Georgia Downtown Association

Georgia Downtown Association


President's Welcome

It’s great being part of a team!

 As we all know, it’s a great responsibility to be charged with the task of revitalizing and sustaining continued growth for your downtown district. Hello, I’m Becky Smyth and over the past eleven years, my work in Downtown Rome has been supported, encouraged, and enhanced greatly through my membership with the Georgia Downtown Association (GDA). I am very excited to begin my term as President of GDA, succeeding the amazing leadership of our outgoing president Carlee Schulte, Executive Director of Milledgeville Main Street/ Downtown Development Authority.  Carlee’s support and counsel has been amazing and I’m sure I will be calling on her and many 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. 
The GDA leadership team met and stayed at the gorgeous Westin at Jekyll Island, so we could tour the property to help in planning our annual conference. We believe it to be one of our best planning sessions to date, and we are excited to be able to bring you training and information that will truly be an asset in your everyday efforts to showcase your wonderful downtown districts.  The conference will be held on August 28-30, 2019.  Go ahead and mark your calendar, because you won’t want to miss it!
During our annual retreat, we reviewed the accomplishments of 2018 and made plans for another successful year in 2019. As in the past, the board will continue to grow our organization and will always welcome help in the following area from its members.  In 2019, we plan to increase our focus in the areas of growing our social media presence, streamlining the membership process, planning a fun and momentous annual conference, and the refreshing of our Professional Development Certification (exam date is May 16, 2019). Assisting me in achieving these goals are a volunteer board and association members that choose to help in their specific areas of interest and expertise. 
We operate with four main Committees:
Internal Operations: Chair, Becky Smyth, Rome
  • Coordinates management of the association administration and oversees annual conference and awards.
  • Create new and fortify exiting association relationships
Education/Training: Chair, Adam Edge, Suwanee
  • Coordinates conference information, professional development opportunities and networking opportunities.
  • Support growth of  the Professional Mentoring Program
Membership/Marketing: Chair, Tara Bradshaw, Dublin
  • Coordinates membership recruitment and association branding efforts through social media outlets
Legislative: Chair, Carlee Schulte, Milledgeville
  • Coordinates public policy efforts.
City Managers, Clerks, Planners and Tourism departments  or 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, and public policy monitoring and educational opportunities.

I’m looking forward to 2019 as the President of the Georgia Downtown Association and look forward to getting to know each current member, as well as those interested in the Association. Please feel free to contact me at I strongly encourage you to view the website and learn how much the Georgia Downtown Association has to offer!

Becky Smyth, Parking Services Manager
City of Rome/Downtown Development Authority