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 Fulton County. 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, 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 upcoming SMDO Conference will be held on February 21, 2019 at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) in College Park, Georgia.