People are the key asset to any services company. Our people have the knowledge and insight expected of executives who have successfully worked in multiple capacities at companies ranging from Internet start-ups to Fortune 50.
Neil McLean, Founder and Managing Partner
Neil believes that a well-run organization can positively impact the lives of everybody in the company, their families and the community they live in. Neil is passionate about helping entrepreneurial leaders grow their businesses while having enough time for their families, vacations and other passions in life.
Neil honed his leadership skills early in life as an Air Force Officer and executive with a Fortune 20 company, but also learned that big organizations weren’t for him. He joined an internet start-up in the late 90’s and earned his MBA in failure before starting his own company in 2001. Neil grew a successful business by helping entrepreneurial and community leaders rapidly grow the economic development engine in South Carolina, twice being named to Columbia’s 50 Most Influential List.
After reading the book Traction, he implemented EOS in his own business, and realized the power of running a business on a single, simple operating system. Today, as a Professional EOS Implementer, Neil helps other entrepreneurs to do the same.
As a Vistage Chair, Neil is coach, mentor and facilitator for a Vistage peer advisory board. Vistage is the world’s leading CEO & Business Owner organization, with over 20,000 members.
Neil lives on a pond just outside of Columbia in Blythewood, S.C. with his wife Deb, daughter Veronica and son Thomas.
Meghan Hickman, Chief Operating Officer and Partner
Meghan Hickman is a partner and the Chief Operating Officer for Sagacious Partners. With experience leading large nonprofits, industry groups and regional collaborations, Meghan’s expertise is rooted in project management, facilitation, and strategic thinking and planning. After joining the company in 2012, she rose quickly through the company ranks and now oversees the economic development and project management practices at Sagacious Partners.
Prior to joining the SP team, Meghan spent nearly six years working for a United States Senator. During that time she sharpened her skills in fundraising, event management, and served two years as a press secretary on Capitol Hill. Following that, she entered the private sector with Stratacomm, a Fleishman-Hillard Company, and managed full-service, national public relations campaigns for clients ranging from federal government agencies to large coalitions and associations.
Meghan is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College. She also serves on the boards of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands.
Lauren Liles, Senior Project Manager
Lauren Liles serves as a Senior Project Manager for Sagacious Partners, where she leads several projects and initiatives. Prior to joining the SP team in 2014, Lauren spent 5 years working at the University of South Carolina in the Office of Economic Engagement, Innovista and President’s office where she managed economic development outreach initiatives, communication strategies and served as a liaison to corporate business partners connecting them to the many resources of the university. Before USC, Lauren worked for U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in Washington, DC, on the Senator’s personal staff for 4 years.
Lauren graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina Honors College earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the Darla Moore School of Business. She received her M.B.A from the Darla Moore School of Business in 2013.
Selia Straus, Senior Project Manager
Selia Straus came to Sagacious Partners in 2016 with over 4 years of background working in IT doing account development, recently working at Modis, a technical recruiting firm and prior to that working at Softdocs, a software company specializing in document management solutions for K-12 and higher educational institutions.
Prior to moving to Columbia, she worked for an events-based marketing company that managed a nonprofit educational program with a focus on teaching children entrepreneurial skills/business. She served as Director of the program, called Lemonade Day, and the nonprofit itself. She was also part of the project management team working on a variety of projects, including the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics, the NCAA Final Four Fan Zone, the San Antonio and Austin Rock and Roll Marathons, as well as the NABE (National Association for Bilingual Education) Conference held in Tampa, Florida. Selia graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Psychology.
Kristin Hamilton, Project Manager
Whitney Williams, Project Manager
Will Schenk, Project Manager