Company: Tharpe Engineering Group
Savannah neighborhood: Parkside
• Increased net revenue by at least 100 percent each year since establishment.
• Grown from single employee to four full-time employees within three years.
• The business was started during a recession. I’m pretty proud of that.
• (Generation Next 2014) is No. 1 so far.
• Leadership Savannah Class of 2014
• Recognition by Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire for volunteer services for their recent renovation.
• Savannah Classical Academy, board of directors
• Go Design Inc., structural engineering adviser
• Tapestry Church, leadership team
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: It feels as though development and construction are ramping up, particularly in the retail and industrial markets. Readjusting to the resulting demanding workload, at least in our industry, will be a welcome challenge.
Q: By the year 2020?
A: I hope consumer and investor confidence has returned and people are more positive and motivated to start businesses and provide new and improved services.
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: We are continually improving our process by implementing new technology and resources. In the immediate future, our plan is simply to continue building our client base by providing a quality service. We are always focused on doing business better, and that doesn’t always mean differently.
A: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: Being constantly on the go, I look forward to advancement of cloud-based technology. It’s so convenient to have access to virtually everything I need no matter where I am.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: Our community is so passionate about our history and unique culture, yet we promote technology, art and innovation in a way that many cities the size of Savannah do not. Those two things, while conventionally on opposite ends of the spectrum, mesh so well here. I believe this creates so many opportunities for growth and promotes new ventures.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: I believe the professional services fields look promising simply due to the need for support for new startups, restaurants, retail stores and especially warehousing and transportation as a result of the growth of our port. Also, our wonderful educational institutions like SCAD, AASU, SSU, and Savannah Tech continue to draw new students, which increases the need for housing and infrastructure.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: I’m biased, but I believe engineering degrees will be in high demand to satisfy the unique challenges we face in development, construction and infrastructure.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: Make good things happen by committing yourself to the betterment of not only your business or profession but of those around you as well.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: I couldn’t profess to have provided any innovation that will stand the test of time at this point, and that drives me to continue doing good work. I’m not quite ready to check that one off of the list just yet.