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Please make plans to join us in Atlanta, where it all began, as we celebrate COAA's 25th Anniversary! Hundreds of planning, design, and construction industry professionals will gather at COAA’s Fall Owners Leadership Conference for three days  of high-quality, Owner-focused educational sessions, great networking opportunities, a lively exhibit hall, and an optional Friday afternoon tour.  

Learning Credits:
COAA will apply for AIA learning credits - including some that qualify for Health Safety and Welfare (HSW). Certificates are also available upon request.
Who Attends:
Owners involved in the planning, design, and construction process, architects, consultants, engineers, and contractors. 


Howie Ferguson, PE


Howie S. Ferguson, PE is the Executive Director of the Construction Owners Association of America.

John Bechtel, PE

Penn State University

John Bechtel is the Assistant Director of the Design and Construction Division at Penn State's Office of Physical Plant.

Mayor Denis L. Shortal

City of Dunwoody, GA

Denis Shortal was sworn in as mayor of Dunwoody in January 2016.

Shelley Row, PE, CSP

Insightful Leadership

Shelley Row, P.E., CSP works with forward-thinking managers and leaders to grow their skills, their organization and their bottom line.



Breakfast Conversations! Networking Hour

11/13/2019 08:00 AM - 11/13/2019 09:00 AM

Join your fellow attendees for a continental breakfast, coffee, and conversation.


Wednesday Morning Tour (Optional Activity) - Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design

11/13/2019 09:30 AM - 11/13/2019 11:00 AM

The $18.6 million Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech is considered the most environmentally advanced research facility of its size and kind in the Southeast. Limited to 50 attendees.


Lean Coffee!

11/13/2019 09:30 AM - 11/13/2019 11:00 AM

This session is not about Lean…and it’s not about Coffee! Come experience an organized, interactive meeting format where the participants set the agenda, have fun, and learn what is important to them.


Lunch on Your Own

11/13/2019 11:30 AM - 11/13/2019 01:45 PM

Your opportunity to explore Atlanta/Dunwoody, GA. Kendeda Building tour takers will be transported from the Kendeda Building to Ponce City Market, the area’s largest adaptive reuse project, with a multitude of food options.


Conference Welcome

11/13/2019 02:00 PM - 11/13/2019 02:45 PM

Join us the kickoff of the 2019 Fall Owners Leadership Conference and our 25th Anniversary celebration!


Learn-By-Doing: Make Better and More Durable Decisions with VDP!

11/13/2019 03:00 PM - 11/13/2019 05:00 PM

“Projects flow at the rate of the Owner’s decisions.” This became evident to the leaders of a University of Chicago Medical (UCM) project, where the Visual Decision Plotter® (VDP) was used to sharpen thinking, help the team make critical decisions, and track the value of those decisions.


Workforce Challenge: The Conversation Continues

11/13/2019 03:00 PM - 11/13/2019 05:00 PM

As discussed at previous COAA conferences, the workforce challenge continues to demand solutions.


Owner's Roundtable - Wednesday

11/13/2019 03:00 PM - 11/13/2019 05:00 PM

Always one of the most highly rated sessions at each conference, for the first time we are offering this purposely unstructured discussion at the start of the conference. Hear from colleagues: what keeps them up at night, best practices, and lessons learned.


Opening Night Reception sponsored by PlanGrid

11/13/2019 05:00 PM - 11/13/2019 06:30 PM

This great opening night event will feature cocktails, hot hors d’oeuvres, and live acoustic music.



11/14/2019 07:15 AM - 11/14/2019 08:15 AM

Full, hot breakfast


Chapter Forum

11/14/2019 07:30 AM - 11/14/2019 08:15 AM

This unstructured discussion is open to chapter leaders, chapter members, owners, and associates considering a chapter start-up, and anyone interested in improving the chapter experience. Grab some breakfast and bring your thoughts, your ideas, and lessons learned.


Conference Kick-Off

11/14/2019 08:15 AM - 11/14/2019 08:30 AM

Join us for an overview of what you can expect over the next day and half as well as details on the evening's 25th Anniversary Celebration.


Go with Your Gut: Insightful Decision-Making in an Over-Thinking World

11/14/2019 08:30 AM - 11/14/2019 09:30 AM

This interactive, thought provoking and content-rich keynote provides leaders and managers with valuable insights to instantly improve decision-making.


Decision-Making Deep Dive

11/04/2019 09:45 AM - 11/14/2019 10:45 AM

Join keynote speaker Shelley Row for a deeper dive into decision-making.


Lunch and Project Leadership Awards

11/14/2019 12:00 PM - 11/14/2019 01:00 PM

Lunch and recognition of the 2019 Project Leadership Award Winner(s).


Project Delivery Made Simple

11/14/2019 01:15 PM - 11/14/2019 02:15 PM

Good design is often defined as the right solution for the problem, nothing more, nothing less.


Capital Project Cost Management - Implementing a Pre-Construction Contract Review and an Ongoing Mon

11/14/2019 01:15 PM - 11/14/2019 02:15 PM

The session identifies steps to effectively define, control and monitor contractor charges on capital construction projects.


The 24-Month Challenge: Driving Innovation with Integrated Project Teaming

11/14/2019 02:45 PM - 11/14/2019 03:45 PM

Merck laid down a challenge to a group of their trusted Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) partners to provide an operational facility that could produce a Biopharmaceutical product within 24 months vs. a benchmark of 37 months!


From Aging Icon to Revitalized Gem, with a Perfect Smile :-)

11/14/2019 02:45 PM - 11/14/2019 03:45 PM

Aligning campus and facilities resources to a school’s vision requires building consensus around the physical embodiment of a vision, working within the parameters of campus systems, and ultimately translating ideas into real space.


Thursday Evening Reception with Exhibitors

11/14/2019 05:00 PM - 11/14/2019 06:00 PM

Enjoy cocktails and hot hors d'oeuvres while networking with colleagues and exhibitors.


Karaoke/Casino Night!

11/14/2019 08:00 PM - 11/14/2019 11:00 PM

Join COAA's 25th Anniversary celebration with an all-in Casino and Karaoke night! Try your luck at the real casino tables with unreal chips or, if pretend gambling isn't your thing, show off your pipes on the karaoke stage.


Breakfast & COAA Annual Business Meeting

09/15/2019 07:30 AM - 09/15/2019 08:30 AM

Enjoy a full, hot breakfast with your colleagues, peers, and new friends.


An Owner’s Guide to Improving Collaboration on the Jobsite

11/15/2019 09:45 AM - 11/15/2019 10:45 AM

Despite advancements in construction and technology, collaboration on the jobsite remains a challenge.


Construction Education and Workforce Development

11/15/2019 11:00 AM - 11/15/2019 12:00 PM

The workforce development challenge…getting to kids/young adults while they are in school!


Lunch + The COAA Way + OTI Overview

11/15/2019 12:00 PM - 11/15/2019 12:45 PM

Lunch with your colleagues and the latest information on The COAA Way.


Owner's Roundtable - Friday

11/13/2019 12:45 PM - 11/13/2019 01:00 PM

Wrap-up the conference with this purposely unstructured discussion. Review insights from the last three days, hear colleagues takeaways and lessons learned.


Mercedes-Benz Stadium Visit/Tour (Optional Activity)

11/15/2019 02:30 PM - 11/15/2019 05:00 PM

Your chance to tour the most sustainable sports venue in the world! Limited to 50 attendees.