CONNECT – Meet SSC’s new Executive Director, Billy Parrish


January 2016

The Sandy Springs Conservancy Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director, Billy Parrish.  Billy brings to SSC his vast experience with community development, which will serve SSC’s continued mission of conserving, connecting and creating green space in the City of Sandy Springs, GA.

Billy Parrish is Principal and Senior Downtown Advisor of BillyParrish Consulting, a small niche consulting practice focused in the areas of downtown and neighborhood development. Billy is a capacity builder and downtown catalyst who helps local governments and nonprofit organizations develop strategies and specific projects that further the redevelopment goals of their downtown or neighborhood commercial areas.

Billy has over 34 years experience in downtown redevelopment, nonprofit management and housing development. Billy was the first downtown development director in Rome Georgia and, with solid local public and private sector leadership, saw that Rome was designated one of the first 30 Main Street® programs in the U.S.  Billy was recruited away from Rome by the National Main Street program where he worked to establish State Main Street® Programs in over 650 cities in 35 states. Prior to returning to Georgia Billy served as the Director of the National Main Street Center.

In 1990 Billy returned to Georgia and worked in the areas of educational renewal, historic preservation and workforce housing development. From 2002 through 2012 Billy worked in the areas of downtown and community development with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. In early 2013 Billy launched his own consulting practice and has to date worked on projects and services in the Georgia cities of Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Covington, Dahlonega, Eatonton, Greensboro, Macon, Madison, Powder Springs, Sugar Hill, Toccoa and West Point, as well as provided advanced training for the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Cities Foundation, the North Carolina Main Street Program and the Alabama Main Street program. At the 2013 Georgia Downtown Conference Billy delivered the highly-praised closing address, Where Main Street Meets Market Demand, as well as two ground-breaking economic development sessions covering The New Community Initiated Development Approach© to downtown development.

A regular contributor to the Georgia Municipal Association’s “People Place Purpose” blog, Chair of the Dunwoody Sustainability Commission, and Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy board member, Billy brings a unique combination of vision and in-depth experience across a wide array of community development initiatives, downtown and neighborhood development skills, community capacity building and process management.

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