A Chairman’s Reflections on 2013


Almost thirty years ago, a small but diverse group of dedicated companies and individuals planted a seed and nurtured the soil so that the Council for Quality Growth could grow.  The Council was formed to address a variety of issues that affected the development community in Gwinnett County.  The Council’s roots grew deep in Gwinnett, and over the years the Council’s branches spread across the Metro Atlanta region to cover a wider variety of issues and provide shade to its members.  We are grateful for the vision, diligence and commitment of those who came before us.   The Council has weathered many storms and cloudy days.  It survived some of the organization’s most difficult years during the recent Great Recession, and the Council is stronger today for it.  In fact, the Council’s leadership took advantage of that period to question everything.  We were simultaneously introspective and forward thinking.   Late last year, the Officers and Executive Committee established six bold goals, essential to the continued health and growth of the organization. They were ratified by the board, which challenged the organization to achieve them before the end of 2013.

1.   Relocate Council Offices

2.   Empower/Energize the Board

3.   Expand Membership

4.   Improve Communications

5.   Improve Programs and Education

6.   Establish Foundation 501(c)3

I am pleased to report that the Council achieved each of those goals and more:

  •  Moving the office from Gwinnett to Perimeter, creating a new logo and improving communications were critical to our core mission of effectively promoting balanced and responsible growth in the Metro Atlanta region.
  •  Each of our programs exceeded expectations for attendance, sponsorship, notoriety and content.
    •  The Council was the chosen forum through which Kennesaw State University introduced its new football coach and the Atlanta Falcons unveiled its plans for a new billion-dollar stadium.
    •  We showcased redevelopment efforts in Cobb and Gwinnett, highlighted the achievements of all of the Metro CIDs and honored an Atlanta legend, John Portman, with the prestigious Four Pillar Award.
  •  In addition, we held quarterly meetings with topics of regional importance, hosted our first Capitol Legislative Luncheon and our 9th Meet & Greet which was attended by more than 50 local elected officials.
  •  We hosted panels to discuss renewed development in Buckhead, the repositioning of Atlantic Station and the new development of Avalon in Alpharetta.
  •  We also coordinated such regional forums as State of DeKalb County, State of Cherokee County, State of Gwinnett County and the State of Forsyth County to highlight their successes and foster regional cooperation.
  •  Our membership and event sponsors grew in number, type, diversity and value to achieve levels not seen since before the Great Recession.
  •  The Council’s involvement with state and local issues has never been more effective:
    •  Each week our Advisory Committees reached deeper into understanding and resolving a wide variety of city and county issues.
    •  We hosted our first planning session in which seven county planning directors and three city planning directors gathered at the Council’s new offices to compare notes, and organize the vision for the first Planning Directors Forum to take place at the Council for Quality Growth offices in January, 2014.
    •  We restructured the organization’s bylaws and formed a new 501c(3) entity, Quality Growth Institute.

Much work lies ahead, but as we reflect on 2013, we are thankful.  It has been a year full of milestones and achievements thanks to the vision of the Executive Committee, the support of the Board, the diligence of the Officers and Task Forces and the tireless and committed work of an incredibly dedicated staff.   It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve as Chairman this year.  Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of this year’s successes.  I am gratified to know that the tree will continue to grow strong in the years to come with the extraordinary efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers and staff who are committed to nurturing and protecting it.  Their work honors those who planted the seed.

           Mason Zimmerman