ATLANTA, GA (March 22, 2023) – On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, The Collaborative Firm hosted the 21st South Metro Development Outlook (SMDO) Conference at the Georgia International Convention Center. The annual summit presented this year by Amazon, attracted over 700 attendees with a vested interest to receive integral insight from the Southern Regions’ leading elected officials, government leaders, and corporate executives. This year’s featured speakers included City of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens; Collie Greenwood, General Manager & CEO of MARTA; Balram “B” Bheodari, General Manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and many others.
“I am very pleased with the feedback our firm received regarding SMDO2023. It was projected to be as successful and informative as our past two decades, and we delivered with a record number in attendance,” said Michael Hightower, Managing Partner of The Collaborative Firm and host of the South Metro Development Outlook. “Our powerhouse line up of speakers which included subject matter experts, professionals, and community leaders offered in-depth as well as candid discussions and strategies regarding the transformation of South Metro Atlanta and contributed to the success of this year’s conference.”
Program highlights from this year’s theme “Transforming the Future”, included Economic Forecast & Regional Growth; Exploring Georgia’s Political Landscape Today; Impact of Innovative and Emerging Technology; MARTA On the Move in South Metro; among others.
In addition to examining the current economic trajectory, SMDO2023 recognized individuals and businesses who have left an indelible impact on the industry. This year’s honorees included: Amazon, Presenting Sponsor Award; City of Stockbridge Amphitheater, Public Impact Award; Myrna White, Assistant General Manager, Office of Public & International Affairs, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Legacy Award recipient; Chris Pumphrey, President of Elevate Douglas Economic Partnership, Economic Development Award recipient; Eldrin Bell, former Clayton County Chairman, Public Service Award recipient; Joy B. Day, former Mayor City of Jonesboro; and Cynthia Jenkins, CEO of Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Award recipient.
Additional key sponsors include ATL Airport CID, HNTB, and The Collaborative Firm.