BiS: BusinessInSavannah.com - Business news for the creative coast.

Generation Next: Sam Carroll

Age: 36

Title: Owner

Company: Carroll Construction

Savannah neighborhood: Victorian District

Top accomplishments

• In the past three years, we’ve increased our revenue by 54 percent.

• In the past three years, we’ve increased our client base by 133 percent.

• I also own and manage rental property, and, in the past three years, I’ve doubled the number of units I own.

Business awards/accolades

• Five historic preservation awards from the Historic Savannah Foundation.

• Being included in 2014’s Generation Next — Savannah’s Rising Stars of Business.

Philanthropic leadership

• Member of Metropolitan Savannah Rotary.

• Member of Historic Savannah Foundation Revolving Fund Committee.

• Volunteering time and expertise in aid of community improvements, including the JEA preschool playground and the Greenbriar community garden project.

 

Questions for BiS

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

A: I believe our potentials for growth and our challenges are interrelated. Our biggest challenge for the foreseeable future will be to ensure all Savannahians have the skills and education necessary to be productive members of our community. Having engaged citizens and a skilled/educated workforce will stimulate growth by attracting businesses and people who currently see better opportunities elsewhere.

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

A: Our business is definitely becoming more mobile, more able to send and receive information on-site, and I only see that mobility increasing.

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

A: I’m looking forward to advances in green technology that will make different aspects of my construction business more sustainable – from electric vehicles to renewable building materials.

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

A: Our Historic District and our public spaces are two important features that distinguish Savannah from other cities and entice people to move here. Continuing to preserve, redevelop and market these assets is fundamental to advancing our local economy.

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

A: Our colleges and universities are significant economic drivers because they are long-term investments in our city. They develop and anchor neighborhoods, bring new talent to the area, provide cultural programming and bring Savannah to the attention of a nationwide (if not global) audience. For purposes of my business, these institutions are important because students, faculty and staff need housing and the schools themselves need facilities.

I also see our efforts at becoming a more smartly-developed city (e.g., increasing urban density, addressing the demand for more bike and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, etc.) as a key factor in driving economic and business development. Increasingly, people want to live in places that aren’t automobile dependent.

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

A: Engineering and logistics degrees because of the port and companies like Gulfstream.

Any degree having to do with tourism or hospitality.

Computer programming and computer science degrees, since almost every business needs help keeping up with technology.

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

A: Keep reinvesting in Savannah. Think about the kind of city you want this to be and keep that goal in mind as you make business decisions.

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

A: I don’t invent, I restore. The buildings my company brings back to life will be used by future generations.

 

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