Nicholas E. Puhala
Age as of Jan. 1: 36
Title: Vice President and Savannah Market Leader
Company: USI Insurance Services
Savannah neighborhood: Mayfair
Q: What are your top three business growth accomplishments?
A: Achieving double digit annual growth while managing the CBU Southeast Unit for Willis.
A: Achieving double digit annual growth while managing Willis Savannah in 2014.
A: Achieving first-year double digit annualized growth while managing USI Savannah in 2015.
Q: What are your top three business awards/accolades?
A: Leadership Savannah
A: Leadership Southeast Georgia
A: Certified insurance counselor
Q: What are your top three philanthropic leadership roles?
A: 2014 President Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Savannah
A: Past committee chairman, Disability Services at Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf
A: Eucharistic minister, St. James Catholic Church
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: The level of sophistication that buyers of insurance are looking for in their broker continue to increase. I look forward to using the new and advanced tools of USI to help our clients continue to more effectively manage risk.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: I’m extremely interested to see the way 3-D printing will revolutionize our everyday life.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: The SHEP project completion and continued growth of the Georgia Ports Authority will continue to drive the area’s economic growth more than any other single entity.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: In addition to the GPA, the tax incentives for the film industry in Georgia have that industry poised for significant growth over the next decade.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: The greatest demand in the coming years will be in the technical college and trade certification space as the demand for skilled labor continues to skyrocket.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: I would encourage other Savannah leaders to think more regionally and globally and less on what’s right around them.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: It is my hope that the process our firm goes through when providing risk management and employee benefit solutions will forever change the way businesses go about choosing their insurance broker.