TEAM / Heather Smith
Heather Smith joined The Southern Group in 2012. Prior to joining Southern’s Columbia office, Heather acted as director of legislative affairs with a large lobbying and association management firm. Throughout her career Heather has developed expertise in numerous policy areas, including appropriations, banking and finance, campaigns, education, gaming, health care, insurance, manufacturing, public and private partnerships, policy, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.
Before her 14 years as a lobbyist, Heather managed and coordinated press events for state leaders and clients for more than 17 years, including serving in a key state legislative staff role in the House Judiciary Committee. In this role, Heather liaised between constituents, lobbyists, and other government agencies.
Since joining Southern, Heather has helped secure millions of dollars in state funding for clients and has played a key role in passing legislation that has a positive impact on the health care, insurance, K-12 education, and higher education communities.
Heather was instrumental in passing the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) legislation in South Carolina, hailed as a model piece of legislation for several states, which regulates PBMs on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Heather is currently president of Katrina’s Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources for foster children and children living in group homes, and the founder of Race for the Case, a 5k race to raise awareness for adoption and foster care through the South Carolina Department of Social Services. Heather is also the South Carolina Liaison for Guitars 4 Vets. Guitars 4 Vets is a national 501 (c)3 non-profit dedicated to providing relief to struggling veterans through the healing power of music and community. Lastly, Heather is also a member of Leadership South Carolina and the Columbia World Affairs Council. Heather was recognized as the 2017 South Carolina Global Business Awards Partner of the Year and is a recipient of the MUNGO Community Builder Award.
A native of South Carolina, Heather attended John Carroll University, where she studied public relations and political science. Before graduation, Heather moved back to South Carolina, where she graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a BA in journalism and mass communications. Heather resides in Columbia, South Carolina with her daughter.