Age as of January 1, 2016: 25
Company: Starlandia Creative Supply
Savannah neighborhood: Starland Arts District
Q: What are your top three business growth accomplishments:
A: Growing the First Friday Art March into a nationally recognized community festival reaching more than 1,000 participants every month.
A: Doubling Art Rise Savannah’s community investments year over year since 2013 with strong strategies in place for continued growth.
A: Developing a for-profit mechanism for re-energizing used art supplies to save more than $60,000 of products from the landfill.
Q: What are your top three business awards/accolades:
A: Graduate of the Georgia Center for Non-Profits MOMENTUM Program funded by the Georgia Council for the Arts
A: Winner of Connect Savannah’s Best Art Show in 2014 and 2015
A: Securing city of Savannah funding for the First Friday Art March
Q: What is your top philanthropic leadership role:
A: Executive director at Art Rise Savannah
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: I’ve been calling 2016 the “Second Season” of Art Rise Savannah. Numerous reasons go into that. One of the largest is simply how I have matured as a leader, business owner and creative thinker. My goals that I tend to categorize as “impossible” are quickly losing that title, and I have an effervescent desire to think bigger, better and more future-oriented.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: I don’t like driving. I don’t own a car and instead use a bike for 90 percent of my personal transit. The other 10 percent is the CAT bus. As such, I’m simply over the moon about autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars and, eventually, a complete transition toward smart, networked traffic.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: The Port, the Plan, the People. By these I mean the Savannah Port and its continued growth, especially in light of a transportation revolution that will turn the GPA on its head if they’re not ready. The Oglethorpe Plan – using it as the basis for continued downtown growth, walkability and urban living. And the People. We need to attract and keep hard-hitting individuals … to get out a hammer and nail and construct an inspired reality we can all live in.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: Transportation and Machine Learning. Machine learning is key to the cambrian explosion of next generation software and intelligent consumer products, including self-driving cars and trucks. The concept of cars as something you own will transition into a service that you use. Take a look at the explosive valuations of UBER and similar sharing services. It’s not going to be any specific sector that grows, it’s the business model that’s important.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: They won’t. Degrees are overvalued, and the market cannot sustain them. College induced debt will be one of our biggest challenges as a nation for the next couple of decades, and we’ll see the effects here in Savannah. Additionally, lots of college jobs that were thought to be untouchable by automation are going to disappear.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: Think long-term. And don’t think linearly. The world is exponentially moving up and down and east and west. Population, food production, memory storage, processing speed, solar energy, even the price of a lab-grown hamburger can all be graphed logarithmically. To think that the next ten years will move like the past ten years is not really thinking … it’s reacting.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: I haven’t gotten to that innovation yet.