Georgia Downtown Association

Georgia Downtown Association


President's Welcome

Over the past almost eight years, my work in Milledgeville’s Downtown Development has been supported, encouraged and enhanced greatly through my membership with the Georgia Downtown Association (GDA). I am incredibly excited to begin my term as President of GDA, succeeding the amazing leadership of our outgoing president, Amanda Glover. I must also thank Amanda for her encouragement, support and counsel. I’m sure I will be calling on her and others for advice during the coming year.

GDA is a wonderful Association that connects communities and professionals that are committed to downtown vitality. The Association achieves this through networking opportunities, a Mentoring Program, the Downtown Development Professional Certification Program, legislative updates and advocacy as they pertain to downtown and educational sessions at the annual Georgia Downtown Conference. 

In November 2017, the GDA Board of Directors had our planning retreat to set goals for 2018. We met and stayed at the gorgeous Chateau Elan Winery and Resort, so we could tour the property to help in planning our annual conference. The conference will be held on August 15-17, 2018. Each year at the conference, I’m inspired by all the people that work hard each day to make Georgia’s Downtowns strong and vibrant community centers. Go ahead and mark your calendar, because you won’t want to miss it!

During our annual retreat, we reviewed the accomplishments of 2017 and made plans for another successful year in 2018. We will continue our existing programs while adding enhancements, such as a check-in and evaluation of the mentor program, a refresh of our Professional Development Certification (exam date is May 16, 2018), growing our social media presence, streamlining the membership process and planning a fun and momentous annual conference. Assisting me in achieving these goals is a volunteer board and association members that choose to help in their specific areas of interest. We operate with four main Committees:
Internal Operations: Chair, Carlee Schulte, Milledgeville
  • Coordinates management of the association administration and oversees annual conference and awards.
Education/Training: Chair, Becky Smyth, Rome
  • Coordinates conference information and professional development opportunities.
Membership/Marketing: Chair, Adam Edge, Suwanee
  • Coordinates membership recruitment/development and networking opportunities.
Legislative: Chair, Amanda Glover, Bainbridge
  • Coordinates public policy efforts.
I encourage anyone that has an interest in Georgia Downtowns as a relevant and important economic driver to learn more about our association. If you are interested in becoming a member or volunteering your time on one of the committees, please contact the respective chair. The membership application, among other useful information, can be found on the Georgia Downtown Association’s website at GDA membership gives access to professional development opportunities, networking, mentorship, achievement awards, public policy monitoring and educational opportunities.

I’m looking forward to 2018 as the President of the Georgia Downtown Association and would like to get to know each member as well as those interested in the Association. Please feel free to contact me; my email address is I strong encourage you to view the website and learn how much the Georgia Downtown Association has to offer!

Carlee Schulte, Executive Director
Milledgeville Main Street/ Downtown Development Authority