Certified Downtown Professional Certification

Georgia Downtown Association Georgia Downtown Association Georgia Downtown Association
The Georgia Downtown Association's professional development program is designed to elevate the practice of community and economic development in downtown districts thereby providing a higher level of service and improving the quality of life for all of Georgia's communities and citizens.

Benefits
  • Provides a system of progressive, structured improvement in professional practice and receive peer recognition for distinct levels of achievement.
  • Provides evidence of the employee's professional growth.
  • Increased level of expertise that a successful, long-term professional brings to the dynamic challenges of downtown development.
 

Level 1

Downtown Development Authority Law

This class is designed to provide understanding to the downtown development professional on the creation of DDA’s, the relationship between DDA’s the local government, geographic and functional boundaries of the DDA, organizational and operational structure of the DDA, along with the ethical and legal implications of such.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the type of DDA they have and where to find their unique powers and limitations.
  • Define the qualifications for board members of the DDA and ensure that the authority’s board of directors is properly constituted.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the powers of the DDA.
  • Explain what constitutes a meeting under Georgia’s Open Meetings law and what constitutes a record under Georgia’s Open Records law and indicate the steps necessary to comply.

Downtown Preservation & Design

This class will help the downtown development professional gain a working knowledge of historic preservation objectives and benefits; basic methodology and best management practices; and tools utilized for guiding context-based decisions.

Learning Objectives

  • Offer effective support to a local preservation program and influence context-based design decisions in multiple arenas.
  • Discern when and where to secure professional preservation advice and resources.
  • Recognize opportunities and methods to leverage design decisions into economic development successes.

Role of a Downtown Professional

This class will provide an overview of the downtown professional role and help empower downtown development professionals to gain objective and credible recognitions for their dedication and knowledge.  It will delve into how to provide a program with clear expectations, a high level of partner confidence and credibility among elected officials and local leaders.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify important information to understand current conditions of downtown development in your community.
  • Recognize key relationships to build for success in downtown development.
  • List common responsibilities, structures, and philosophies of downtown economic development programs.

Fundamentals of Organizational Development and Management

The purpose of this class is to provide a high-level overview of the foundational components that make up good organizational development by providing downtown development professionals with an understanding of the value of each component and the role it plays in good organizational practices.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the essential elements of an organization's foundation.
  • Discuss the value each of these elements plays in their organization's success.

Funding, Resources, & Tools I

This class will provide downtown development professionals with a working knowledge of the powers and programs available to either facilitate development by the authority or to incentivize development by the private sector.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the difference between community-facilitated development and community-initiated development and when each is appropriate.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the funding sources available to DDA's to support or initiate development in their downtown.
  • Identify resources available through the DDA to incentivize development by private parties in their downtown district.
  • Appraise potential downtown development projects and determine what resources may be available to assist such projects.

Event Planning, Implementation, & Marketing

This class will provide attendees an overview of the benefits of various types of events; how to effectively plan events and use social media to market downtown; and understand the economic impact of events in downtowns while learning from practitioners with real life examples.

Learning Objectives

  • Summarize the tools to effectively plan and market events in downtowns.
  • List data to tract to determine success of downtown events.

Ethics & Inclusive Programming

This class will examine the importance of ethical conduct in the administration of downtown development professional public duties and discuss ethical dilemmas that often confront them.  It will provide participants with the knowledge, understanding, and skills to communicate and cooperate effectively across cultural barriers as well as build programming that is inclusive to everyone in a community.

Learning Objectives

  • Critique common ethical dilemmas and distinguish alternative courses of action.
  • Recognize the need for ethical judgement.
  • Articulate the importance and benefits of inclusive programs for downtowns.

Planning and Land Use for Downtowns

The purpose of this class is to acquaint downtown development professionals with Georgia's comprehensive planning requirement and the basics of zoning ordinances.  Downtown professionals will be able to participate in the city's planning process, insure downtown has appropriate zoning, and focus on implementing the comprehensive plan for downtown.

Learning Objectives

  • List the elements of a comprehensive plan in Georgia.
  • Explain what zoning regulates and the process to change local zoning code.
  • Describe how comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances impact downtown development.

Partnerships & Community Engagement Purpose

This class aims to teach downtown development professionals the value of partnerships, empower them to identify gaps in support, and illustrate how by working together with the board and local government can grow impactful community engagement.  By the end of this session, downtown development professionals will have the skills to build partnerships, grow relationships, and lead confidently, with the understanding that together, we can accomplish more than we can alone.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify current partners and opportunities for additional collaborations.
  • Construct a programmatic report which can be used to advocate for the local downtown program.
  • Select an elected official who could serve on your board in an official or unofficial capacity.
  • Formulate a "bench" to support the manager in specific initiatives, projects, or programs.

Level 2

Effective Communication & Public Speaking

This class will demonstrate how to maintain positive workplace relationships by improving specific interpersonal, group, and organizational communication skills. Practical and interactive exercises will provide the opportunity to reflect on their communication skills and become more effective communicators at work. Downtown development professionals will learn how to better convey their messages when speaking to groups and presenting ideas, concepts, projects, recommendations and reports. Participants will gain skills in developing presentation content, and delivering an effective presentation.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain communication models and where common mistakes in communication occur.
  • Recognize the modes of communication and their impact on effective communication.
  • Outline steps for effective public speaking.
  • Describe tips and tricks for impactful PowerPoint presentations. 

​Funding, Resources, & Tools II

This class will provide downtown development professionals with an in-depth understanding of how to use funding, resources, and tools for a variety of development projects.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the difference between community-facilitated development and community-initiated development and when each is appropriate.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the funding sources available to DDA's to support or initiate development in their downtown.
  • Identify resources available through the DDA to incentivize development by private parties in their downtown district.
  • Appraise potential downtown development projects and determine what resources may be available to assist such projects.

Business Development & Support

This class will facilitate a deeper understanding of how market analysis can be used to enhance business development, identify critical components of a business plan for greatest success, and how to guide perspective entrepreneurs to community and regional resources.

Learning Objectives

  • Interpret and analyze market data to guide business owners in their decision process.
  • Outline the steps necessary to aid the entrepreneur in the startup process.
  • Identify community and regional resources and the roles necessary in business development.

Strategic and Master Planning

Downtown development professionals will learn a system for establishing a common direction for their organization to help guide future activity.  This class will introduce the principles and methods of strategic planning for downtown development authorities and master planning for downtown districts.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the differences between strategic and master planning.
  • Explain roles of leadership in organizational planning.
  • Detail the benefits of strategic and master planning for downtowns.
  • Identify mission, vision, goals and objectives.
  • List categories for master planning.

Real Estate Development & Fiance

This class will demonstrate and discuss the types of downtown development projects and best practices for anticipating and overcoming barriers that may occur in these projects.  Downtown development professionals will become equipped to facilitate economic development projects from start to finish.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the development process.
  • Analyze an economic development project to assess where it is in the process and identify next steps.
  • Recognize the valuable role of the downtown professional in the development process.

Upcoming Courses

Atlanta

June 17 & 18, 2024

Day One
Event Planning, Implementation & Marketing
Planning & Land Use for Downtowns

​Day Two
Funding, Resources, & Tools I
Ethics & Inclusive Programming

$250 per class
Registration link:  https://bit.ly/3wFU2xj
https://www.gacities.com/Legal-Disclaimer

Hotel Info:
https://bit.ly/4aNizQv
Click on the Book Now and then add dates, GMA rates come up.  Once dates are in click on Search button. 
Rates are $149.00 per night.  The rooms have a one-night deposit on them due by May 17, 2024.
The remainder of room, tax and $5 fee will be charged to card 72 hours in advance of arrival.  There is a 72-hour cancellation penalty on all reservations.  Parking is $33.00 per car, per night - valet only.
 

Thomasville

August 26, 2024

Day One
Business Development and Support
Strategic and Master Planning  

$250 per class
Registration & lodging information coming soon!
https://www.gacities.com/Legal-Disclaimer

Canton

November 12 & 13, 2024

Day One
Ethics & Inclusive Programming
Planning & Land Use for Downtowns

Day Two
Fundamentals of Organizational Development & Management
Effective Communication & Public Speaking

$250 per class
Registration link:  https://bit.ly/49QgNgK
https://www.gacities.com/Legal-Disclaimer

Hotel:
Fairfield Inn & Suites Canton Riverston Parkway, 120 Reinhardt College Pkwy, Canton, GA 30114
TownePlace Suites Canton Riverstone Parkway, 120 Reinhardt College Pkwy, Canton, GA 30114

 

Tybee Island

February 18 & 19, 2025

Day One
Strategic and Master Planning 
Partnerships & Community Engagement Purpose 

Day Two
Real Estate Development & Finance
Funding, Resources, and Tools II

$250 per class
Registration link:  https://bit.ly/3v9JQwy
https://www.gacities.com/Legeal-Disclaimer

Hotel:
COMING SOON