By Sarah Pounders
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Tales from Savannah’s Remote Workers

Everyone loves Savannah.  Tourists, historians, beach goers and sand gnats – Savannah is well liked and loved.  The charm and pull of its walkable squares, laid back lifestyle and close proximity to the beach also make it a great place for people to call home.  As the tech world adopts distributed teams as the norm, more and more people can choose to live where they want.  And Savannah is a popular destinations for these ‘remote workers’.  Meet a couple of Savannah’s remote workers and hear why they love Savannah so much and how they make it work.

 

Name: Kevin Lawver

Title: CTO of Planted

What do you do??

I’m the CTO of Planted. We’re a hybrid recruiting platform that helps connect talent with startups and make the whole process of finding a job and hiring less painful for everyone. I spend my days solving problems, and helping the team be more efficient, happier, and better at what they do.

Why do you live in Savannah?

We moved here in 2008 for a job with a startup. We were ready for a new adventure, and moved here without doing a whole lot of research about Savannah or even coming down for a visit first. We figured we’d be here for a year or two and then move somewhere else. Little did we know…

We live here because we love Savannah. We not only live here, we explicitly chose to stay here when we could have left, because we couldn’t bear the thought of leaving. Savannah got its hooks into us with the beach, the food, the people, and all the opportunities to be a part of the community.

What do you like most about Savannah?

Savannah is the perfect-sized town for someone with a little bit of extra time, energy and an idea or two, to create a lot of trouble. It feels like the perfect mix of culture, community, energy and opportunities to make things better for us. We have tons of creative folks always looking to do something crazy, and there’s always some way to get involved.

What do you like best about remote working?

Just one thing? I don’t waste time commuting. Thinking through how much time and money I used to waste in the car, in traffic, trying to get to work, then parking, then all the other nonsense, it just seems silly. Now, I can work when I want, where I want, how I want. I’m more productive, more flexible, and can bake bread whenever I want, all while getting more done, because I’m wasting less time on things that don’t matter… like commuting.

 

Name: Laura Fulayter

Title: Sr. Technical Recruiter

What do you do??

I’m a Sr. Technical Recruiter for a national staffing firm. We work with multiple clients from start-ups to fortune 50. Our primary hubs are Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, San Francisco and TX, and I’m looking to add SAV/JAX/CHS to that list!

Why do you live in Savannah?  What do you like most about Savannah?  

I moved here from Minneapolis in October after travelling here in Feb 2017. I had always intended to move from MN, but could never decide on a place. Savannah immediately felt like home. I love to walk with a cup and see the architecture and trees in the city, and also hike and bike in the multiple parks and beaches within short drives. There is a fun quirk to Savannah that I am drawn to. I’m also fascinated by the number of, and support for, small businesses here, and can’t wait to contribute to that culture!

What do you like best about remote working?

Working remotely allows me to focus and structure my daily work as I need. There are fewer distractions and interruptions, so I get more done in less time. I can also get a change of scenery  when needed. I don’t have a commute time and can dive right into my day. In terms of what I do, I can add a new and fresh perspective from a regional point of view and diversify our client base, and talent pool. I always love to have more options for our Tech/Creative professionals when they are ready for their next venture in order to make the perfect win/win.

 

Name: Charles Gerrior

Title: Sales Engineer Manager at Recurly

What do you do??

I manage a team of sales engineers for Recurly, a SaaS company that provides a subscription billing platform used by over 2,000 companies including CBS, Twitch, and LootCrate.

Why do you live in Savannah?  What do you like most about Savannah?  

Because it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than San Francisco! My wife and I have family in Jacksonville, Charleston, and Chapel Hill, so it’s nice being closer to them as well. What drew me to Savannah was its sense of history, natural beauty, and slightly off-beat character.

What do you like best about remote working?

No commute, not having to wear headphones to listen to music, having my dogs around, and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

 

Name: Jennifer Campbell

Title: Virtual Math Teacher at Georgia Connections Academy

What do you do?  
I am a remote high school math teacher for a virtual school in Georgia. Our school serves students from all over the state of Georgia! The teachers and the students both work at their own homes and we “meet” online in a virtual classroom using chat pods and web cams. Most of the work is done asynchronously so students can work at their own pace. Teachers motivate and follow them grading their work, sending emails and calling the students and the parents regularly.
 
Why do you live in Savannah?  What do you like most about Savannah?  
 
I grew up on Long Island in NY. I moved to Atlanta in 2009 and fell in love with the laid back feel of the south, but didn’t like being “land-locked.” I asked my virtual school if they would be okay with me moving to Savannah and they said sure! Savannah is so full of fun and variety. You have the beach life on Tybee and the city life downtown. There are festivals and things to do every weekend! There are so many awesome places that are also only a day-trip away. It’s the best place to be!
 
What do you like best about remote working?  
 
The one thing that I love most about remote working is that I feel like I am paid for my productivity instead of my “seat time.” When I am efficient and finish my work early, I can enjoy a few hours off without falling behind. I do like that we meet in person from time to time as well. I think this is important to foster collaboration and get to know the people you are working with. All in all, working remotely provides such flexibility that you will not find anywhere else. You need to be self-motivated and have strong time management skills, but if you can do that there’s no better job then a remote job! You get to do what you love while still enjoying life!
 

Name: Eric Shaumburg

Title: Founder of Eventrio and 7pt5 Design

What do you do?  

I am the founder of Eventrio which in short is the Amazon for large tradeshows and events, with the goal of creating a frictionless event ecosystem. If you’ve ever been to a tradeshow, you probably remember how expensive they are and the stacks of paper order forms. We’ve built a  platform that helps organizers become the single marketplace for everything their exhibitors and sponsors need. Having worked with small association events to large like CONEXPO, or corporate events like DXC.Technology, we’ve found the most traction as a sales tool to help with sponsorships, using analytics to help determine best opportunities and return on investment.
I’ve also started a small design, dev & advisory firm called 7pt5 by applying a formulaic approach to everything I wished I’d known while raising and bringing a product to market. 7pt5 focuses on helping early stage tech startups raise capital, develop MVPs, and communicate their message effectively.
 Why do you live in Savannah?  What do you like most about Savannah?  
I’m originally from KC and started Eventrio in the basement of the first Google Fiber House in what’s known as the “Startup Village.” KC is OK, but it’s a city wanting to be something it just never is going to be. I moved away to DC for a bit and came back at the same time my now girlfriend was moving to KC from NYC. After spending a year together in KC, we both missed the excitement of the bigger cities, but were also still kind of worn out by them, so we bonded over a need to experience different cities & countries. So now we live in Airbnb’s and have spent time in St. Louis, Nashville, Asheville, and now Savannah. It’s our favorite so far, and we’re thinking of getting a place here, after we experience Europe. What I love most about it is it has a vacation beach town vibe with the practical necessities for everyday life. I also love the architecture, the trees and the nightlife. I also love the idea of getting a to-go beer and being able to walk around by the water – that would never happen in a place like KC. We’ve met some really cool people here, and the neat thing is most aren’t native. People come here because they want to be here, not because of some cyclical self-convincing. Like working remotely, it’s all about creating value…Savannah has a lot of value. I think we’ll see more entrepreneurs head this way.

What do you like best about remote working?  
I have that underlying feeling of freedom to work when I’m most inspired. Some parts of the day I’m highly analytical, other times really creative. Working remotely has afforded me the opportunity to get to know my inner-workings and become a results-oriented creator instead of trying to appear busy. I usually stay up until 4am (when the world feels like it’s sleeping and everything’s quiet) and I get up around 10am. I have a team in Paris so it’s great to be able to be on the same page as them. If I worked for someone in an office, my productivity would be shot if I stayed up that late.
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