Title: Vice President Corporate Communications / Associate CEO, Owner, Designer
Company: Medient StudioPLEX / Bedouin LLC
Savannah neighborhood: Historic District
• Helping to create more than 1,000 jobs in Savannah’s film community
• Coordinating a $90 million studio investment that will grow to an investment of more than $300 million within three years.
• Relocated more than 30 of Medient Studio’s global executives to the Savannah area.
• The American Express Passion Project award in 2013 for my clothing line Bedouin, which provides funding for The Bedouin Foundation.
• Part of the creative team of a documentary centralized around the abuse of women in the Middle East that won seven Gold New York Film Festival Awards.
• My clothing line being selected three years in a row to be modeled at Don’t Walk Fashion Show at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland.
• CEO of the now Savannah-based Bedouin LLC.
• Politically involved with Amnesty International.
• I left Savannah in the ninth grade to do medical mission work with my family in places like Singapore, Southeast Asia and Guatemala.
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: Huge growth will come by positioning Savannah and Effingham globally for film, app production, gaming and multimedia.
Q: By the year 2030?
A: Although these two decades will see Savannah arise as a dominator in the film and production industry, with any growth comes challenges. I think Savannah will need to work to hang on to the actual relationship-building aspect of doing business that we pride ourselves on.
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: We will center our business around social responsibility.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: I am looking forward to introducing a more globally multicultural presence into Savannah and promoting awareness on both sides.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: If Savannah can continue to grow economically and technologically to stay on a competitive basis with other cities while preserving the traditions and responsibilities of living in a historic, Southern city we will flourish.
A: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: Getting The Studioplex up and running in Effingham will affect the community on every level. It will mean a huge tourism influx for both business and pleasure and create more jobs across the board, meaning more people will be moving here, buying houses, buying cars and building their lives here.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: I don’t believe there is one degree or one field that will be the most in-demand. I think a mixture of getting a broad-based degree with actual experience in the field you want to work in is key.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: Take initiative. I got my first film job at a production company in Dubai as a product of putting on a suit as if I already worked there, blending in with a group of people to get into the elevator and taking it to the third floor where I handed my resume directly to the CEO and asked him point blank for a job. See where you want to be and just do what it takes to get there.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: Being part of Medient’s decision to relocate to Savannah. I had an amazing childhood in Savannah, and I want my son to have those experiences here, not living with a nanny in L.A.