The visionary development body

The UDA’s committed, voluntary group of County-appointed experts and critical stakeholders work with a plane of flexibility that efficiently expedites government process.

Their knowledge and common sense approach proactively responds to Downtown Macon’s revitalization needs and keeps projects moving forward.

Say Hello to your Urban Development Authority

The seven members of the Authority are appointed by the Mayor of Macon-Bibb and approved by County Commission to four-years terms. Members may serve no more than two consecutive four-year terms.

The appointees must be residents of Bibb County.

The Urban Development Authority meets the second Thursday of the month at 8:30 in the Economic & Community Development Conference Room on the third floor of the Terminal Station (200 Cherry Street). Meetings remain open to the public.

The paid staff of the Urban Development Authority include an Executive Director and Program Assistant. The executive director also serves as the Assistant Manager on the Macon-Bibb Government Economic & Community Development Team.

Alex Morrison

Executive Director

Alex Morrison has served as the Executive Director of the Urban Development Authority since 2011. His role is to work directly with the UDA board to collectively and creatively solve issues that rise with urban revitalization and move ideas into transformation projects for Downtown Macon.

Alex is a 2007 graduate of Mercer University, where he majored in journalism and philosophy. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi fraternity and earned the distinction of the Mercerian Award during his senior year. He also assisted in the founding of the College Hill Corridor before moving to the University of Georgia to receive his Master of Public Administration degree in 2010. He has previously served as the Main Street Manager for the City of Macon, Chair of the Historic Macon Foundation Board of Directors and as one of Macon Magazine’s “5 Under 40”. He is currently the Program Chair for Macon Rotary Club, Chair-Elect for Ocmulgee National Park Review and Preserve Initiative and Economic Restructuring Chair for Main Street Macon. Additionally, Alex is a member of the Bragg Jam Board of Directors, Bike Walk Macon Board of Directors and the Connections Art Festival Board of Directors.

Alex volunteers with Bike Walk Macon’s initiative Open Streets Macon. He enjoys cooking, traveling, bicycling, fantasy sports, playing tennis and going to rock concerts. Native to Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Alex currently lives in Macon, Georgia with his two cats, Patterson and Cooley. His favorite Macon experiences include seeing shows at the Capitol Theatre, eating all of the great food, drinking at the brewpubs and working with his friends to make Downtown Macon the best it can be.

Chris Sheridan


UDA Chairman Chris Sheridan has served on the Authority since 2013. Chris is the Chairman of the Board for Sheridan Construction Company, where he has worked since he was 15-years-old, in addition to previous experience working for Timberline Software as a software developer.

Chris was born and raised in Macon, where he graduated from Mount de Sales Academy before attending Tulane University in Louisiana. At Tulane, Chris earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and his Master of Business Administration. He holds membership with a variety of foundations including the Lewis Foundation, the Catholic Foundation of South Georgia and the Phil and Alice Sheridan Foundation. He is also a board member of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia, the Board of Governors with the Associated General Contractors of America, the Macon Rescue Mission, the New Town Macon Executive Committee and the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame. Currently, he is serving as Chairman of the Mercer Engineering School Advisory Board and Chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority.

He received United Way’s Alex de Tocqueville Community Service Award in 1993, the Chamber of Commerce’s Businessman of the Year in 2004 and Citizen of the Year in 2010. Additionally, he received the Bishop’s Gartland Service Award for the Catholic Diocese of Savannah and was selected as the Family and Advancement Ministries Person of the Year in 2012. In 2013, he was presented with the Meritorious Service Award by Mercer University.

Chris is an active supporter of Mercer on Mission. He is Chairman of the Ocmulgee Trail Executive Committee and a Medcen Community Health Foundation board member.

His interests include cooking, traveling, astronomy, building furniture, spending time with his family and all things “Macon”! He and his wife, Ramona, have six children, three cats and two dogs. Chris attends and is an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and St. Peter Claver Church. His favorite Macon experiences include walking and biking the Ocmulgee Trail, sipping beer at Piedmont Brewery, visiting with friends at Just Tap’d, watching Sunday movies at the Douglass Theatre and seeing shows at the Grand Opera House and Capitol Theatre. He enjoys contemplating the stained glass windows in St. Joseph’s, getting his 10,000 steps in by walking through the neighborhoods around the College Hill Corridor and helping the continuous improvement of the urban core of Macon.

Carey Pickard

Carey Pickard has served on the Authority since 2012. Carey is a senior partner of The Compass Group, where he is a fundraising consultant.

After graduating from Davidson College, Carey served as the Director of the Tubman Museum from 1992 to 2005. He has participated in the White House Conference on Travel and is a proud alumni of the Getty Leadership Institute in Berkeley, CA. He was a Cultural Award Winner for the Macon Arts Alliance in 1996, selected as a “Visionary” for Macon Magazine in 1998 and was designated a “Rising Star in Business” for Georgia Trend Magazine in 1999. Cary was also an inaugural “5 Under 40” for Macon Magazine in 2001.

Carey has served as a board member for the American Federation for the Arts Directors, the Center for Racial Understanding, the Georgia Association of Museum and Galleries and Georgia Equality. He has also served on local boards for the Booker T. Washington Center, the Cannonball House and Museum, the Douglass Theatre, GP-Macon Advisory Council, Historic Macon Foundation, the Macon Arts Alliance, Macon-Bibb CVB, the Macon Council on World Affairs, Macon Symphony Orchestra, NewTown Macon, the Regional Youth Development Center and the Rotary Club of Macon. Additionally, he served as a panelist and chair for the Georgia Council for the Arts and chair of the Museum of Arts & Sciences.

In addition to the Urban Development Authority, he is on the board for the Henry Green Center at the Georgia Museum of Art, the McDuffie Center for Strings and the Ocmulgee Park & Preserve Initiative. He is an active member of the Order of St. John, the Palaver Club, Idle Hour Country Club and the Rotary Club of Macon.

Carey enjoys gardening, entertaining and reading. His interests include architecture, live music and progressive politics. He and his husband, Christopher, consider their 1956 Cadillac named Vinita to be their only pet. Carey’s favorite downtown places include Bernd Park, Mulberry Street’s Art the Stag sculpture and the Tubman Museum.

Loretta Thomas

Loretta Thomas has served on the Authority since 2016. She is the owner and broker of A Home For You Realty, LLC in Macon. Prior to owning her own real estate company, she was the regional sales manager for BellSouth Advertising and Publishing from 1984 to 2006.

She was BellSouth Advertising and Publishing President’s Club winner for eight years and a Circle of Excellence Award winner for nine years. Loretta is a member of the Macon-Bibb County Revolving Loan Fund Committee, South Macon Arts Revitalization Technology (SMART) board and the One Macon Business Education Partnership. In 2016, she served as Vice President of the Women’s Council of Realtors and was a member of the 1998 class of Leadership Macon. In 1999, she was a Leadership Macon board member.

Loretta is an active member of her church and she volunteers with the Special Olympics. She enjoys traveling, decorating, dancing, shopping, sports and concerts. She and her husband have one son, George Thomas, Jr. Her favorite Macon experiences include seeing shows at the Douglass and Capitol Theatres, walking through the streets of Downtown, the Poplar Street Christmas Light Show, visiting the Tubman Museum and experiencing the variety of food and shopping opportunities that Macon has to offer.

Kay Gerhardt

Kay Gerhardt has served on the Authority since 2012. She is a retired attorney from Harris & James Attorneys at Law.

The Macon native received her Bachelor of Science from Loyola University before earning her J.D. at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law. In addition to her work as an attorney, she’s served as a judge for the City of Macon’s municipal court.

She is currently on the Bike Walk Macon Board of Directors, serves as the chairwoman for the Depaul USA Board of Directors and is a member of the Depaul International Board of Directors. She was formerly the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of both Historic Macon Foundation and Intown Macon.

Kay volunteers with Daybreak, Open Streets Macon, Macon Film Guild and her church’s social service ministry. Aside from working on her volunteer projects, she enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, hanging out with friends and spending time with her dog, Zack. Kay enjoys watching movies at the Douglass Theatre, seeing the latest Theatre Macon production and trying all of Downtown Macon’s great restaurants.

Rick Hutto

Rick Hutto has served on the Authority since 2013. A former attorney, Rick was the Executive Director for Global Initiatives for Central Georgia Technical College and a previous Chairman of the Georgia Council for the Arts. He was also the former White House Appointments Secretary to the Carter Family. He proudly served the City of Macon as an elected member of the City Council for 10 years, running unopposed in his last term. As a widely-known lecturer and historical consultant, Rick has published seven books, one of which was adapted for television by Investigation Discovery Channel.

Rick is a former board member of NewTown Macon, Macon-Bibb Chamber of Commerce and Historic Macon Foundation. He was the former Chairman of the Macon-Bibb Convention & Visitors Bureau and currently serves as Vice-Chairman for the Central Georgia Joint Development Authority. He is a member of the board for the University of Georgia libraries, an active member of the Macon Rotary Club and a Knight of Malta.

Rick is an active volunteer with Friends of the Library and loves to read, travel, listen to classical music and learn about royalty and nobility. He is also an avid book collector. He and his wife, Katherine, have two children, Katy and Martin, and two rescue dogs, Colby and Pippin. Some of his favorite downtown experiences include Travis Jean Emporium, Theatre Macon and witnessing the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts at the historic Douglass Theatre.

Charles Richardson

Bio needed

Shannon Fickling

Shannon Kay Fickling has served on the Authority since 2013. She is the owner of Fickling Architectural Services.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, she studied at the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned her Master of Architecture. Before owning Fickling Architectural Services, she was employed by Dennis and Dennis Architects; Wood, Morris and McTier Architects, Rabun, Hatch, Portman Architects and Holliday, Couch, Hollis and Jelks Architects.

Shannon is a member of the American Institute of Architects and currently serves on the Burke Foundation. She is also a member of the Macon History Club, Perennial Garden Club and the Vineville Neighborhood Association.

Shannon volunteers with the Historic Macon Foundation, NewTown Macon and the Hay House and enjoys gardening and traveling. She has three children and is a member of the Mulberry Street Methodist Church.

Her favorite downtown experiences include seeing movies at the Douglass Theatre, attending music events at the Capitol Theatre and dining out.