Mentoring Program

In order to understand the complexity of a comprehensive downtown development program, new downtown professionals need quality information regarding the common practices, rules, regulations, expectations, values and core beliefs of Georgia’s successful downtown programs. The GDA Professional Mentoring Program provides a peer-to-peer mentoring opportunity designed to support newly engaged downtown professionals.

Since 2013, seasoned managers across the state have helped over 35 new downtown professionals navigate the field, grow their careers, and reach achievements for their respective communities.  

The goal of the Mentoring Program is to help those new to the field become successful members of Georgia’s downtown development team by:
  • Providing a positive and successful introduction / occupational transition for new professionals.
  • Promoting the professional well-being of new professionals.
  • Providing ongoing guidance, support, and reinforcement to new professionals through an organized, well-defined program.
  • Promoting excellence in management to improve Georgia’s downtowns.
  • Building awareness of the culture of the profession.
  • Increasing mutual respect and collaboration among professionals.
  • Increasing retention of new professionals.
I absolutely loved my mentee experience. I feel like I found an instant friend and someone who really understood my daily work life, which is sometimes hard to explain. I am in a unique position, and I feel my mentor really helped boost my confidence and helped me learn to find my own voice. I felt like I was heard and understood and that was so great. No question was too big or too small for my mentor.   Danyelle Rus, Hometown Warrenton
Serving as a mentor has been a very rewarding experience.  I think sometimes the line of who is mentor and who is mentee gets blurred because we learn so much from each other.  I have also enjoyed stepping outside of my own city limits and getting to learn about new communities through this process – it is a lot of fun to see the different projects and efforts going on in the region.  Lillie Read, Downtown Cartersville
Serving as a mentor allowed me the opportunity to share the knowledge that I have gained through my years working with the Main Street program.  We shared experiences, lessons learned and expectations and I believe we both benefited from participating in the program.  One article I read summed up mentoring as a gift that keeps on giving for both the mentor and the mentee.  Denise McKay, Hiawassee

Over the past year I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the mentor/mentee program through GDA. Being relatively new to downtown development, it was great to meet those that were also new as well as mor experience professionals. It’s an opportunity to learn from colleagues that understand similar challenges and can share in your triumphs.  Alicia Hartley, City of Perry
The GDA Mentor/Mentee program was insightful and beneficial for my overall growth as a downtown professional. Having the opportunity to see first-hand the challenges that another community has faced, and the solutions that have been implemented is invaluable. I highly recommend the GDA Mentor/Mentee program to anyone that is interested.  Taylor Smith, City of Thomaston

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