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Generation Next: Marianne Ganem Poppell

Age: 36

Title: Marketing Director

Company: Johnnie Ganem Winery and Package shop

 

Top three accomplishments

• Store manager at New York & Company in Oglethorpe Mall. My management team and I started with a store that made a $1.2 million profit annually, built it to well over $2 million and greatly reduced the shrink.

We achieved this by phenomenal customer service and knowing our product. Using customer service really benefits companies all the way around. Dishonest people are less likely to shop with you if they know you really care.

On the flip side, honest customers will continue to come back and spend more when they know they are working with people that care.

• A large accomplishment for me has been tackling Johnnie Ganem’s social media over the last four years.

Being part of a 73-year-old business comes with a lot of benefits, however there are those trying times as well. When something has been successful for decades, trying to convince my counterparts (who happen to be family) something new is a good idea can be quite a task.

Our business is now on Facebook with almost 4,000 friends as well as Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.

We do monthly wine tastings for local charities, and social media has been great at getting information out about these events. Building the clients for the wine tastings is an accomplishment I am extremely proud of. To have the opportunity to work with so many amazing groups in our community and know we are able to help them continue their mission. We raise thousands of dollars a year for different local charities.

• Branding Johnnie Ganem’s, bringing the new in with the old. Redesigning our logo and creating swag for customers that gets our name out in the community. I am proud to work with most local charities to unite the business world with the nonprofit world. Marketing in ways our company has never done before.

 

Top awards/accolades

• Chairperson for the winning team of American Diabetes Association for 2014 Kiss a Pig Campaign, raising almost $80,000. Chairperson for the entire 2015 campaign.

• Entrepreneur business of the year, 2013, Downtown Business Association

• The 2014 “Ganem” Award presented to a person or business who does great philanthropy work in our community by the American Diabetes Association.

 

Current Philanthropic roles

• Membership vice president of the Savannah Jaycees, building leadership skills through community involvement.

• 2015 Chairperson for the 24th Annual Kiss a Pig Campaign for the American Diabetes Association.,

• Rebuilding Kicklighter Resource Center, a school that helps improve the quality of life for children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

 

Questions and answers

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

A: I will not stop learning. Although, we are all becoming more reliant on technology I will work hard to keep my business personal. I will not focus on the state of the economy, knowing I have great products and I work for my customer. I will grow our business with new products and branding. I will work with technology and its benefits but not let it take over.

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

A: Technology helps to find answers quicker than ever before. I like being able to deliver something special to my customer, technology helps this happen.

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

A: The success of local generational businesses and innovative tourism companies helps in the preservation. Savannah is a natural entertaining city, the beauty throughout and friendly people help distinguish this city.

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

A: Definitely construction and contractors

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

A: Communication, tourism, architectural, engineering. All of these are important to the growth and tourism industry in Savannah. With the new developments, architects will be needed to preserve our history, engineers are going to have to work hard to design a miracle for parking.

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

A: Do not stop learning, listen to the generation before you as well as the next generation. Know your community, give back, keep your goals in mind and do what it takes to get there. Do not take advice lightly or life to serious.

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

A: Bringing people, businesses, and charities together in our community. Serving Savannah “Spirits” for decades.

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