Downtown Bainbridge recognized by Gov. Deal, Glover receives professional certification

Published 9:43 pm Friday, August 29, 2014

Bainbridge was among a dozen other cities to receive Georgia Downtown Conference Awards for Excellence in Decatur last week.

More than 50 Georgia cities and communities submitted entries for their work in design, organization, promotions and economic development in their respective downtown projects this year at the Georgia Downtown Conference, with Bainbridge taking home the gold for organization.

“I was ecstatic,” said Amanda Glover, executive director of the Downtown Develop Authority. “They just tell you that you’ll be receiving an award at the awards banquet, so I had no idea that we were getting the gold.”

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Along with the title and crystal trophy, the DDA also received $500 that will be put toward purchasing signs to replace the 15 brown downtown signs around town. The new signs will match others that the DDA is utilizing in their branding campaign for downtown, Glover said.

The DDA has been working to give downtown its own brand by developing a logo, signage and promotional materials.

Glover said that she believes the award is a testament to the quality of the master plan the organization completed in March and has been working on executing.

“I haven’t had this much excitement and committed volunteers wanting to help, and I attribute that all to the master plan,” Glover said. “The master plan brought all those people together to be able to start brainstorming and putting their ideas out there.”

Glover also received level one certification as a Georgia downtown development professional. She has worked at improving Bainbridge’s historic downtown for about 15 years. Glover was one of the eight new downtown leaders added to the list of certified professionals in the state.

“This designation distinguishes downtown developers who have reached a milestone of professional success in Georgia and who are committed to continuing professional growth,” according to a DDA news release. “The end result is a higher level of service to improve the quality of life for all of Georgia’s communities and citizens.”

The certification process includes a presentation of Glover’s work and a written test.

“It was stressful,” Glover said. “I’m not a test taker. I’m fine with presentations, but I don’t like tests.”

Glover plans to apply for level two certification next year and level three, the highest level, the following year.

“Our downtowns are the heart of our communities, and these award-winning cities set the standard for downtowns across the state and nation,” said Gov. Nathan Deal in the news release. “A vibrant, economically robust downtown is a sign of an actively engaged community committed to enhancing its economic competitiveness and its quality of life.”