President’s Message – April

It’s a wrap! On Wednesday, March 27, nearly 250 planners, planning officials, and students attended the GPA Spring Conference, Prominent Impacts of Georgia, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. 

By the numbers, the conference featured:

  • 3 Student Sessions from the next generation of planners at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech
  • 16 Professional Sessions ranging in topics from Equity in Travel Demand Management to Living Beyond Expectations 
  • 60 Speakers
  • 247 Registered Attendees

Mayor Bianca Motley Broom gave a warm welcome to all ahead of the Keynote address by Dr. Tom Nissalke, Assistant General Manager, Planning and Development at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It wasn’t just the transportation planners who were mesmerized by the discussion of the airport we know as the ATL from it’s infancy as a rudimentary airfield inside a racetrack on land owned by Asa Candler in 1925 to what it has become today, 99 years later. Dr. Nissalke spoke of the importance of planning, especially the 1970’s and 1990’s eras Airport Master Plans which have guided the continued development of HJAIA. We also learned about how much the airport invests in soundproofing buildings in the flight paths of the airport including the convention center where no overhead jets may be heard despite being under the main runway flight path.

We especially thank the Spring Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors who helped contribute to the success of our conference. 


  • ATL Airport Community Improvement District
  • Pond


  • Civic Spark
  • Goodwin Mills Cawood
  • KB Advisory Group
  • Metroanalytics
  • The Collaborative Firm


  • BAE Urban Economics
  • Spatial Plans
  • VHB

We also thank our Session presenters; Kyethea Clark, Vice-President Programs and volunteers; Sidney Douse, Treasurer (who always pays the bills); Biscuit Studios; and Beth Anne Trombetta who helped us get everything together for our great day of learning and networking and enjoying our afternoon chocolate chip cookies!

Presentations will be uploaded to the website soon, and you may log your CM credits by searching “GPA Spring 2024 Conference” or code #9287830.

We want to hear from you. What did you like, what would you like to see at future conferences? You still have time to fill out the 2024 Spring Conference Survey on the Guidebook App or send me a note at .

Happy April!

Kristen Wescott, AICP
GPA President