Title: Co-owner/vice president
Company: Thomas J. Sheehan Insurance Inc.
Savannah neighborhood: Emerald Pointe
• I placed property and casualty insurance policies in more than 40 different countries for U.S.-based commercial clients.
• Helped a large commercial client navigate the ever changing National Flood Insurance Program on a large schedule of locations. We were able to not only reduce their premium by more than 20 percent, but also lower their deductible by $50,000.
• Having been through the transition of a family business from one generation to the next, I am always seeking opportunities to work with the next generation of family owned businesses.
• Leadership Georgia (class of 2007/program chair 2008)
• Earning the Charter Property Casualty Underwriter and Certified Insurance Counselor professional designations
• Savannah Magazine 2012 Best Insurance Company Runner-Up
• Vice president, board of directors Southside Fire/EMS/Security
• President, board of directors of Savannah Speech and Hearing & Sound Start
• Member, board of directors, Savannah Downtown Business Association
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: The Savannah River deepening will continue to be the primary focus of 2014. The challenge will be to move other goals forward while keeping our eye on getting our port ready for larger ships.
Q: By the year 2020?
A: We will need to start investing heavily in our roads, bridges, telecommunications and utilities. This will not be something that can wait till 2020, but hopefully we can see measurable results by then.
Q: By the year 2030?
A: I would hope we are a truly global environment with our next generation of leaders all being multilingual and having a solid grasp of differing cultures. We must start educating tomorrow’s workforce in the areas of language and culture.
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: The Insurance industry is somewhat archaic. However, our customers are highly educated. We will need to evolve and provide the answers and options that our customers require rather than the antiquated processes and procedures of our industry.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: Social media has drastically increased our ability to remove geographic boundaries. I look forward to embracing ways that connect us with our networks locally and globally while maintaining a strong esprit de corps of localism.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: The best thing Savannah can do is to embrace the influences of different cultures and learn from these various ideas.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: Anything related to the Port will be a growth area for Savannah. I really hope we experience a growth in manufacturing and production. The film and entertainment industries should continue to prosper. I also think we will see an influx of professional services.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: Anything related to international business, global services and hospitality will be in high demand.
However, I do not think college is the solution to all of our labor needs. Building a strong technical labor pool will provide higher paying jobs and attract more businesses to our area.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: A leader at a previous job once told me “focus on clients, employees and community and business will follow.” The same is true in all businesses and communities. If the focus is on what matters, success will follow.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: I hope future generations remember me based on a standard of dedication to family, community and friends.