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GenNext: Christy Edwards Q&A

Christy Edwards, 34

Executive Director, Horizons Savannah

Edwards has expanded Horizons service by more than 70 students at three sites. She won the Horizons National Leadership Award in 2015.

How will you do business differently this year or decade?

A large part of my job is fundraising. Crowdsourcing, social media and online fundraising have really changed the way non-profits have to position themselves to be at the forefront of people’s minds. I think this is a good change for small organizations like Horizons that may not be household names, but are doing incredible work locally and nationally.

What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to?

Technology is huge part of how we are educating children right now, but I am looking forward to a shift back to learning skills and crafts. It’s great if you can code, but even better to use code to solve problems, invent or design something.

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

Our coastal ecology, cultural and historical sites are a huge asset. Savannah and the surrounding coastal areas are like a big classroom where kids can learn about the world and about themselves.

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

I love seeing all the new small business and entrepreneurs that are giving it a go here. Our program offers middle school students the chance to design and market ideas. I see a new generation of entrepreneurs growing up right now!

What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the area? Why?

Regardless of whether you pursue a degree or what kind of degree you get, it’s more important to learn to communicate and work well with others. We are moving toward a work environment that relies on collaboration and teamwork no matter the industry.

What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders?

I would urge them to mentor others. I would not be successful if it weren’t for those that mentored and taught me. I have some incredible role models in my professional life and I try to do the same for others.

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

When I retire, I think the biggest compliment to my work would be for a Horizons graduate to take my job.

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