S.C. Department of Commerce announces new Deputy Secretary

Agency taps Ashely Teasdel to serve alongside Secretary Lightsey

The S.C. Department of Commerce today announced that Ashely Teasdel, most recently serving as director of the Business Services division, has been promoted to Deputy Secretary. Working alongside Secretary Lightsey, Teasdel will support the implementation of agency-wide initiatives and programs and provide strategic management.

In more than six years with S.C. Commerce, Teasdel led the team responsible for small business development, existing industry support, supplier outreach, emergency management and recycling market development. Notably, she also managed the agency’s COVID-19 response efforts, assisting more than 9,000 businesses seeking guidance to navigate impacts from the pandemic.

Under her leadership, the division enhanced existing initiatives and expanded programmatic resources such as cybersecurity compliance assistance and the launch of a small business data intelligence tool that provides information for companies to make more informed decisions around competitive benchmarking, customers and suppliers. She was also instrumental in the launch of programs that include the Local First Good Enterprise Initiative, a 12-week, hands-on training course in business planning and management for start-ups and existing companies. Since the program inception in fall 2019, there have been 97 graduates, and 90% of the total participants identified as a racial minority.

“Ashely’s dedication to S.C. Commerce, our team and the industries we serve is beyond measure. She approaches every situation from a business perspective, with a distinctly inclusive and creative lens, to ensure the process, people and final product are first-class,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “I am excited for our collaborative work to keep pushing the South Carolina economy and business climate to the forefront of success.”

Prior to joining the agency in 2015, Teasdel spent almost a decade working in the banking sector, focusing on small business advisory support and development within South Carolina. Outside of her work at the agency, Teasdel is active in both her personal and professional communities, serving as a member of the SC Small Business Advisory Council, the SC Small Business Development Centers Advisory Council and the Business Development Corporation (CDC) of SC board.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve South Carolina. Working with Secretary Lightsey, the Commerce team and our allies, we are committed to ensuring our state remains ahead of the curve and elevates opportunities for all businesses and citizens,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Ashely Teasdel.

Teasdel holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Charleston Southern University and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Wesleyan University. Read Teasdel’s full bio here.