President's Welcome

On behalf of the Georgia Downtown Association (GDA) and its board of directors, I'd like to say welcome! 2022 will bring many new initiatives, offers and projects that are underway.  Through the challenges that 2020 & 2021 presented, Georgia’s downtowns have been strengthened, with encouragement and promotions of our communities, recognizing Georgia’s downtowns collectively as a statewide economic engine.  It’s a great responsibility to be charged with the task of revitalizing and sustaining continued growth for our downtown districts, and GDA provides the support needed to maintain healthy communities within our great State of Georgia.  

 I am humbled and honored to represent the City of Thomasville in my role of downtown development as the President of the Georgia Downtown Association.  Through my twelve years in city government, my time overseeing our Historic Downtown District has been the most rewarding.   Our roles in Main Street and Downtown Development are vital to the preservation and economic vitality of each of our communities, collectively impacting on a statewide level.  GDA provides the support that each community needs in order to maintain that vitality.  There are many past Presidents, Board of Directors and leaders who have paved the way for our success. 

GDA is a non-profit statewide organization that connects communities and professionals that are committed to downtown vitality and promoting the economic redevelopment of Georgia’s traditional downtowns. We provide accredited training programs for downtown development professionals, advocate for Georgia's downtowns, and educate private and public sectors on the economic benefits of a thriving downtown. GDA also hosts the annual Georgia Downtown Association Conference, offering top notch educational training and networking opportunities. We are excited for the strength of this year’s conference that will be held in Macon and invite you to attend.

The board is committed to work and grow our organization and will always welcome assistance from its members. The membership application, among other useful information, can also be found on our website. GDA membership gives access to professional development certification, networking, mentorship, achievement awards, public policy monitoring, and educational opportunities. A GDA membership is not just for our State’s downtown professionals, but also for City officials, corporations, students and vendors with a desire to see Georgia’s downtowns continued revitalization and stability.

As your president, I am committed to seeing each of Georgia’s downtown communities thrive. I look forward to continuing to work with exceptional downtown leaders across the state. Please feel free to contact me at or by phone at (229) 227-4181. I strongly encourage you to check out the rest of our website and learn how much the Georgia Downtown Association has to offer.  From each of our fifteen representatives from around the State of Georgia, serving as your Board of Directors, we are excited to see what we can accomplish this year and the impact we will make collectively on Georgia’s downtowns.   


April Norton
Managing Director of Marketing & Communications
City of Thomasville