Organizations: Council For Quality Growth
For 23 years, the Council for Quality Growth has acted on behalf of Metro Atlanta’s development community, serving as policy analysts, legislative watchdogs and advocates for the industry.
“Our member mix is developers, builders, contractors, land use attorneys, design professionals (architects, engineers and the like). We have financial institutions and then a mix of other types of businesses that might service or be vendors to the industry,” says Michael Paris, who has served as the organization’s president for the last four years.
And while the majority of the Council’s 400-plus member companies are concentrated in the Metro Atlanta area, Paris is quick to note that many of those members are doing business statewide.
The group serves as its members’ eyes and ears, promoting long range planning and adequate delivery of government services; acting as a catalyst for consensus on growth issues, providing a forum for discussion of responsible development and offering economic or technical expertise as needed.
“We’re in the trenches every day,” Paris says. “We are working on the local government level, on the state level and we do deal with some federal issues. We’re a very invested group in terms of … issues that mean dollars and cents to the development industry.”
The council’s seven-member staff includes professional planners and public administrators. Chief concerns, Paris says, are the housing slowdown, Georgia’s ongoing water and traffic management issues, and, of course, promoting quality growth.
Monthly meetings have featured such speakers as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and former DOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl. Monthly Coun-cil Communication Programs are sessions with local government officials. “We just sit down and talk about what’s on their minds and what’s on our minds,” Paris says.
Breakfast Briefings offer yet more extensive discussions; a recent program featured representatives from the city of Smyrna talking about de-velopment efforts there. The Council also hosts workshops addressing any number of topics – a popular series conducted last year instructed builders and developers on local permitting requirements.
In addition to its annual meeting in December, the Council also hosts an annual fund-raising gala in September, at which it presents the Four Pillars Award, which recognizes outstanding contribution to the development community. – Shannon Wilder