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At theĀ Anchor Institute, we believe in enabling everyday people to influence the way their city works. We help you make your city a great place to be.

Anchor Institute
a little about...

The Anchor Institute

The Anchor Institute (AnIn) is a community research organization based in Columbia, South Carolina. The first of its kind, AnIn focuses its research initiatives on regional planning theory and policy, specifically economic competitiveness, social equality, connectivity, and quality of life.

How to Make a City podcast

Check out our latest episodes!

How Immigrants Make a City

What does naturalization mean for immigrants seeking United States citizenship? According to research by the Cities for Citizenship initiative, it...

mike switzer

Anchor Institute to Collaborate with MidlandsBiz CEO for Creative Partnership

Alan Cooper, CEO of three popular business news outlets– MidlandsBiz, UpstateBiz, and LowcountryBiz— announced a strategic collaboration with Midlands Anchor...

how young professionals make a city

How Young Professionals Make a City

According to urban economist Richard Florida, the “creative class” is a population of talented young professionals who bring a wealth...

How Hip Hop Makes a Community

Born out of the Bronx and often accompanying waves of cultural reckoning, hip hop has filled a social and creative...

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about our founder, Tia Williams
  • Tia is a masterful planner and strategic thinker. She is very good at taking multiple inputs into consideration, working those into a cohesive planning process and putting an excellent path forward. This skill made her one of the very best in the SERVPRO system at planning, executing and managing sales & marketing efforts. This required the ability to think like several different stakeholders, adapt and organize creative solutions and motivate a team of people to create success. It was a pleasure to work with Tia as a leader in this role as she always brought an energetic and positive attitude. I personally felt that I learned something new or got a new perspective each time I had the pleasure of collaborating.
    Chris LayfieldMarketing & Advertising Manager, Servpro Industries, Inc.
  • Tia possesses an energy level and drive that will be legendary in our office well beyond her departure. In her time with OED this year she has had a hand in many projects, the largest of which was feasibility analysis for a business incubator focused on the wood products industry. Her strengths in applied research and her particular grasp of the economic development field make her a valuable addition to any organization.
    John A ProvoDirector, Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development