From Kirk Smith
GM/Chief Operating Officer
We are pleased to introduce Mr. James Sparks of Aiken, SC, as the new Chief Financial Officer for Savannah Lakes Village.
James has over 30 years of diverse executive management experience including financial, business operations, corporate legal liaison, marketing, and business development. He also has comprehensive understanding of business systems and practices supporting retail operations including point of sales, inventory control, product design, procurement, and manufacturing.
James started his career as a CPA at Elliott Davis, LLC where he worked extensively with real estate developers and contractors. He then moved on and became the Chief Financial Officer at the National Wild Turkey Federation where he served in that role for 17 years. While he was at the National Wild Turkey Federation, James led the internal process change on behalf of the executive management team resulting in an annual budget from $15 million to over $61 million and from 45 employees to over 270 employees.
James was our top candidate in the initial CFO search last summer, after the retirement of then long-term CFO Larry Dinkins. At that time, however, James was not able to commit to a full time position and our search continued.
After Steve Baughman (recent CFO) resigned in late February to be with his family in Atlanta, we reached out to James to see if his situation had changed. After many meetings regarding the new direction of SLV, growth projections, and top priorities for 2014 and beyond, we were pleased to find that James was committed, passionate about the challenge of our 2014 goals/short term objectives, and was personally a solid fit within our stated Operational Core Values.
James is excited about bringing his talents and experience to the Savannah Lakes Village Team. James commented, “I’m excited about the challenge of supporting the community’s new direction for attracting growth and supporting our leadership team to plan and prepare operations for meeting growth and financial targets.”
James will join our team on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Tentative plans are to formally introduce James Sparks and Tricia Benning (new chef already on the team) at the May 22 Town Hall meeting. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming these new members of Team SLV when you see them around the community.