Government Affairs Task Force

The Council for Quality Growth’s Government Affairs Task Force, which is established by the Council’s Board of Directors, is charged with forming the Council’s Legislative Agenda, as well as directing the Council and providing input on legislation before the Georgia General Assembly.

Members of the 2017 Government Affairs Task Force
  • Steve Labovitz – Chairman, Legislative Task Force, Partner, Dentons
  • Marian Adeimy, Attorney, Andersen, Tate & Carr
  • Jeremy Becker, Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Josh Belinfante, Partner, Robbins, Ross, Alloy, Belinfante, Littlefield
  • Laurel David, Partner, The Galloway Law Group
  • Doug Dillard, Partner, Pursley Friese Torgrimso
  • Lee C. Duncan, Developer
  • Ashley Groome, Senior Vice-President of State Government Relations, McGuire Woods Consulting
  • Ann Hanlon, Executive Director of the North Fulton Community Improvement District
  • Andy Macke, Comcast Vice-President of Government & Community Affairs
  • Lawrence E. Liebross, CEO Parkside Properties
  • Tim Lowe, 2015 Chairman, Council for Quality Growth, President, Lowe Project Management
  • Josh Mackey, Vice President of Government Relations, FrogueClark, LLC
  • Paul Michael, Atlanta Director of Entitlements, Meritage Homes
  • Gerald Pouncey, Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin
  • Tracy RathboneExecutive Director, Town Center Community Improvement District (TCCID)
  • Harold Reheis, Executive Vice-President, Joe Tanner & Associates
  • Malaika Rivers, Executive Director, Cumberland CID
  • Forrest Robinson, CEO, Robinson Weeks Partners
  • Scott Selig, Vice-President, Selig Enterprise
  • Ellen Smith, Partner, Holt Ney Zatcoff & Wasserman (Holt Ney), LLP
  • Michael “Sully” Sullivan, President & CEO, A.C.E.C
  • Ethan Underwood, Partner, Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC
  • Dorris I. Willmer, Founder, Willmer Engineering
  • Louis Young, President, Columbia Engineering
  • Cody Allen, Legal Intern, Council for Quality Growth

 

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Steve Labovitz – Chairman, Legislative Task Force
Partner, Dentons and former Chief of Staff for the City of Atlanta and named “Georgia Super Lawyer” for Government Law in 2011-2013 by Atlanta Magazine

Steve Labovitz is a partner at Dentons Law Firm where he focuses on government affairs at a local, state and federal level, with an emphasis on legislative action, economic development, public finance, privatization and government efficiency.  In the area of economic development, Mr. Labovitz has been instrumental in working with governments and developers in creating tax incentives for large development projects including establishing tax allocation districts in order to create and implement public-private partnerships.

Prior to joining Dentons, Mr. Labovitz served as Chief of Staff for the City of Atlanta from 1994 to 1997 where he was heralded for bringing business acumen and organization to Atlanta’s City Hall.  More recently, Mr. Labovitz was named to the transition team of the Attorney General for the State of Georgia, Sam Olens, and Men Looking Ahead magazine selected him as one of “Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Lawyers.”  He is recognized as a “Georgia Super Lawyer” for 2011-2013 in the area of Government Law by Atlanta Magazine and in 2009 and 2012 he was named to Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite in the area of Governmental Affairs.

 

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Marian Adeimy
Attorney, Andersen, Tate & Carr

Marian Adeimy handles a variety of real estate and zoning matters with consistent results. She represents clients in and out of court, in the areas of contract and dispute resolution, eminent domain and condemnations, easements and covenants, water runoff issues, collections, landlord/tenant, and general litigation. She also reviews and drafts covenants. And advises homeowner and community associations.

She currently serves as a Board Member for the Dunwoody Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Metropolitan Water Basin Advisory Council as well as being an active member of the Gwinnett Rotary Club and Leadership Gwinnett.

Marian’s previous experience includes legal internships with the Georgia State Senate, Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, and GeorgiaLink, a top lobbying firm.

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Jeremy Becker
Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Public Institutions Group

Jeremy Becker is a Vice President of JLL’s Public Institutions group. Having joined the firm in 2013, he is located in Atlanta, GA, where he leads PI’s business development efforts in a nine-state area in the Southeast. Jeremy’s specialties include real estate strategy, financing, development and transaction services to public sector clients.

Prior to joining JLL, Jeremy was the Southeast Political Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In this capacity, he maintained contact with Congress Members and candidates, tracking issues affecting U.S.-Israel relations and leading educational briefings to Senate and House candidates.

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Josh Belinfante
Partner, Robbins, Ross, Alloy, Belinfante, Littlefield and former Executive Counsel to former Ga. Governor Sonny Perdue

Josh Belinfante has served as Executive Counselor or Chief Legal Advisor to Governor Sunny Perdue (2007-2009), Counsel to United States Senator David Perdue’s Campaign Committee (2013-Present), Vice Chairman of the State Ethics Commission (2010-2011), Legal Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee (2006) and as Law Clerk to Chief Judge JL Edmondson, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (2004-2005).

The Atlanta Business Chronicle described Josh as the “go-to guy for Georgia healthcare policy and legislation.” In 2011, the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Josh one of the 40 Under 40 of Atlanta’s Rising and Business Leaders. In 2010, The Fulton County Daily Report named Josh one of 10 attorneys “On the Rise,” and Georgia trend named him one of Georgia’s “Legal Elite.” James magazine has named Josh as one of the “Best Lawyers in Georgia.”

 

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Laurel David
Partner, The Galloway Law Group, named as Best Law Firm in Land Use and Zoning Law by Best Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report in 2015

Ms. David represents national and local commercial, mixed-use, industrial, and residential developers and property owners with acquisition and development of real property, including land use, zoning and permitting. She serves on Georgia’s Government Relations Committee for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Ms. David is experienced in public policy and legislative matters, having worked for a public policy research institute in Washington, D.C. and as an assistant to a Member of the British Parliament in London, England.

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Doug Dillard
Partner, Pursley Friese Torgrimson, and former Council Chairman and named “Lawyer of the Year” for litigation and land use zoning in 2014 by Best Lawyer

Doug Dillard is one of Georgia’s most accomplished zoning and land use attorneys. His experience with land use issues include complex zoning changes, special use permit applications, site plan reviews, subdivisions, easements, covenants, litigation and appeals.

Doug actively promotes land development approval processes and regulations that support green building, affordable housing, and smart growth principles. He has served on the Mixed Income Communities Initiative for the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership to promote, create and preserve mixed-income communities in the greater Atlanta Region.

Best Lawyers’ included Doug in its Georgia Best Lawyers list for 2016 and named him an Atlanta Litigation-Land Use Zoning Lawyer of the Year in 2014.

 

 

Lee C. Duncan
Developer

For more than 30 years Duncan has held leadership roles in the creation and execution to develop mixed-use communities from the beaches of South Carolina to the hill country of Texas. His broad experience has enabled him to develop expertise in design, development, and execution of a wide array of high-quality product.  Additionally, Duncan has demonstrated his commitment to public service at each juncture of his career, serving the various communities with dedication to ensure that his own projects are complementary with the needs of the larger environment.

Duncan’s community involvement demonstrates his commitment to local and regional issues.  Presently, he serves as Chair of the Sandy Springs Planning Commission, a post he has held since the city was incorporated in 2005.  This year represents his eighth year as a board member for the Council for Quality Growth and his eleventh year as a member of the Chattahoochee Basin Advisory Committee. He previously chaired the Fulton Education Foundation for three years. Duncan was also a key team member on committees to resolve an anticipated sanitary sewer moratorium in Fulton county in the late 90’s, assisted in writing the current state wide erosion control guidelines, and chaired the committee that created the Sandy Springs storm water control ordinances.  Time after time Duncan brings his business acumen and ability to build consensus to provide leadership in resolving community issues.  In 2006 he was selected to participate in the Regional Leadership Institute program of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

 

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Ashley Groome
Senior Vice-President of State Government Relations, McGuire Woods Consulting

Ashley specializes in providing counsel and strategic advice to help clients meet their corporate and public affairs objectives. Prior to joining McGuire Woods, Ashley was director of government affairs for Waste Management, Inc. the nation’s leading waste disposal firm.

Ashley has also worked as an associate at an Atlanta litigation form and as a legislative assistant for Fulton County.

 

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Ann Hanlon
Executive Director of the North Fulton Community Improvement District

Ann Hanlon is the Executive Director of the North Fulton Community Improvement District. Ms. Hanlon oversees the organization’s daily operations, as well as its involvement in transportation infrastructure. Prior to joining North Fulton CID, Ann served as the Project Manager for the Perimeter CID and as a Senior Program Specialist at the Atlanta Regional Commission.

In 2015, Ms. Hanlon was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) Board. She serves on the Operations & Finance and Planning & Projects Committees.

 

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Andy Macke
Comcast Vice-President of Government & Community Affairs

Andy Macke serves as vice president of External Affairs for Comcast’s Big South Region, where he develops strategic relationships with government officials and community leaders to support Comcast’s business goals. He is directly responsible for Comcast’s regulatory compliance, operations support, and community investments in the Big South Region.

Andy is an active member of the civic community, currently serving on the boards of Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, and the Council for Quality Growth. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in telecommunications policy from Georgia Tech.

 

Lawrence E. Liebross
CEO Parkside Properties, and former assistant to the Director of Finance for the City of Atlanta

Mr. Liebross is currently CEO of Parkside Properties, a company he founded in 1995 as a boutique real estate brokerage, development and advisory services company, and is co-owner of Highland Communities a high-end spec and custom home builder in the Northern suburbs of Atlanta.  He began his career in real estate as a Vice President with Cousins Properties-one of Atlanta’s premier developers. Prior to entering real estate, he was an assistant to the Director of Finance for the City of Atlanta where he helped finance some of the City’s most significant projects and lobbied at the State Capitol for the City’s legislative package.  His primary focus has been on the new home, condominium, and general resale marketplace-ranging from entry level to the luxury segments- the integration of core services and technology into the home purchasing/brokerage process and the growth and profitability of companies.

Mr. Liebross is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he received both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

 

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Tim Lowe
2015 Chairman, Council for Quality Growth and Past Chairman, Georgia World Congress Center Authority and President, Lowe Project Management

Tim Lowe is currently serving as the principal for Lowe Program Management where he works to offer construction and program management services in multiple markets, including but not limited to energy, government, resort and casino, and luxury housing development industries.

Mr. Lowe previously served as the Chair of the Georgia World Congress Center and the CEO of Lowe Engineers. Before that he spent 30 years in the United State Navy where he attained the rank of Captain.

 

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Josh Mackey
Vice President of Government Relations, FrogueClark, LLC.

Josh Mackey is the Director of State Government Relations for FrogueClark and manages the operations of the firm’s Atlanta office. Josh has strong issue-area expertise in education and health care policy. Prior to joining FrogueClark, Josh served as the Vice President of Government Affairs at Brock Clay, and he served as a senior staff member of the Georgia General Assembly in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Josh’s success has been recognized by InsiderAdvantage Georgia and James magazine where he was named one of the Rising Stars of Georgia in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

 

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Paul Michael
Atlanta Director of Entitlements, Meritage Homes

Paul Michael has more than 26 years’ experience in land and real estate development and brings a unique public policy perspective to real estate development. While at Meritage Homes, Paul’s roles include land acquisition/entitlements and working across the organization to ensure new communities are opened on time. He also works closely with governmental agencies and key stakeholders in the local communities.

Currently, Paul serves as a member of the Governor’s Land Conservation Council, on the Board of Directors for the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association, and on the Board of Directors for the Council for Quality Growth. He has also been actively involved with NAIOP, the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, the Urban Land Institute, and the US Green Building Council Georgia Chapter.

 

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Gerald Pouncey
Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin and Board Member of the North Georgia water Management District and named one of the Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law

Gerald L. Pouncey, Jr. heads the Environmental, Transportation/Infrastructure and Land Use section of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. He has led efforts in the acquisition and redevelopment of environmentally impacted properties across the country, including the expansion and redevelopment of various port facilities and water resource and permitting issues associated with such facilities. Mr. Pouncey has served in the past as Chair of the Board of Directors of many organizations, including the Council for Quality Growth, the Georgia Brownfield Association, Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, The Walker School and the Environmental and Toxic Tort Section of the Atlanta Bar. He serves on the Board of Metropolitan North Georgia Water Management District and Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He is a contributing author to the American Bar Association Publication Brownfields, A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property and was the principal author of Georgia’s new brownfield legislation. He has also been voted as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business by Chambers USA and honored as a “Georgia Super Lawyer” by Atlanta magazine. Recently, he has been named by The Best Lawyers in America as Lawyer of the Year in the environmental specialty and The National Law Journal recognized him as a 2016 Trailblazer in Energy & Environmental Law. He was selected as the 2013 outstanding alumni for the Auburn University Chemical Engineering School.

Mr. Pouncey obtained his law degree, magna cum laude, in 1985 from the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and served both on the Editorial Board and the Managing Board of the University of Georgia Law Review. Mr. Pouncey obtained his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering with honors from Auburn University.

 

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Tracy Rathbone
Executive Director, Town Center Community Improvement District (TCCID)

In her role, Tracy works collaboratively with the Board of Directors, state, county and city leaders and TCCID constituents to invest the approximately $3M of tax funds received each year to develop parks, trails and infrastructure. Responsibilities include oversight and direction of all aspects of the CID’s strategy and execution, providing executive leadership, and ensuring the appropriate management of the tax funds received.

Prior to her work with the TCCID, Tracy served as the Director of Business Development for Coxe Curry & Associates, metro Atlanta’s largest and most experienced nonprofit consulting firm. In this role, Tracy was responsible for leading and overseeing the development of new business and marketing efforts for the firm as well as directing client engagements primarily in the Cobb region. Prior to Coxe Curry, Tracy served as development director for St. Luke’s Community House in Nashville, Tennessee. Additionally, she was a founding member of the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee, where she served as the organization’s first executive director.

 

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Harold Reheis
Executive Vice-President, Joe Tanner & Associates and former Director of the Georgia EPD.

Harold Reheis is a specialist in government and regulatory affairs for Joe Tanner & Associates and is nationally known for his expertise in environmental protection matters. He draws on 32 years of experience in Georgia government and two years as a consulting engineer. He served in appointed state government positions under Governors Miller, Barnes and Perdue.

Harold Reheis was the Director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources from 1991 to 2003. In this position, he managed all state environmental programs covering air and water quality, safe drinking water, water resource allocation, solid and hazardous waste, erosion and sedimentation control, radiation control, mine reclamation, underground storage tanks, groundwater protection, and the State Geologic Survey. He supervised a staff of more than 850 people and administered an annual budget of $80 million.

For his tireless service to Georgia and his leadership and diplomacy in resolving complex environmental issues, Harold Reheis was named Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Georgian of the Year” in January 2001. He is a member of the Water Environmental Federation, the Air and Waste Management Association, and others.

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Malaika Rivers
Executive Director, Cumberland CID

Malaika Rivers is responsible for leading the efforts of the Cumberland Community Improvement District in the Cumberland submarket in northwest Atlanta. Rovers began with the Cumberland CID in 1996 when she was brought on to develop and manage the Transportation Management Association. In 2006, she was named the first full time Executive Director of the CID to oversee the growing portfolio projects.

Rivers has been named one of the 2015 “Notable Georgians” by Georgia Trend, a “25 Power Women to Watch” by Atlanta Women magazine, a “40 Under 40” by both Georgia Trend and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and a “Woman of Achievement” by the YWCA. She is active with the Urban Land Institute and sits on various regional committees and is a graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute as well as Leadership Cobb.

Prior to her current position, Rivers was with the Atlanta Regional Commission and before that, with private industry in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia.

 

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Forrest Robinson
CEO, Robinson Weeks Partners

Forrest Robinson, previously CEO for Weeks Robinson Properties, where the company acquired or developed more than 10 million square feet of industrial buildings. Forrest also worked with Ray as president and chief operating officer of Weeks Corp. During his 22 years at Weeks, Forrest was responsible for more than 30 million square feet of development and managed company’s five operating divisions.

After Weeks Corp. merged with Duke Realty, Forrest was responsible for five markets in Florida. In 2001 he joined South Florida’s Codina Group, serving as president of development and as a member of its executive committee. In 2004he founded and was president of the industrial division of Cousins Properties, Inc., a venture with Ray Weeks.

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Scott Selig
Vice-President, Selig Enterprises and Government Affairs Chairman for the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors 2012-2013

Scott Selig serves in the position of Vice President of Acquisition and Development. In addition to his role at Selig, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, Midtown Alliance, Buckhead Community Improvement District, City of Atlanta Workforce Development, the Buckhead Coalition, along with the Council for Quality Growth.

He is the chair of the City of Atlanta Technical Advisory Committee which provides insight into the permitting process and expenses for the Office Buildings Enterprise Fund. His leadership role in charitable and community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, The Ron Clark Academy, Camp Twin Lakes as well as many City Committees.

 

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Ellen Smith
Partner, Holt Ney Zatcoff & Wasserman (Holt Ney), LLP

Ms. Smith specializes in zoning and permitting matters throughout the Southeast, site acquisition and due diligence, tower construction, office, retail and other development. Her specialty includes sign permitting and other niche development-related issues.

In connection with her zoning specialty, Ms. Smith has been asked to assist local governments in drafting and revising legislation and she has been instrumental in preparing key legislative amendments which have allowed her clients to further their business goals and opportunities. Ms. Smith is also keenly interested in sustainable development and assists clients in achieving sustainable practices and in formulating “green” business initiatives.

 

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Michael “Sully” Sullivan
President & CEO, A.C.E.C and Georgia Transportation Alliance Immediate Past Chairman

Michael L. “Sully” Sullivan is the President & CEO of ACEC Georgia. Prior to joining ACEC Georgia in August 2012, Sully was an attorney and equity partner at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., one of Metro Atlanta’s largest full-service law firms, where he headed up the Government Relations, Land Use & Zoning practice and represented clients in all types of government relations matters at both the state and local levels.

Sully has been actively engaged in politics for more than 20 years at the local and statewide level and has served as counsel, advisor and campaign manager for numerous elected officials, including serving as the Gwinnett County Campaign CO-Chairman for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue in 2002 and 2006 and as a member of Governor Perdue’s inaugural Committee. Sully also served on the Board of Directors and as Campaign Treasurer for Citizens for Transportation Mobility (CTM), which ran the campaign to approve the Transportation Investment Act referendum in the 20-county Metro Atlanta region in 2012. Sully previously ran the referendum campaign that allowed for the creation of Tax Allocation Districts (“TADs”) in Gwinnett County and has been involved in several Gwinnett SPLOST and E-SPLOST campaigns.

 

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Ethan Underwood
Partner, Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC

Ethan Underwood practices in the fields of land use and property tax law, representing national and local developers, as well as individual property owners. He has negotiated numerous zoning and development actions for large-scale retail centers, office complexes, mixed-use development, hotels, and senior living facilities and advises clients regarding environmental regulations and municipal ordinances governing development.  Ethan also represents clients before government authorities regarding property tax valuations, assessments, and appeals.

Ethan is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Tennessee Bar Association.  Ethan earned his J.D. with a concentration in business transactions from the University of Tennessee College of Law, and MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Tennessee.  He also earned a B.S. in marketing from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

 

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Dorris I. Willmer
Founder, Willmer Engineering

Dorris I. Willmer is the founder and owner of WIllmer Engineering Inc., an Atlanta based company providing geotechnical engineering, environmental and facilities engineering and construction materials and special inspection services. Willmer’s experience extends throughout metropolitan Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and the Southeast and Caribbean. Willmer is celebrating 35 years of involvement in the built environment.

 

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Louis Young
President, Columbia Engineering

Mr. Young’s experience includes transportation, due diligence, site designation and stormwater management. His previous roles at Columbia included project engineer and vice president. In his current role as President, he is the managing partner for the Land Planning, Landscape Architecture, and Survey Departments, and serves as the liaison for many high-profile clients.

He has served as the Engineer of Record for many projects throughout the United States. AS a member of the firm’s Board of Directors Mr. Young helps guide the overall direction of the company.

 

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Cody Allen
Legal Intern, Council for Quality Growth

Cody Allen is a 3L at Georgia State Law School he comes to the Council for Quality Growth after having served as a legal intern for the Democratic Leader in the State Senate and a Summer Law Clerk at Andersen, Tate & Carr. He has also served as a clerk for Judge Goger of the Fulton County Superior Court.

Before Cody began Law School he was the President of the Student Body and Student Government Association at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia where he also served on the Alumni Board of Directors and currently serves on the Young Alumni Council. His commitment to public service began with his time in the Boy Scouts where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.