“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” is the outlook of the well respected and acclaimed industry expert for community and city improvements, Gerald McDowell. This Walt Disney mindset is attributed to much of McDowell’s success and the all-inclusive idea of raising the collective value of communities. With over 30 years of professional experience, he is humbled by his experiences and remains diligent in his commitment to provide a strong, safe, attractive, and vibrant community for South Metro Atlanta.
Currently, Gerald McDowell serves as the Executive Director for the ATL Airport Community Improvement Districts (AACIDs) where he successfully manages an operational budget of over three-million-dollars. Under his tenure, the AACIDs have received more than $100 million in grants and project funding and several awards including: 2019 ACEC Georgia Engineering Excellence Award, 2019 ITS GA Project of Significance, 2019 GPA Georgia Outstanding Initiative, 2019 GPA Outstanding Planning Process, and the 2019 ARC Livable Communities Initiative Grant Recipient.
McDowell has spoken both domestically and internationally on various community improvement topics such as: technology, transit and transportation, safety, infrastructure and way-finding. Some of his speaking engagements include: 2016 and 2019 Sustainable Airport Area International Seminar (SAAIS), 2016 and 2017 Aerotropolis Asia Conference in Singapore and Malaysia (respectively), 2017 Automated Driving Systems in Washington, D.C., 2017 Metro Atlanta Redevelopment Summit, the 2018 and 2019 State of the Aerotropolis and the 2021 Podcar City Conference in Atlanta, GA.
His leadership has been recognized by various organizations with awards consisting of: serving as a member of the inaugural USDOT Leadership Academy conducted by the former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, 2008 graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, 2009 graduate of the Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute, 2015 South Fulton Chamber Award, 2016 ABL Award, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 Notable Georgian by Georgia Trend, and a 2019 graduate of Leadership Atlanta. In addition, Gerald received the first CID Professional Excellence Award recognized by Council for Quality Growth in 2020.
He currently serves on the boards for the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, Council for Quality Growth, Georgia Foreign Trade Zone, Georgia Chamber, New Life Community Center and Project Restart.