J. Patrick Connell
Age as of Jan. 1: 38
Company: Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams
Savannah neighborhood: Isle of Hope
Q: What are your top three business growth accomplishments?
A: Acquiring new clients.
A: Keeping existing clients.
A: Helping my clients succeed.
Q: What are your top three business awards/accolades?
A: President of the Young Lawyers Division of the Savannah Bar Association, 2010-11 (Recognized as outstanding YLD affiliate in the State of Georgia that year).
A: Graduate of the Leadership Savannah Class of 2013-14
A: Recognized as a Rising Star by Atlanta Magazine and Super Lawyers every year since 2012
Q: What are your top three philanthropic leadership roles?
A: Co-chair of the Leadership Committee for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year Campaign for Savannah
A: Administrative BOrd of Habersham YMCA.
A: Frequent contributor of live music to numerous charitable and nonprofit organizations in Savannah.
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: Technological advances, both predictable and unpredictable, will continue to drive change in the legal profession and most others. What lawyers do has not changed much over the last few decades, but how we accomplish certain tasks has. Modern technology allows us to access information and communicate from almost anywhere. The amount of information we have access to and the ease with which we access it increase almost constantly. These trends will continue. I look forward to seeing what the next decade brings.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: I look forward to continued technological advances in medicine, from 3-D printing of biological materials and artificial limbs to DNA sequencing for detecting and treating cancer.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: Savannah has so many assets that contribute to the quality of the whole - the beauty and history of the city; the affinity for the arts, manifested in events like the music festival, the film festival, and Stopover; a coastal lifestyle; a leading port with tremendous opportunity for growth and expansion; two nationally recognized regional healthcare providers; numerous international, national, regional and local businesses that provide employment opportunities and generously give back to the community. I believe Savannah’s best days are ahead.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is at the top of the list, and it will drive growth in almost all other sectors. The need for logistics companies and warehouse space will increase, as will the need for motor and rail carriers.
New manufacturers should be incentivized to locate in Savannah due to increased infrastructure, availability of space and economies of scale. Of course, with this growth comes an increase in the employee base, and with the increase in the employee base comes the need for more housing, more services, education, entertainment, retail, etc.
The growth of the film industry in Savannah is also exciting. I hope it takes off as projected by some and provides an additional boost to tourism.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: The demand for logistics and business administration degrees should increase with the expansion of the port. Additionally, health-related careers are in demand, from nurse practitioners to physicians’ assistants to skilled technicians like sonographers and therapy assistants.
A growing population, advances in healthcare science and technology and increased access to health care all contribute to that demand.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: Come to the table with positive suggestions for change and openness to the ideas of others.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: World peace. (Thanks for the suggestion, Jason)