Campus wide

Global Charleston opens on Charleston Southern campus

By Jenna Johnson | March 20, 2024
(Left to right) Devin Patro, senior VP of commercial banking at Pinnacle Financial Partners; Jarrett Branham, president and CEO of Branham Group; Taylor Jackson, president and CEO of Maritime Association; Stephanie LeVan, director of CSU Global Education and president of Global Charleston; and B. Keith Faulkner, president of Charleston Southern University. Photo by Adele Ta

Global Charleston, the One Region Roadmap lead agent for the global fluency arm, officially opened its office after a ribbon cutting ceremony on the campus of Charleston Southern University Friday, March 15.

Stephanie LeVan, executive director of the CSU Center for Global Education, serves as president of Global Charleston—which is located in the Hunter Center.

LeVan said, “My hope is that Global Charleston serves international residents and businesses well. I lived overseas for many years. Many people made my life better because they demonstrated hospitality and kindness when I was a stranger in their countries. It is a privilege to do that for others now.”

Global Charleston will be a center that serves international businesses and residents. There is currently no organization like it in the Charleston business ecosystem. Global Charleston will serve the community by supporting international residents who come to the Charleston area to establish internal companies through a variety of ways, including information about complex relocation processes, an online directory, learning opportunities, and more.

“This center serves as a declaration to our global partners that the Charleston Metro area walks in the ancient, proven, well-worn paths of friendship, respect, trade, and diplomacy,” LeVan said to a crowd of global leaders and supporters on Friday. “These pillars have built good will among nations for centuries, and we rely on these same pillars today as they have created the strong, vibrant, gloriously global community that we call home. Our mission at Charleston Southern and at Global Charleston is to strengthen these ties that bind us in our region and ensure that the global community is served well not only with the information they need to live, but with information they need to thrive.”

LeVan began working with the Charleston Regional Development Alliance in 2016 on their global fluency committee. She said, “I eventually chaired that committee and was asked to be part of the One Region Advisory Committee after working with others in the community and SB Friedman Development Advisers on the global fluency portion of the latest iteration of the One Region Roadmap.”

The One Region Roadmap is a regional partnership representing the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region. According to One Region, the partnership was formed to strengthen the economy and generate opportunities for all by delivering strategies and actions that will make a difference for all. “As One Region’s Lead Agent for Global Fluency, Charleston Southern University has delivered a transformative resource for the region’s international community with the launch of Global Charleston,” Ryan Wilcox, One Region managing director, said. “We applaud their efforts in strengthening the region’s capacity to welcome people from around the world and quickly connect them to the community, resources and support they need to begin a fulfilling and successful life here.”

Global Charleston board members, supporters, and community members at the ribbon cutting. Photo by Adele Ta

Daniel Schlegel, vice president of operations and customer service for KION North America, said that Global Charleston is important to the community and to Charleston Southern. He shared a personal story of being an immigrant from Germany—first on a work visa and, ultimately, successfully working toward American citizenship. During his acclimation to life in the United States, he had a few roadblocks due to lack of guidance.

“If you come here for business, and you have other things to worry about, it is great having a resource that can help you take care of things—and having a place where you can talk to people who have experience and can guide you along,” he said. KION North America is a major sponsor of Global Charleston and helped sponsor the ribbon cutting event. 

According to the One Region Roadmap, the Charleston Metro region hosts more than 180 foreign-owned businesses and approximately 42,000 residents who are foreign born. With the Charleston Southern University campus central to the Charleston Metro region at the intersection of Interstate 26 and Highway 78, this Global Charleston center is a prime locale to welcome multinational businesses and international residents and visitors. To learn more about Global Charleston, go to or search for Global Charleston on LinkedIn.

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