Vernon Donovan, 34
Agent/Owner, Vernon Donovan State Farm Insurance
Donovan started his own company and now has 1,500 clients. He is vice president of Kappa Alpha Psi and leads men’s ministry and finance chair at West Broad Street Seventh Day Adventist Church.
How will you do business differently this year or decade?
I will attempt to streamline processes in my business that would provide more convenience for my clients by using technology, yet still maintain my roots of knocking on doors and finding the needs of people.
What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to?
Effectiveness and efficiency are the pillars of doing business today. I do my best to communicate with my clients with their preferred method of communication. I have clients that still appreciate handwritten letters and phone calls which we will continue, while on the other hand I have clients that prefer using text messaging, emails and web conferences to communicate.
What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve or advance our local economy?
Preserving our past and embracing our future is the key to distinguishing Savannah’s local economy.
What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade? Why? Savannah is a hub for logistics, with the expansion of the airport, the ports and highway infrastructure.
What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the area? Why?
Logistics and operations management will be the most in-demand degrees in the Savannah area. Warehousing and port operations are expanding and will assist with community development.
What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders?
Embrace the heritage of all people, because all people deserve to be respected. Understanding cultures without prejudice and fear will assist our leaders in building trust and commitment to drive new initiates.
What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
Entrepreneurship center at Savannah State University (ACE Center) is a program that I assisted in developing that allows students the opportunity to promote their business ideas and find local investors to provide guidance and financial backing.