“...with success comes responsibility. It’s this idea that if you can help people, you’re doing the right thing,” said Greg. Hometown Living At Its Best 125 Interestingly enough, Greg said, “I was terrified of failure. Terrified of failing my family, and that became the catalyst. It came from a profound sense of insecurity.” Fear became his motivator, and as he worked and learned, Greg developed incredible skills. At the end of those three and a half years, all the things that had been so difficult in the beginning were now his strengths. “When I did that first store, I didn’t know anything about accounting. I learned, and then I became really good at it. Today, if we talk about metrics and numbers, it’s a strength of mine. I learned to be really metric centric. It’s one of the things that make us different as a company.” He often states, “If you can make it measurable, you can make it achievable.” Experience is an important part of any learning process, but according to Greg, it’s not enough. “Today, if I was giving young people advice, it would be, ‘Find a mentor. Find somebody you can learn from.’” The advice, guidance, skill development, support, knowledge sharing, and wisdom that a mentor can offer make them an invaluable resource. Those first few years in Midway made Greg recognize that in order to move forward, he would need a strong team. Today, his “band of warriors,” as he called them, is his proudest achievement. “My chief operating officer, Amy Lane, came to work with me when she was 15, and has worked with me for 35 years. My chief financial officer, Terri Heidmann, has been with me for 25 years. Brandon Hofman, my chief marketing officer, for 22. He came to work with me when he was 19. Chief information officer, Tee Hannigan, started with me in 1977. That’s 39 years. The continuity of experience with this team is extraordinary.” The year 2016 marked the 40th Anniversary of the Parker’s store in Midway. At present, Parker’s has 46 locations throughout Georgia and South Carolina. “Our goal this year was to build 17 stores in 13 months, and we’re ahead of schedule,” said Greg. One of the unique aspects of Parker’s is how each store is designed with the locale and its customers in mind. “When we opened that first store, my mother did the design. We had paneled walls, beautiful bathrooms, and beautiful carpet. From my very first store in 1976, we were differentiated. What we’ve done has gotten better and better. “Our goal is to be at a billion in sales in three years, and we’re ahead of all our targets. We’ve made the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing Parker’s new headquarters in downtown Savannah is housed in the Philbrick- Eastman House overlooking Chippewa Square.
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