Meet Our Team
The Beaufort Digital Corridor is a highly collaborative organization with advisors hailing from the Beaufort tech community and beyond. This allows us to stay lean, relevant and highly responsive to the dynamic needs of our technology entrepreneurs and tech-related businesses. We believe in community-sourced intelligence as the preferred way to operate.
The BDC Foundation Board of Directors sets the priorities for the organization and the Executive Director carries them out. The Leadership team at the Charleston Digital Corridor mentors and assist as needed.
Name: Jess O'Brien
Job title: Executive Director
Hometown: Valdosta, GA
Alma Mater: The University of Georgia - Grady College of Journalism
Favorite animal: Anything feline (cats, jaguars, cougars, tigers, lions, etc.)
Zodiac sign: Leo
Fun fact: I was once featured on a reality tv show!
Jess O'Brien is a former digital marketing leader with a proven track record of managing agency teams and clients. She discovered her love of fostering start-ups during a previous stint at an agency located within Atlanta Tech Village. Since, she has worked with companies of all sizes, from SMBs to national franchises. While Jess' career has taken her across the Southeast, she relocated from Atlanta, GA to Beaufort in 2014, and is proud to call the town her home. Jess served on the BDC Foundation as a volunteer Board Member from 2017-2020, and has been employed full-time as the Executive Director of the BDC since 2021. Outside of the office, she enjoys singing, writing music, gardening, reading, and taking in the many beautiful Lowcountry views.
Cyber Program Manager
Name: Fombe Vanny Fombe
Job title: Cyber Program Manager
Hometown: Bamenda, Cameroon
Alma Mater: Sacred Heart College
Favorite animal: Lion
Zodiac sign: Pisces
Fun fact: I have a phobia of horses!
Fombe Fombe is pleased to have joined the Beaufort Digital Corridor team as its Cyber Program Coordinator. Before stepping into this position, he previously served in the U.S. Navy for over eight years. A proud veteran, he valued his time in the military as an X-Ray Technician, but is making a long-awaited shift into the field of cybersecurity analysis. Fombe is currently in the process of preparing for the Security+ Certification, with an ultimate goal of becoming a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) or CISM (Certified Information Security Manager). His passion for helping other transitioning service members complements his duties at the Beaufort Digital Corridor. Fombe is also an automobile enthusiast, and spends time learning and helping at Safehands Discount Tires when not at the BDC.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Name: Lauren White
Job title: Community Engagement Coordinator
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Alma Mater: Belmont College and University of South Carolina - Beaufort
Favorite animal: Axolotl
Zodiac sign: Aries
Fun fact: My first Pokemon was a Charmander!
Lauren White is a true global citizen – originally homeschooled, she traveled Europe before attending an international British boarding school. She continued on to study Politics & Public Law at Belmont College, ultimately obtaining her Bachelor's degree at the University of South Carolina - Beaufort. Lauren is now a postgraduate student at Technical College of the Lowcountry, where she is also President of the CyberClub organization. She loves learning and meeting new people, and as the BDC's Community Engagement Coordinator, she is lucky enough to do both on a daily basis! Lauren is responsible for planning and promoting educational and networking programs, and is especially skilled at outreach to the younger crowd. When not chasing her adorable toddler, Oo-Joo, she enjoys reading political theory and listening to true crime podcasts. Feel free to bring her snacks if you find yourself in the area (she likes chocolate).
Name: Samantha Bell
Job title: Copywriter
Hometown: Bryn Mawr, PA
Alma Mater: Bennington College
Favorite animal: Rabbit
Zodiac sign: Libra
Fun fact: I could eat sushi for every meal of the day!
Samantha Bell is a freelance writer and aspiring media strategist living in Bluffton, SC. Raised on Hilton Head Island, she considers herself a true Local, but fled the nest early to attend boarding school in Iowa, and later, college in Vermont. Now back in the Lowcountry, she enjoys roller skating in the warm weather, trying out craft breweries, and reading too many books at once. Samantha is thrilled to bring her years of writing expertise and penchant for correct grammar to the Beaufort Digital Corridor team. Her role at the BDC, which she assumed in Summer 2022, encompasses content creation, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and more. Samantha is as passionate about entrepreneurship as she is the written word, and would be more than happy to assist BDC members with any copywriting needs they may have!