Denise Abboud Fund

The Denise Abboud Fund was created to honor Denise’s ideals and contributions to the planning profession during her life. The outpouring of love for Denise from friends and colleagues across the state following her tragic and sudden death in 2007, and the donations spontaneously offered to establish a lasting memorial to her work and legacy, resulted in creation of the Fund by the GPA Board.

An important goal of the Denise Abboud Fund is to help communities that otherwise could not afford it expand the skills and knowledge of their professional and citizen planners. This is particularly something Denise would have been interested in pursuing – she strongly supported GPA reaching out to include everyone in its programs and offerings, and she made sure that practical, useful programs were always included in the many conferences she put together as GPA Vice President.

The Denise Abboud Fund is now included within the umbrella of the Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation, established in 2008 as a 501(c)(3) corporation through the efforts of GPA and the pro bono assistance of David Kirk and his associates at Troutman Sanders.

The purpose of the Denise Abboud Fund is to help with the education and ongoing professional development of planners and volunteer appointees who work in or provide assistance to Georgia cities and counties in an official planning role. Scholarships may be awarded to such recipients as a local government’s staff planner, an appointed Planning Commissioner, a Regional Commission planner that provided services to local governments, and similar public employees or volunteer appointees. Planners who work in for-profit companies or statewide agencies are not eligible.

The Foundation focuses on two programs for scholarships to be offered through the Denise Abboud Fund each year.

  • GPA Fall Conference.
    This program offers scholarships in the amount of $500 to attend GPA fall conferences. Additionally, the conference registration fee may be waived for GPA members. To apply for the upcoming GPA Fall Conference Scholarship, please fill out a scholarship form and email it, along with a reference letter.
    Download application

  • Community Planning Institute.
    Scholarships are offered covering the registration fee for attendance at Community Planning Institute workshops, and for one night’s stay at the workshop hotel. For more information on the CPI workshops, please visit the DCA website.
    Download application

All applications must be accompanied by a Letter of Reference from one’s supervisor or other person in a leadership position related to the applicant’s official planning role.

An application for either of these events can be submitted by or on behalf of any qualified recipient, and is not limited to GPA members. In order to have enough time to consider all requests, your application must be received 5 working days prior to the “early registration deadline” for the desired event.

Scholarship applications for a particular event will be considered collectively on the “due date”, and applicants will be informed of their status as soon thereafter as possible. In the event that the number of applications exceeds our funds availability for the event, grants will be made based on those best meeting the Foundation’s adopted selection criteria.


Selection Criteria

When requests for grant assistance to attend an event exceed our funds availability for that particular event, grants will be made based on those best meeting the following selection criteria from among those submitted.

The evaluation of applications for assistance from the Denise Abboud Fund will focus on the central purpose of the Fund, which is to further the education and ongoing professional development of those who work in or serve Georgia communities in an official planning role and that would otherwise not be able to obtain such opportunities.

The group of applications received for grant assistance to attend a particular GPA conference or CPI session will be evaluated and grants will be awarded on the basis of 1) comparable statistical rankings for the county or , for a city, the county in which the applicant’s community is located, and 2) the applicant’s commitment to planning and the benefit of the assistance to the applicant and their community.

Statistics relevant to the evaluation include:

  • The proportion of the workforce employed in “farming, fishing or forestry.”
  • Farm earnings as a percent of total earnings.
  • Median household personal income.
  • Per capita personal income.
  • Such other credible, statistical data that would compare the relative “need and benefit” of each community to the other applications in the group.

The evaluation of commitment and the potential benefits to the applicant and their community will be based solely on the information provided on the application form.


Board Members and Officers

The Foundation’s current members and officers are:

  • President: Marsha Anderson Bomar
  • Vice President: William Ross
  • Secretary: Daniel Reuter
  • Treasurer: Todd Barker
  • Eric Bosman
  • Patti Cullin
  • Inga Kennedy
  • Richard Osborne
  • Adriane Wood

If you have a question, email us.