60 Seconds With Scott Tigchelaar

by Clay Neely


Scott Tigchelaar, President, Riverwood Studios Inc.

What has been your basic approach to conducting business throughout the years? Do you have a basic philosophy?

When we look at any opportunity, we try to first determine the highest and best use by asking ourselves, "What would be the coolest thing we could accomplish here with no limitations, no budget restrictions, and nothing standing in the way of the greatest possible end result?" Then we try to reverse-engineer it from there. Sometimes you have to back off a few of the “nice to have” features, but in the end I think you start with an unimpeded level of creativity that you wouldn't otherwise get to if you restricted yourself at the beginning of the process.

To date, what accomplishment are you most particularly proud of?

In terms of business accomplishments, I think I'm most proud to be part of the redevelopment of Senoia. It's such a rare opportunity to work on a project like this. It's brought the community together, it's inspired others to invest here, and it's reinvigorated a town that was almost dead commercially. Most importantly, it's helped to make Senoia a pretty cool place to live and work. How many things in life can you say that about?

What's one of the biggest business lessons you've learned over the years?

One of the biggest business lessons I've learned is that it's more important to go the extra mile and do a project right than to focus all your attention on the bottom line. You certainly can't ignore the bottom line, but it's not something that should come at the expense of quality. Everything else out there is “vanilla,” and vanilla happens when people strip all the quality out of a project in order to maximize profit. I believe those kinds of returns are short-lived. Senoia's been here for 150 years, and I think it will be here for 150 more because of quality of the improvements we're making.

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