Lou Hammond, Chairman/Founder

Lou Hammond launched her firm in 1984 with three clients and three employees. Under her guidance, Lou Hammond Group now has 40 employees, more than 40 prestigious clients and offices in New York, Charleston, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.

Over the past 35 years, the firm has built a reputation as an award-winning leader in marketing and public relations for a broad sector of clients in travel, lifestyle, hospitality, economic development, the arts, nonprofit, and technology.  The firm’s capabilities have expanded to include branding, digital marketing, creative services, and strategic planning.

As founding Chairman, Lou ensures that the firm remains true to the core principles upon which it was founded—independence, integrity and the highest standards of excellence.  A tireless globe-trotter, she has built enduring relationships with clients, the media and community leaders.  With firsthand knowledge of worldwide markets, she has global contacts and relationships with government agencies and opinion leaders.

Lou began her career in public relations and public affairs with Pan American World Airways. During her twelve years with the airline, she traveled the world and participated in many historic ‘firsts’ including the premier press trip to China. As director of publicity, promotion and public affairs, Lou developed her specialty in marketing to sophisticated, upscale travelers. She also served as public affairs officer for the City and State of New York.

Lou has been recognized for her leadership in both the communications and travel industries. She was honored with the prestigious Matrix Award from Women in Communications; the Winthrop W. Grice Award, the highest honor from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International; and the Golden Pineapple from the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau for generating noteworthy media coverage for the city. Lou was also named to the PR News Hall of Fame and was cited in Who’s Who in America for the past 20 years.

Active in civic affairs, Lou sits on the boards of Spoleto Festival USA, Medical University of South Carolina Foundation, Gibbs Museum of Art, and the American Red Cross of the Lowcountry.

Lou’s interests are wide-ranging. She has a passion for French decorative arts of the 18th century and is active in the Churchill Society covering all aspects of World War II. Lou loves to cook, collecting recipes and creating her own that she shares with family, friends and colleagues. Her prowess in the kitchen earned her the top culinary award from Charleston Magazine.  Playing bridge is her joy—ready to play anywhere and in any language.

A fifth-generation Texan, Lou resides in New York and Charleston.