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Message from The Host

Welcome to our conference website!  On behalf of The Collaborative Firm, I would like to personally thank you if you joined us at this year's South Metro Development Outlook (SMDO) Conference.


SMDO serves as a platform to convene elected officials and industry professionals with a common interest in examining and discussing relevant growth-related issues in the southern crescent.


We look forward to seeing you at SMDO 2021!



About South Metro Development Outlook

South Metro Development Outlook (SMDO) is the brainchild of Michael Hightower, Managing Partner of The Collaborative Firm, LLC, a planning, program management and development company. Hightower, a long-time proponent of smart growth in the Southern Crescent, established SMDO for the purpose of convening individuals with a common interest in examining and discussing relevant growth related issues in South Metro. Today, SMDO highlights economic development, planning, infrastructure, and related issues facing Clayton, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Henry and South Fulton Counties, as well as the City of Atlanta.


Each year, a deserving individual or company is presented with the prestigious South Metro

Development Outlook Award for outstanding contributions to the southern region. Past recipients

include William “Bill” Edwards, Fulton County Board of Commissioners; Federal Aviation Administration; Grove Street Partners; City of Hapeville; Highwoods Properties and Mark Toro, North American Properties.


Sponsors play a major role in the success of SMDO. Previous sponsors include companies such as Porsche, Comcast, Atlanta Business Chronicle, AT&T, Wells Fargo, CH2MHILL, Development Authority of Clayton County, Development Authority of Fulton County, Georgia Power, GeorgiaTrend, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Jacobs, NorSouth, Southwest Airlines and The Collaborative Firm.


South Metro Development Outlook has grown to become the largest conference of its kind in south metropolitan Atlanta.




The Collaborative Firm

Organizer of South Metro Development Outlook Conference

The Collaborative Firm, LLC offers a unique blend of expertise in land use planning, program management and real estate development.

With over 80 years of combined experience in city and county government at the policy and executive staff levels.

Professionals of The Collaborative Firm are distinctly qualified to provide strategic solutions to the public and private sectors.

The Collaborative Firm

1514 E. Cleveland Avenue

Suite 82

Atlanta, GA 30344


Ph: 404.684.7031

Fax: 404.684.7033


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