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Generation Next: Andrea Mamalakis Epting

Age: 33

Title: President and managing director

Company: Heads-Up Guidance Services Inc. (HUGS)

Savannah neighborhood: Isle of Hope Area

Top accomplishments

• Founded Heads-Up Guidance Services Inc. in 2008

• Taking HUGS from start-up to more than 10,000 services provided within 32 months.

• Developed and implemented therapeutic programming on-site for seven partner organizations.

Philanthropic leadership

• President of Heads-Up Guidance Services Inc.

• Making professional counseling and therapeutic services available and affordable to the disadvantaged and underserved.

• Supervising and mentoring masters level interns and post-graduate professionals in the counseling and social work fields.

 

Questions for BiS

Q: As a proven local leader, please share your vision of Savannah’s future. What growth or challenge do you foresee by the end of 2014?

A: I see challenges regarding the rising rate of poverty and recidivism.

Q: By the year 2020?

A: I see challenges with the likely cutback of government funded programs and the potential increase in poverty and joblessness.

Q: By the year 2030?

A: I see challenges educationally and vocationally as student loans become more difficult to secure.

Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?

A: Our business is designed to operate independently of social systems such as managed care, federally funded programs/incentives and works to avoid barriers to providing essential therapeutic services to the community.

We will invest in sustainable programs that will meet the growing need for affordable behavioral health services in Savannah.

Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?

A: I am looking forward to a more personalized/individualized approach to social services. I believe a less clinical method will prove more effective with populations commonly served in our community.

Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?

A: Savannah has such a unique and diverse culture. Its beauty is second to none; its location is ideal for trade, and its commerce continues to attract national and international companies.

Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?

A: Sustainable and renewable resources. The energy sector because it meets a critical economic and environmental need

Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?

A: I believe a degree in business will always be essential. However, it will become increasingly important that young professionals peruse graduate degrees in their respective fields.

Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?

A: Explore the path of most resistance. This is how one makes a true impact and creates constructive transformation.

Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?

A: I have developed and implemented solution-focused counseling programs that empower individuals to become self-sufficient. These programs initiate positive change in their lives by demanding accountability and fostering independence.

 

 

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