What are The Development Sessions?

The Development Sessions is a multi-platform information program that focuses on hot topics and best practices in Community and Economic Development

It is designed to provide municipal economic and community development professionals with the most current information, tools, professional insight, and resources available to augment economic development efforts and initiatives through departmental collaboration.
 

By merging the skill sets of a municipality’s economic and community development professionals and their processes, downtown development can be streamlined and approached more aggressively. 

The 2021 Development Sessions

Session 1: Regulating for Productive & Inclusive Communities

This session focuses on how to improve your codes and ordinances for a more proactive approach to development. Our panelist of expert practitioners will share with you their trade secrets.
Host: Mayor Matt Seale, City of Ocilla
Panelists:
Nick Johnson, Senior Planner, Georgia Conservancy
Eric Kronberg, Principal, Kronberg Urbanists 
Ashley Youmans , Assistant to the City Manager, and Tina Garver, Community Development Director, City of Powder Springs. 

Session 2: The State of Rural Broadband in Georgia

This session provides an in depth discussion on rural broadband's past, present, and future in Georgia.
Host: Mayor Matt Seale, City of Ocilla
Panelists:
Bill Price, Strategist, Georgia Technology Authority
Larry Hanson, Executive Director, Georgia Municipal Association
Deana Perry, Executive Director of Broadband,
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Mayor Steve Ledbetter, City of Woodbury 

Session 3: Creating Spaces for Artists and Arts Organizations in Your Community

This session focuses on Placemaking initiatives relative to artists and arts organizations. We are excited to be partnering with ArtSpace to have a discussion on best practices for creating, fostering, and preserving affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations.
Panelists:
Teri Deaver - Vice President, Artspace Consulting
Aneesha Marwah - Project Manager, Artspace Consulting.

Session 4: Development Incentives - How to Determine a Project's Value to Your Community

The session provides information about Development Incentives, ROI, and Determining a Project’s Value to Your Community.
Presenter: James S. (Jim) Lovett, EDFP, Georgia Power Region Community & Economic Development Manager.

Session 5: Enhancing Development Efforts with Creative Transportation Projects

This session is a discussion on innovative ways to enhance a community's development efforts through transportation project.
Host: Mayor Matt Seale, City of Occilla, GA
Panelists:
Jennifer Scott, Town Manager & Clerk, City of Braselton, GA
SueAnne Decker, P.E., District Preconstruction Engineer, Georgia Department of Transportation
Andrew Parker, P.E., Public Works Director, City of Dalton, GA 

Session 6: The Development Sessions: New Market Tax Credits Part 3

This session is a presentation on New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) and potential project funding for Georgia Cities.
Presenter: Randy Griffin, President of Georgia Community Reinvestment Fund (GCRF).

Session 7: The Development Sessions: Best Practices & Success Stories: Georgia Historic Theatres

This session is an in-depth discussion about Fox Theatre Institute's dynamic outreach program offering historic preservation and operations expertise, consultation, and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the region.
Presenter: Leigh Burns, Director, Fox Theatre Institute.

Session 8: The Development Sessions - American Rescue Plan Act Assistance for Small Businesses

This session is a presentation on Invest Atlanta's program model that utilizes ARPA funds to provide assistance to Atlanta's small businesses.
Presenter: Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta.

The 2020 Development Sessions

Session 1: Expanding Outdoor Dining 

This session is a presentation about creative ways to provide expanded outdoor dining for downtown restaurants. Conversation will include ordinance revisions and how the public and private sectors can band together to boost economic potential.
Presenter: Margaret Woodard, Executive Director of the Augusta Downtown Development Authority. 


Session 2: Temporary City Ordinances for Long-term Business and Community Development

This session is a presentation about implementing temporary city ordinances and programs that assist business and community development efforts during an economic crisis. 
Presenter: Courtney Harcourt, Main Street Manager from the City of Newnan 

Session 3: New Market Tax Credits and Georgia Cities

This session is a presentation on New Market Tax Credits (NMTC). And how GCRF plans to target the next allocation round of NMTC’s to assist low income areas of Georgia.
Presenter: Randy Griffin, President of Georgia Community Reinvestment Fund (GCRF)
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION


Session 4: New Market Tax Credits in Georgia, Part 2

This session is an extended presentation on New Market Tax Credits (NMTC). 
Presenter: Randy Griffin, President of Georgia Community Reinvestment Fund (GCRF)

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION


Session 5: Redevelopment of Malls, Power Plants, and other Large Spaces

This session is a discussion on innovative approaches to redeveloping large vacant spaces. 
Hosted by: Mayor Matt Seale, City of Ocilla and creator of the Small Town Podcast. 
Panelists:
Matthew Thomas, Economic Development Manager, City of Alpharetta
Kate Hogan, Director of Economic Development, City of Centerville
Christian Sottile, Principal of Sottile & Sottile.


Session 6: The Nuts and Bolts of Hotel Motel Tax in Georgia

This session is a presentation on the hotel-motel excise tax in Georgia. 
Presenter: Tyler ReTyler Reinagel, Director of the Office of Planning and Research at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION


Session 7: Workforce and Senior Housing in your Community

This session is a discussion about best practices to develop workforce and senior housing in your community.
Hosted by: Mayor Matt Seale, City of Ocilla and creator of the Small Town Podcast. 
Panelists:
Phillip Searles - President of The Beverly J. Searles Foundation.
Sarah-Elizabeth Langford and Cassius S. Coleman- Five Points Development


Session 8: Placemaking in Public Spaces

This session is a discussion about some best placemaking practices that are successfully being implemented in Georgia communities.
Hosted by: Mayor Matt Seale, City of Ocilla and creator of the Small Town Podcast. 
Panelists: Adam Williamson, TSW Design
April Norton, Main Street and Business Development Director, City of Thomasville
Courtney Harcourt, Main Street Manager, City of Newnan

The 2019 Development Sessions

Session 1: Creating A Buzz in your Downtown with Breweries and Distilleries

This session focuses on the economic potential and recruitment process of downtown breweries and distilleries. With the passing of SB 85, the craft alcohol industry in Georgia can now sell their products (with some limitations) at their production sites. 
Host: The Beer Guys Podcast Radio
Panelists: 
Keri Stephens, City Planner, City of Avondale Estates
Nathan McGarity and Tyler Lamm, Oconee Brewing Company
Mayor Mike Eason, City of Dawsonville
Cheryl Wood and Bullet Bob, Dawsoneville Distillery
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Session 2: Federal Opportunity Zones in Georgia

This session will introduce you to the wonderful world of Federal Opportunity Zones.
Presenter: Holly Hunt, Program Manager SSBCI and GARJA Georgia Department of Community Affairs.




Session 3: Romancing Downtown Developers

This session focuses on cultivating relationships with Downtown Developers. Downtown professionals are charged with finding development partners that have the skills and resources to assist municipalities with their downtown master plans and vision. Whether they develop one building, an entire block, or a large portion of a master plan, downtown developers are crucial partners in downtown revitalization.
Host: Mayor Matt Seale, City of Ocilla
Panelists:
Monica Callahan, Community Development Director, City of Madison
Hasco Craver, Assistant City Manager, City of Newnan
Sadie Krawczyk, Economic Development Director, City of Monroe

 

Let’s Make a Deal: Crafting Incentives and Financing Your Downtown Vision (AICP and Downtown Development Professional credit)

This classroom session will provide participants with a deep dive examination about how to leverage the powers of downtown development authorities and create sustainable development incentives. Incentives denote an array of benefits designed to promote new business activity or to encourage business or job retention. These benefits principally encompass tax and economic incentives provided by federal, state or local governmental bodies. This session will focus on available downtown incentives in Georgia but will also introduce the art of crafting a development deal or development agreement that compliments the overall vision of a municipality’s downtown revitalization objectives.
Presenters:
Stephanie Aylworth-Russell, Economic Development Manager, GMA
Sadie Krawczyk, Economic Development Director, City of Monroe
PRESENTATION
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Laying a foundation for Downtown Development: Planning and Zoning Do’s and Don’ts (AICP and Downtown Development Professional credit)

This classroom session will provide participants with examples of effective planning and zoning practices to maximize downtown development potential and opportunities. Planning and zoning professionals, commissioners, and board members are qualified to act on measures affecting local land use decisions as it relates to planning and regulation. They are charged with enabling high quality, sustainable and equitable growth and development. This session will focus on how Development professionals can effectively and efficiently participate in downtown development, provide examples of best practices, and facilitate discussion about augmenting the development process on a municipal level.
Presenters: Katherine Moore, President and Nick Johnson, Senior Planner, Georgia Conservancy
PRESENTATION
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