jones says. “Now we need to expand the informational and social events that we brought back in 2022 and to increase and enhance them in 2023.”

Jones has worked with the board to identify key areas to focus on next year, including recruiting new members who are interested in helping with fundraising, planning events, communications or government relations. In addition, the organization has hired a local design company, Antilles Digital Media, to revamp the website and update the content for potential partnerships in the future.

“Sustainability and action are key to the success of this board. We must continue to be a unified, inclusive, proactive voice for the South Charlotte region,” says Jones.

South Charlotte Partners was founded in 2018 to support and advocate for issues on a local and state level that impact the quality of life for the area’s residents and businesses.

“In our first year, we were instrumental in getting the new I-485 widening underway well ahead of schedule. That change improved the commuting experience in our area and enhanced our position as a premier destination in Charlotte to live, work and play,” says Duckworth. “Moving into 2023, with some wind at our back and a new leadership team, we have established a strong foundation to guide us into a new year.”

The organization will repeat its three main events — the Transportation Summit, the Ballantyne Bash and Music Under the Stars. In addition, South Charlotte Partners will identify and work with stakeholders to find ways to support policy and decision-making in key areas related to transportation, education and health care.

In September 2022, South Charlotte Partners hosted state and local government officials at The Ballantyne, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Charlotte, to discuss the region’s status and future direction of mobility. Over 300 business professionals and residents attended the Transportation Summit. They heard from the North Carolina Secretary of Transportation, representatives from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Charlotte City Council members and other local elected officials, including Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. (See photos from the winter issue of Ballantyne Magazine.)

South Charlotte Partners also brought back the Ballantyne Bash, an outdoor lunch event catered to the business professionals on the Ballantyne campus. The event highlighted food from restaurants and products from some local business vendors.

In addition, Blakeney Shopping Center was the venue for “Music Under the Stars” in collaboration with Opera Carolina. Singers from Opera Carolina performed segments from popular Disney songs and more traditional pieces. The event was free and open to the public. It brought  the operatic experience to the residents of South Charlotte, who may not have seen a show uptown.

“With these three flagship events and an opportunity to consider hosting another centered around health care, we will have a robust slate of informational and social events in the upcoming year,” says Jones. “We will also work on building and expanding our membership and are always looking for applicants who have a sincere interest in elevating the South Charlotte community.”

For more information about South Charlotte Partners or to apply to join the board, please visit

KRISHA CHACHRA joined South Charlotte Partners in 2021, soon after moving to the area. She loves living in South Charlotte and explores events and restaurants with her husband and daughter.