Title: Vice president, director of marketing and human resources
Company: Wet Willie’s Management Corp.
Savannah neighborhood: The Landings at Skidaway Island
• In 2011, launched an annual company-wide breast cancer awareness fundraiser that has raised more than $30,000 for Susan G. Komen, Coastal Georgia Affiliate.
• Implemented a motivational program to reward managers and employees who exemplify Wet Willie’s values by adding money to their “Mad Money” fund, which is used for team-building purposes.
• Created a more positive image for our brand and company by partnering and helping local charities and community groups.
• Named 2013’s Woman of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
• Wet Willie’s earned the Savannah Downtown Business Association’s 2013 Business of the Year Award.
• Acceptance into the Savannah Area Chamber’s Leadership Savannah Class of 2014.
• Chair of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2014 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign.
• Board of directors for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
• Heading Wet Willie’s business partnership with Komen Coastal Georgia.
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: Savannah will continue to grow as a top tourist destination. The challenge will be to … provide infrastructure to accommodate our growing hospitality industry without stripping our city of its historical nature.
Q: By the year 2020?
A: The ports and manufacturing will bring new jobs and businesses. With this growth comes the issue of ensuring we have a proficient workforce in place that can handle the new jobs.
Q: By the year 2030?
A: Savannah will grow in many fields as new businesses and employees continue to be attracted to and welcomed in the Savannah community. Leadership will need to have a clear vision of what Savannah wants to look like to shape it accordingly.
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: I will expand our company’s online and social media presence. This will help our company stay ahead of the curve by watching trends and keeping our finger on the pulse of the expanding online and social media market.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next with online technology. So much has changed … even in the last few months, that I feel like we are nowhere near slowing down with progress.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: The beauty of Savannah, our love for the arts and the unique and historic downtown area will ultimately be driving forces in terms of preservation and advancement.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: The ports, manufacturing and tourism promise the most growth in the near future. With the fact the aviation sector is booming and heading to the Southeast, there is sure to be advancement in the manufacturing field. Tourism will eventually slow but will continue exponential growth in the next few years.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: Logistics, engineering, medical and business degrees will all be in high demand. As long as bigger businesses continue to find Savannah an attractive place to relocate and tourists continue to be drawn to Savannah, we will have a high need for all of these degrees.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: Say yes and dream big. Don’t get in the way of your own success by thinking you can’t do something or you aren’t good enough.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: I hope future generations will remember our core business innovation is offering a unique and quality product.