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Annual Conference 2018 Speakers
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Jim Durrett

Executive Director, The Buckhead Community Improvement District

Jim Durrett is executive director of The Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID) – a local governmental entity with taxation power.  The mission of the Buckhead CID is to create and maintain a safe, accessible and livable urban environment in the heart of the Buckhead commercial area in north Atlanta.  They meet the challenges of growth by investing tax dollars collected from commercial property owners within the district, as well as other funds they leverage from outside the district, to make meaningful improvements in the transportation network and public realm that connect people and places. He has in-depth expertise in transportation, land use and creating livable communities.

Prior to heading up the Buckhead CID, Durrett was founding executive director of the Livable Communities Coalition, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2005 to promote smart growth development in the Atlanta region.  Prior to that, Durrett served for five years with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), an organization dedicated to land use and real estate development issues, as the first executive director of ULI's Atlanta District Council, and the second district council executive director in the U.S. 

In addition, Durrett was with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce as the vice president of environmental affairs, and was the senior vice president and chief operating officer of The Georgia Conservancy.  Durrett began his professional career as a hydrogeologist in the DeKalb County office of Golder Associates, an international geotechnical and environmental engineering consulting firm.


Amy Holloway

President and CEO, Avalanche Consulting, Inc.

Amy Holloway is the energetic leader of Avalanche Consulting, Inc., one of the nation’s leading economic development strategy firms. Avalanche creates targeted economic development strategies, custom research, workforce analyses, and communications platforms for the most dynamic communities in the country.

In her 23 years of experience as a strategist, Amy has advised more than 150 communities across the US, including work for the Atlanta Regional Commission, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Charlotte Regional Partnership and Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Columbus 2020, Greater Houston Partnership, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, JAXUSA Partnership, Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Provo City Utah, and Sonoma County California, just to name a few.

Amy resides in Austin with her husband Chris and their two tenacious terriers. She currently serves on the board of the Golden Hornet Project, and has served on the boards of the Fusebox Festival, Long Center for the Performing Arts, Leadership Austin, and the Austin State Hospital. She was a 2007 graduate of Leadership Austin’s Emerge program, 2009 graduate of Leadership Austin’s Essential Class, and a 2010 McBee Fellow for the Austin Area Research Organization. Amy received Austin Under 40′s 2010 Austinite of the Year award in the field of government and public affairs. In 2012, the Austin Business Journal named Amy one of the five most influential women in Austin.

Amy’s BBA and MS degrees in Environmental Economics are from Baylor University.


Ashley Rivera

Managing Director of CATLYST, Atlanta Regional Commission

Ashley Rivera works in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Community Partnerships Division, as Managing Director of CATLYST.  CATLYST is the 10-county Atlanta region’s Economic Competitiveness strategy, developed with regional partners to identify the various opportunities and challenges that the region needs to address in order maintain a competitive economy that works for all the region’s residents.

Ashley earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Agnes Scott College. She earned a Masters in City and Regional Planning and an MS in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Before beginning her career in planning at ARC, Ashley worked in sales and business development for a financial services firm and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine where she worked in business education. Ashley and her husband have two sons, and live in the City of Atlanta.

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