Mallory Baches holds a deep interest in citizen impact of and to the built realm. Complimentary to her design work, she has invested her time and talents in community endeavors that encourage stronger urban structure and expand the connectivity of fellow citizens.
Her work as a social entrepreneur has augmented her understanding of design and development, providing a foundational background on the broader civil systems and circumstances within which our urban designs lie. The following are a selection of implementation efforts:
Mallory believes in the power of thoughtful, committed citizens. In launching The Civic Hub, her goal was to provide services to the many good-intentioned community members in towns and neighborhoods across the country, seeking to improve their own communities but unsure where to begin or without resources available to do so.
Building on her own experiences as a citizen activist, she has developed a series of engagement experiences that respond to a variety of group sizes and scopes of initiative complexity. Her work focuses primarily in towns and neighborhoods, where limited resources but ample desire exists to create stronger communities. She was honored for her innovative work with the firm in being named by Next City to the 2013 Vanguard Class, traveling to Cleveland to convene with fellow young urban advocates and discuss the future of America's cities and their respective communities.
Mallory served as leader and organizer of the RURAL + CRITICAL public education and outreach campaign, as sponsored by the Beaufort County Open Land Trust and in conjunction with the 2012 local bond referendum ballot measure seeking re-funding of the Beaufort County land preservation program.
Coordinating the campaign, Mallory's tasks included program branding and marketing, website development and social media presence, volunteer committee leadership and communication facilitation, community outreach planning and organization, public relations oversight, and news media coverage coordination.
A natural byproduct of her personal and professional support for rural and critical land preservation, Mallory's work on the campaign offered her the opportunity to expand her knowledge of both local and national issues affecting land preservation, as well as deepen her appreciation for the history and culture of the Lowcountry and its unique rural culture and character.
The campaign was successful, approved by voters by a 2:1 margin on Election Day 2012.
In launching the organization, Mallory's oversight included strategic partnerships, hands-on collaboration, public education, and initiative advocacy and implementation on behalf of Sea Islands 2050 membership. As the chief executive for the non-profit organization, she was responsible for mission and vision leadership, solid business management, public and media relations, and general operations including branding, marketing, and web and social media outreach development.
An exploration beyond the physical nature of community to the social and economic, the role of executive director was an opportunity for Mallory to drive policy initiatives that sought broad-based community impact. With the stated goal to lead the Sea Islands community as a model of sustainability by the year 2050, a deep understanding of sustainability theory, systems thinking, and comprehensive community development was both required learning as well as a practical byproduct that Mallory gained as a result of her time at the head of the organization.
Mallory was a founding Charter Committee Chair, Facilities Committee Chair, and eventual Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Riverview Charter School, the first public charter school to be approved in Beaufort County SC, currently serving 500 students in K-8th grades with highest state school report card ratings.
As a member of the school's Charter Committee, Mallory helped craft the mission and vision of what Riverview Charter School would become. Her role in collaborating with educators, policy makers, fundraisers, legal experts, financial advisors, interested parents, and the community at large resulted in: a school charter based on educational best practices; a successful approval by local, state, and national authorizing agencies; and a highly sought after public school choice in Beaufort County.
With both a professional interest, as a advocate for mixed-use communities, and a personal interest, as the parent of a school-aged daughter, launching the school allowed Mallory the opportunity to explore the ramifications of public demand for quality civic institutions within their communities. Through her experiences in a leadership capacity for the school, she was able to gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the systems governing public education and the obstacles to common-sense solutions that often must be overcome.