Spotlight: Charisse

By Charisse Bennett

Hi, everyone! I'm not from the South, so I refuse to say "y'all."

I'm not from anywhere really.

The short version: born in Oklahoma, raised in Missouri, learned to drive in Texas, attended most of high school and undergrad in Oklahoma, escaped to Connecticut, and fell in love with (and in) Savannah during grad school.

I spent the past three years working at a non-profit that does economic development, The Creative Coast. I learned more than I ever thought I could about being an entrepreneur without actually becoming one. I have so much respect for those who run their own businesses and ventures. I wore a lot of hats during those three years (usually all at once). It was a great experience, and I met some wonderful people and made strong connections in the community.

However, after some serious thought, I knew it was time for me to move on and make a change in my life. I immediately reached out to Focus Lab. I first met Bill and Erik while working at The Creative Coast and loved seeing their work and success. Whether they knew it or not, I was a cheerleader on the sidelines. I didn't know where I would fit in with the team, but was open to anything.

I was also really interested in getting back into the world of design. In my previous life, in Connecticut, I was an architectural designer and, occasionally, I really miss drawing floor plans and elevations. Yeah, I'm a nerd who loves things that line up, are organized, and have a reason to exist. Alignment is a weakness of mine, which drives my boyfriend crazy when we do remodeling work. "But it doesn't line up!" is the last thing he wants to hear.

Which brings me to my new role as a project manager at Focus Lab. I'm still learning and bugging Shabnam a lot about every little thing as I get familiar with this new segment of design. I couldn't be more excited about this change in my life and look forward to soaking in all the expertise of each amazingly talented individual that makes up the Focus Lab team. I have a LOT to learn!

One other thing to know about me... I have a really cute dog named Bear and a big (not fat but big) tuxedo cat named Mouse.