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As local governments continue to do more with less, MRB Group’s SmarterLocalGov team is once again expanding to provide much needed support.

Director of Southeast Operations Heather Simmons Jones recently announced the addition of Melissa Harrill to the Charleston office of MRB Group, where she will serve as a Local Government Services Manager.  Harrill joins the team currently working with multiple municipalities around the state, providing guidance and support for municipal planning, staff recruitment, securing critical grant funding, and fostering economic development.

Harrill joins MRB Group following 15 years with the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC), where she served as the Research and Legislative Liaison.  She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Business Administration degrees from the University of South Carolina, and is also a graduate of the SC Economic Development Institute.

“We are thrilled to have Melissa join our team.  She brings a vast knowledge of municipal operations and relationships to our South Carolina client base.  Her work on legislative issues in her most recent role, combined with her research, cost-benefit analysis, and financial acumen from the South Carolina Budget & Control Board, makes her a significant asset to MRB Group and SmarterLocalGov,” Jones said.

“Our clients will really benefit from her expertise and her passion for strengthening communities,” Jones added.

During her time with MASC, Melissa was responsible for local government revenues, including taxes and fees, and state and federal sources.  Over the last few years, she focused exclusively on transitioning 240 municipalities and counties to the new business license tax law that took effect January 1, 2022.

“If it related to dollars and cents, it was under Melissa’s purview,” Jones stated.

When asked about making the career change, Harrill stated, “The most exciting aspect of my new job is working with town staff and councils in their town halls.  While I loved lobbying for the towns at MASC, my work was in Columbia and the State House, far removed from the Main Streets and communities I served.

“I really look forward to traveling to, and working within our proud communities, helping them to grow stronger, improve operations, and better serve residents,” she continued.

“I look forward to working beside Melissa toward the goal of creating healthy communities, large and small,” Jones concluded.

MRB Group is one of the oldest engineering, architecture, and planning firms serving municipalities in the US.  Its roots date back to 1927 in Rochester, NY, where the firm’s headquarters remain today.  In addition to the four offices in NY and the Southeast office in Charleston, the firm also serves the Southwest market via three Texas offices.

The firm’s team of nearly 135 engineers, architects, planners, and technical staff currently works with more than 175 local governments, supporting operations and assisting with long-term strategic plans, planning and zoning board support, and economic development services.  MRB Group also assists with various public works functions, provides architecture for the rehabilitation of public facilities.  Its professional teams work closely with municipal leaders and staff to preserve and maintain critical community infrastructure, like water and wastewater systems.  For more information, visit www.mrbgroup.com.