GPA Executive Committee Meeting

Date: January 16, 2009

Location: Manuel’s Tavern, Atlanta, GA

Members In Attendance:
Ellen Heath
Jeff Watkins
Tracy Dunnavant
Laura Keyes
Gary Cornell
Eric Bosman

Attendance by Proxy:

Additional Participants:
Jessica Gibson, Executive Director

President Ellen Heath called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m.


Heath informed the attendees that Laura Beall had resigned her position due to personal issues. She added that the Board needed to find a replacement as soon as possible due to the upcoming spring conference. The Executive Committee discussed potential candidates for her replacement. Heath said Beall had offered to help with the Spring Conference since it was coming up in March. Heath said she would e-mail the Board members and see if anyone would volunteer to take on this role. The Committee discussed the need to meet with Beall to determine what had been completed in terms of the conference. Keyes suggested asking LeBeau for the names of the individuals who served on the Programs Committee and see if any of them were willing to serve in this capacity or assist in the conference preparations. The Committee discussed Cheryl Contant’s vacancy as well and decided to approach the Board once again for possible candidates.


Heath asked the Committee for comments on her proposed work plan. Cornell discussed the possibility of having a course on planning during a depression. Heath said she had talked to the APA lobbyist about giving a session at the spring conference. Bosman suggested more involvement by GPA at GMA’s and ACCG’s annual conferences. They discussed the possibility of giving a session or having a booth. Cornell said he felt there needed to be some continued emphasis on legislative advocacy in the program. The Committee discussed ways to provide legislative information to the membership.

Keyes discussed increasing membership through other related organizations. Cornell asked if GAZA would be a good merge for GPA. Dunnavant said GAZA had a lot of members who were building officials and zoning administrators. Keyes said membership was down, but felt it was due to the economy.  She discussed possibly looking at adding committees focused on housing and the environment.
Keyes mentioned that the process for updating the e-mail distribution list had been improved. She felt she would be able to provide the district directors updated membership listings at least quarterly. Keyes asked for suggestions on how to get the membership more involved in the organization. She talked about an event that will be held in district #1 and added that the Board needed to encourage more districts to hold events.

The Committee discussed the membership directory. Keyes suggested putting a password protected membership list on the web for member access only. Heath said last time a list was generated, the Chapter produced cds that were distributed at the annual conference. She suggested looking at both options in terms of cost. Heath mentioned possibly changing the bylaws regarding the membership directory.

Keyes discussed membership sponsorships. She said the Chapter currently had roughly $6,600 in commitments. She added that there were $7,200 in sponsorships last year, but clarified that some of those were annual sponsorships. Keyes said she was encouraged by the response given the state of the economy.

Gibson gave a list of what she would like to see accomplished this year. She mentioned the following items:

  1. Five district event held outside of Atlanta and two within the metro area
  2. Membership listing updated on a monthly basis
  3. A specific theme for the fall conference with more diverse and high quality sessions
  4. Georgia Tech provide two session instructors at the conferences
  5. Two e-mails to the membership from their district directors each year
  6. Five teleconference with webcast sessions this year (possibly transit oriented development as a topic for one session)


The Committee discussed the fall and spring conferences. Gibson said registration had been improved in terms of functionality. She added that the membership should find the process much easier to work through. Gibson informed the Committee that she was looking at changing the location of the fall conference to either Macon or the Atlanta area. She also mentioned the need to increase the length of some of the sessions. Gibson said the contract with the spring conference facility had yet to be signed, but added that she would be taking care of this detail. The Committee discussed the specific logistics associated with the conference including the mobile workshops, receptions, session topics, and a possible cost increase. 


Bosman gave an overview of the proposed budget. He said that an amount needed to be included for cm credits. Keyes asked if enough money had been included to cover the website modifications. Heath asked if the Committee felt GPA should go to two paper newsletters per year instead of four. Keyes reminded the Committee that the content had been scaled back in the e-newsletters. The Committee also discussed the impact of the change on sponsorships. Heath said she felt that issue could be resolved in a way that would be acceptable to the sponsors. She asked if there was really enough content to publish four issues. The Committee discussed the benefits associated with more e-newsletters.

Bosman informed the Committee that he had scaled back the conference and planners’ luncheons due to the state of the economy. He said he felt the chapter would break even or make five to ten percent off the events. Keyes said she would like to have four planners’ luncheons this year. She suggested a possible box lunch session to keep down the cost.


Watkins suggested Café Press as an option for providing more GPA clothing and items that could be purchased by the membership. The Committee felt this was an idea that needed more research.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Tracy S. Dunnavant, AICP