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Generation Next: John Paul Rowan

Age: 31

Title: Vice president for strategy and innovation

Company: Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah neighborhood: Downtown

Top accomplishments

• Increase in collaborative projects by 250 percent

• Student employment rate of 90 percent within nine months of graduation

• More than 90 percent faculty retention rate

Business awards/accolades

• 2011 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation – SCAD Hong Kong

• Third consecutive year: DesignIntelligence top award for undergraduate and graduate interior design programs

• DesignIntelligence 2014: No. 1 undergraduate and graduate industrial design program

Philanthropic leadership

1. SCAD Scholarship Gala

2. SCAD Seen Gala

3. SCAD Annual Fund

 

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: Real estate prices

Q: By the year 2020?

A: Diversification of businesses in Savannah

Q: By the year 2030?

A: Environmental issues and concerns

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

A: Communication methods are constantly evolving, and I will employ new technology to collaborate with businesses around the world.

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

A: Zero pollutant automobiles.

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

A: Savannah’s unique ability to bridge the gap between our long, rich history and design based innovation for the future.

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

A: Alternative fuels because of environmental issues and pricing constraints.

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

A: SCAD degrees because design is the future of innovation.

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

A: Keep an open mind and do not be afraid to fail. Recover and try again as fast as possible.

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

A: The way that I build teams and treat other people

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In Case You Missed It