Are You Ready to Thrive?

A Women's Event Every Woman Should Attend


What Laurie Brown wasn’t looking for something else to do. As the founder and owner of Aunt Laurie’s, she puts in long hours promoting and managing her growing business. Driven by a passion to help individuals with disabilities, Aunt Laurie’s mission is to inspire others to acknowledge human value in everyone—one gift at a time. Every Aunt Laurie’s gift basket is hand woven and assembled at the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department in Beaufort by clients, who are overcoming disabilities.

Laurie used SC Lowcountry SCORE, which provides free volunteer business advice, to help launch her business. When her SC Lowcountry SCORE mentor asked her for suggestions regarding a proposed women’s event, she quickly dove into the planning of the Thrive Lowcountry Women’s Conference.

“A women’s conference in the Lowcountry is long overdue,” said Laurie. “I was intrigued and excited by the opportunity to help develop an energetic and impactful all-day event with a variety of topics, covering personal and professional growth for women. My goal then became making the day unique and meaningful, unlike anything women may have previously experienced,” said Laurie.

Laurie has recently become a SCORE mentor and believes in giving back to the community and SCORE. In addition, she is looking forward to leading a breakout session on branding, which is one of her favorite topics to speak about.

Elizabeth Millen, Founder and CEO of Millen Publishing Group and Publisher of Pink and Paisley Magazines, also quickly signed on when asked for her input. Millen, who turned a $2,800 investment into a million dollar business in the space of three years, also had the benefit of SCORE mentoring.

“When Gene Sherman at SCORE asked me for my thoughts on a Women’s Conference, I was on board to be a part of something designed to help women. I quickly realized the conference theme of Educate, Engage, Empower would have broad appeal to women professionals in the Lowcountry—and I’m talking Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and beyond—and parallel the mission of the magazines,” said Elizabeth, who will be the closing keynote speaker of the event with a talk entitled “Learn and Live.”

“I want women to get passionate about what they’re doing and what they want to do. Thrive is an event where women can soak up knowledge, be supported and possibly launch their futures. You’ve heard the saying live and learn? I’m touting “Learn and Live!” My goal is to keep the excitement going well beyond conference. In other words, you’ve learned it, now go out and live it!” she added.

Thrive Lowcountry Women’s Conference is presented by the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and SCORE. It features 25 inspirational women, discussing topics ranging from leadership, planning, personal and professional development, financial planning, personal fulfillment, health and fitness.

“THRIVE reflects what this conference is all about —for participants to learn and be inspired in their personal and professional lives,” Laurie said.

Elizabeth is delighted with the speakers and topics. “Having the opportunity to hear keynote speeches from such accomplished women like Niki Scott, Executive Vice President at Suntrust, Heather Srulevich, CFO at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, and Diana Morrison, Founder and Owner of Advertising Specialty Services, should prove to be a treat. It’s not very often an event happens that brings this much influence. Women of the Lowcountry are getting a powerful, elite day that will move them forward.”

THRIVE is set to begin with a cocktail party on Thursday evening, September 28th at the Sonesta Resort on Hilton Head Island. The conference will follow the next day. The $99 price includes both Thursday and Friday events, including breakfast, lunch and break refreshments on Friday. For more information and to register, log on to or

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