2020 CID Recognition

The 11th Annual Community Improvement District (CID) Recognition was held on Nov. 5, 2020 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. virtually, and limited attendance at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.

Thank you for joining us for the 11th Annual CID Recognition honoring Gerald McDowell and Mason Zimmerman. View the program

The John Williams CID Leadership Award

The John Williams CID Leadership award recognizes those who have played an instrumental role in championing CIDs around the metro Atlanta region through their vision, leadership, and dedication. Previous award recipients include: Governor Roy Barnes, Senator Johnny Isakson, Tad Leithead, Kerry Armstrong and Bob Voyles.

This year, the Council will recognize Mason Zimmerman, Senior Managing Development Partner at Pope and Land Enterprises. “Mason has made significant contributions serving on several CID boards over the years, and this award is much deserved for a true visionary,” states Council for Quality Growth President Michael Paris.

Zimmerman has been actively involved in CIDs since the founding of Town Center CID in 1998, where he served as chair and vice chair for Town Center CID for many years. He has also served on the Board of the Cumberland CID since 2003 and serves on the Board of the Little Five Points CID.

Zimmerman has long been a proponent of melding transportation and land use planning to ensure an outcome that will serve the CIDs’ long-term interests by implementing critical infrastructure projects that will attract new private investment, create jobs and enhance quality of life for the region. He was instrumental in creating the Town Center Community Alliance, which is the 501(c)(3) organization companion to the CID formed to support programs that enhance the Town Center amenities and lifestyle.

Zimmerman has more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate investment, development, brokerage and leasing. He joined Pope and Land Enterprises in 1996 after eight years with AMLI Realty Co. He is the owner of a real estate service and investment company, Western & Atlantic Development, LLC and a partner in the consulting firm, Strategic City.

The CID Professional Excellence Award

The CID Professional Excellence Award honors a CID Executive Director, staff member or contractor’s leadership in successfully investing in critical transportation infrastructure and quality of life improvement projects to enhance a district’s economic vitality. Recognized by peers as a leader in the CID community, this person demonstrates excellence in leadership and management in building a vibrant destination to live, work and play.

In its inaugural year, the Council will recognize Gerald McDowell, Executive Director of Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs, as the first recipient of the CID Professional Excellence award. “CIDs play a vital role in the metro Atlanta region,” said Council for Quality Growth President Michael Paris. “McDowell’s leadership leading multiple CIDs across the region is incomparable. We are so pleased to honor him with the very first CID Professional Excellence award.”

For over 18 years, McDowell evolved in the IT industry, effectively managing over 75 projects and roughly 120 employees in more than 40 states and 12 countries. McDowell made a significant career transition when he incorporated his IT skills and leadership capabilities to the world of community improvement and development.

He began with the Gwinnett Village CID (now Gateway 85 CID) and Gwinnett Village Community Alliance, where he served as a Director of Community Development for four years. He was also instrumental in creating the Gwinnett Village Merchant’s Association.

McDowell was recruited to spearhead the Lilburn Community Improvement District. He proudly served as their first executive director for five years and was instrumental in securing over $2 million in grant funding.

In 2015, when he was recruited to serve as the executive director of the Airport West CID. In 2016, this organization joined the Airport South CID becoming the Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs. Under McDowell’s leadership, the Aerotropolis CIDs have received more than $100 million in grants and project funding. He manages the operations and development of both Airport West and Airport South CIDs, and he is responsible for an operational budget of three million dollars.