Council Holds Successful 2013 Annual Meeting

On Tuesday, December 10th, the Council held its 2013 Annual Meeting. The event was packed with important activity, including a presentation highlighting the Council’s many accomplishments in 2013, the election of a new Board of Directors and Officers and an economic forecast by Dr. Donald Ratajczak.

The Council is proud to have 8 new Board Members serving in the 2014-2015 term:

Josh Belinfante 
Robbins Ross Alloy Belinfante Littlefield LLC.
Tad Braswell  
Oak Hall Companies, LLC
Rick Brownlow  
CH2M Hill
Chris Coan  
Gas South
Delores Crowell 
Ann Hanlon 
North Fulton Community Improvement District
H. Jerome Russell 
H.J. Russell & Company
Robert J. Svedberg 

In 2014, the following officers have been elected to lead the Council:

Chairman – 

S. Brent Reid, Winter Companies
Vice Chairman –
Tim Lowe, Lowe Engineers
Secretary –
Scott Condra, Jacoby Development, Inc.
Treasurer –
Andy Macke, Comcast Cable Communications
The Council would also like to thank outgoing Board Members, Adam Orkin with Orkin & Associates and John Karnowski with the Foresite Group for their terms of services on the Board.  We look forward to their continued membership with the Council and the input they provide us.
To see a full listing of the 2014 Council Board of Directors:

2014 Council Chairman Brent Reid

The Council would like to thank Mason Zimmerman, our 2013 Chairman, for his leadership during this important year in the Council’s history.


2013 Outgoing Council Chairman Mason Zimmerman and Incoming 2014 Council Chairman Brent Reid

During the Annual Meeting, 2013 Chairman Mason Zimmerman also delivered a brief presentation highlighting the many facets of the Council’s work in 2013, as well as its key accomplishments.
The meeting concluded with a 2014 Economic Forecast by Dr. DonaldRatajczak. He has presented an economic forecast to Council Members for the past 21 years, and this presentation was as informative and entertaining as ever.
Among other points, he highlighted:
  • Housing prices in Atlanta have gone up 18% in the last 12 months, and we are in the leadership role again in terms of growth.
    • The number of houses rising from being underwater is increasing; we can expect 4-5 million more homes to rise above their underwater levels in the next 12 months.
    • Unfortunately, housing prices are still only at 2003 levels, although that is an improvement from the 1997 prices present at the height of the recession.
    • Housing market prices are low now, but prices are appreciating
  • Home ownership – in terms of the percentage that individuals own of their home – is increasing. Before the housing crisis, people owned 58% of their home; that declined to only 38% of their home at the height of the crisis. Today, that percentage is back up to 50%.
  • Individuals are collecting equity again.
  • There is still a gap between usable housing units (600,000) and the demand for usable housing units (900,000), representing a total shortfall of 300,000.
  • Unfortunately, students are still facing difficulties. They are still in debt, and many are unable to buy a home because they possess negative net worth. Households are also not being formed as early, as birth rates have peaked.
  • In terms of employment, November was the 2nd consecutive month that 200,000 jobs were created
    • This is encouraging, especially because November’s job growth contained a more balanced mix of the economy than October’s employment growth, resulting in greater purchasing power.
  •  We still need to see some growth on the consumer side of the economy. We are expecting about a 2.5% growth rate overall in this area.
  • We are currently experiencing 2.1% growth in Georgia’s employment rate, and a 2.7% employment growth rate in Atlanta.
    • Companies are starting to look to Atlanta for future growth.
To see a recap of Dr. Ratajczak’s economic forecast in the Gwinnett Daily Post, click HERE.
The Council would like to thank all Members for their collaboration and support in 2013, and we look forward to new achievements and progress in the coming year.