2018 Fall Conference


Date :: September 5-7, 2018
Location :: Jekyll Island Convention Center, 75 Beachview Dr N, Jekyll Island, GA 31527


The call for fall conference session proposals is open through July 1st at 11:59 pm. The fall conference is the perfect opportunity to showcase your community’s planning successes and to share your innovative responses to local planning challenges. We look forward to receiving your best ideas!

Session Info and Form

Are you a planning student with a great session idea? If so, please consider submitting for a student session.

Student Session Form

GPA is excited to host the 2018 Fall Conference on September 5th – 7th at the beautiful Jekyll Island Convention Center. In addition to the LEED silver certified convention center, new restaurants and retail have been completed since GPA last visited Jekyll, while still preserving 65% of the island in its natural state.

Join us for a variety of informative sessions, networking with planners and other colleagues, and a chance to relax and rejuvenate in Georgia’s Golden Isles. The keynote speaker will be Michael Boswell, faculty at California Polytechnic State University and head of the school’s City and Regional Planning Department. Michael has done extensive research on climate action planning and will share some strategies that planners can undertake to mitigate the impacts of climate change. If you have any questions, please email Allison Stewart-Harris, VP of Programs.

GPA Awards Season Is Approaching –
We Need You!

The 2018 GPA Annual Awards will be presented at the annual awards dinner at the GPA fall conference. We are excited to announce that once again for 2018, the Nevada and Georgia APA Chapters are teaming up to review and score award nominations. To assist the Chapters, we are looking for 6 volunteers that are willing to review and judge 10 to 15 award nominations. Judges will have approximately a month (July 16 – August 10) to review the nominations and can anticipate approximately 10-20 hours of total effort. The volunteer judges also will participate in two conference calls with the respective Chapter Awards Committee to discuss the review process and scoring of the selected winners. We are excited about this opportunity to help out our fellow APA Chapters and anticipate some interesting and diverse projects for our judges to review.

If you’re interested in volunteering to be a judge, please email Cristina Pastore, GPA Awards Chair, by Friday May 25th.

Additionally, award applications for Georgia will be advertised by early June. Start thinking now about outstanding work that you would like to submit for an award!

Fall Conference Scholarships

Did you know that you or a member of your staff may be eligible to receive scholarship funds to offset the cost of attending the GPA Fall conference? The Denise Abboud Fund of the Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation (GPMF) is dedicated to helping with the education and professional development of planners and volunteer appointees that work in or provide assistance to Georgia cities and counties. The application deadline is August 3rd. Learn more and apply.

Jekyll Island History

Jekyll Island is the smallest of Georgia’s barrier islands and has a rich and diverse history dating back for centuries. As described in the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Jekyll Island was originally home to Native-American hunter-gatherers. It was later settled in 1737 by Major William Horton, who established a residence and raised cattle on the land. Over the next 200 years, Jekyll Island changed ownership a number of times, with agriculture remaining the primary activity on the island.

In 1886, businessmen John Eugene DuBignon and Newton Finney purchased the island and established the Jekyll Island Club as a hunting club and winter retreat for wealthy northerners. Over the years, the club hosted a number of prominent business leaders, including J.P. Morgan, William K. Vanderbilt, and Joseph Pulitzer. Following a run on US banks in 1907, secret meetings at the Club led to the eventual formation of the US Federal Reserve.

The Jekyll Island Club suffered a series of financial hardships during from the Great Depression through World War II. In 1947, the State of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island for $675,000. Initially established as a state park, the island’s high maintenance and operation costs led to the chartering of the Jekyll Island Authority in 1950. The authority remains in place today as a state agency dedicated to preserving the island’s unique ecosystem and retaining the island as a destination for tourists.

In 1978, the National Park Service designated the Jekyll Island Club with National Historic Landmark District status. Today, visitors are drawn to Jekyll Island for its pristine beaches; bird watching, kayaking, and other ecotourism activities; the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the state’s only sea turtle educational and rehabilitation facility; the Jekyll Island Club and surrounding historic district; golfing, biking, tennis, and other recreational amenities; and the recently constructed oceanside convention center.