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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. 


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.

Curt Plyler, CFA, CCA

Fort Hill Associates

Mr. Plyler has fifteen years of experience related to construction contract auditing. Curt has served as the Engagement Manager for several healthcare and higher education clients.

Kyle Taylor

Darden Company

A native Atlantan, Kyle majored in Building Construction at The Georgia Institute of Technology with a Certificate in City Planning.

Mayor Denis L. Shortal

City of Dunwoody, GA

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

Russell B. Killen, Esq.

Parker Poe

Russell focuses his practice in the area of construction and land development, including dispute resolution, contract negotiation, and project entitlement.

Shelley Row, PE, CSP

Insightful Leadership

An Inc. Magazine top 100 leadership speaker and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Shelley Row, P.E., CSP, is an engineer and former government and association executive.

Terry Maldonado

Purdue University

Terri Maldonado is an Office Manager with over 18 years experience in management and supervision.

Amir Schinnar

University of Pennsylvania.

As Senior Director of Facilities Amir oversees the functional operations of three campus buildings.

Conrad Talley


Conrad’s ability to translate design concepts into physical environments has allowed him to build strong relationships with peers, clients, and builders over the past 20 years.

Dr. Peter Noonan

Falls Church City Public School

Before serving as Falls Church City Public School’s Superintendent, Dr. Noonan served as Superintendent for Fairfax City Public Schools.

Jennifer Macks

Gilbane Building Company

Jennifer Macks, senior project executive at Gilbane, has over 25 years of industry experience, focusing on all aspects of project delivery from preconstruction through completion.

Marcene Taylor

Marcene Taylor Inc.

Marcene Taylor is a specialist in conceptual cost estimating, a published essayist, national President of the American Society of Professional Estimators, and president of Marcene Taylor Inc.

Tony Baker


Tony Baker is Executive Director at Merck's Elkton, VA location and is responsible for all vaccine operations.

David Stutzman, AIA, FCSI, CCS

Conspectus, Inc

David Stutzman, AIA, CSI, CCS is an independent construction specifier and architect. He founded and leads Conspectus, Inc.

Benjamin Crosby, CM-BIM, CM-Lean, CCM, LEED AP BD+C

YATES Construction

Benjamin Crosby, CM-BIM, CM-Lean, CCM, LEED AP BD+C, is Director of VDC for the Yates Companies.

Mike Barrett


Mike Barrett is a project manager with experience in engineering and facilities design for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Carl Rohs


Carl Rohs, senior project director at CRB, graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in civil engineering.

Chris Kern

University of Pennsylvania

Christopher Kern is Director of Design and Construction supporting the schools of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. While

Clay Goser

UChicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division

Clay Goser is the Director of Program Management for the University of Chicago Medicine.

Christian Pikel

The ReAlignment Group, Ltd.

Angela Christensen

Iowa State University

Angela Christensen is a PhD candidate at Iowa State University in the Civil and Construction Engineering Department focusing in construction management.

Faye Bodyke

The Ohio State University

Faye Bodyke is the Director of Projects for the academic buildings on the Columbus campus as well as five branch campuses.

Benjamin B. Hyden

Bricker & Eckler

Ben Hyden, a civil engineering graduate, worked with major construction firms before entering law school and brings that experience to his law practice.

Bob Sherrill


Bob is a Principal and Discipline Lead with Stantec Architecture.

Mark Evans, P.E.

Bricker & Eckler

Mark Evans represents owners on a variety of construction matters, including drafting contract documents, defective and/or non-conforming workmanship claims, delay claims and bid disputes.

Amanda Schoonover

eComm Construction Information Management

Amanda is Director of Software Technology for eComm Construction Information Management.



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 (SOLD OUT) - Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design (Approved fo

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! (Approved for 1.5 AIA CEUs)

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! (Approved for 2 AIA CEUs)

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 (Approved for 2 AIA CEUs)

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 (Approved for 2 AIA CEUs)

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.


Breakfast sponsored by eComm

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 (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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.


Take a Deep Dive into Your Decision-Making (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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

In this in-depth workshop, Shelley takes the concepts from the keynote and gives you the opportunity to probe your own decision-making. You will apply insights from neuroscience to walk away new skills and perspective.


Construction Defects: Discovery, Investigation, and Resolution Best Practices (Approved for 1 AIA C

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

This session will explore the various types of design and construction defects that may be encountered during the construction process and after project completion. 


“Cool” is a Terrible Business Plan! (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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

New “tech” can be exciting and inspiring, but that is not enough.  It must be productive, and it must provide a return. 


A High Performing Team: A Recipe for Design-Build Success (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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

Learn how to create a high performing team on a design-build job that will meet your project goals.


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 (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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.


An Owner’s Guide to Improving Collaboration on the Jobsite (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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

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


The 24-Month Challenge: Driving Innovation with Integrated Project Teaming (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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 :-) (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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.


You Want Us to Build What?? The Story of Mercedes-Benz Stadium

11/14/2019 04:00 PM - 11/15/2019 05:00 PM

Deemed by Forbes soon after its 2017 opening as “the best venue in the NFL,” Mercedes-Benz Stadium offers an unparalleled experience for fans, users, and visitors;


Thursday Evening Reception with Exhibitors; Recognition of Past Presidents

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.


COAA Annual Business Meeting & Breakfast

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

Enjoy a full hot breakfast while hearing more about COAA, including a recap of 2019 and plans for 2020 and beyond.


Survey SAYS … Owner Improvement Advice!

11/15/2019 08:30 AM - 11/15/2019 09:30 AM

Iowa State University PhD candidate Angela Christensen will share the results of her dissertation research, which identifies project owner inefficiencies, or areas of improvement.


Higher Standards for Higher Education: How Two Universities Digitized Their Construction Workflows

11/15/2019 08:30 AM - 11/15/2019 09:30 AM

Deep dive into how two higher educational institutions – Purdue University and the University of Kentucky - have leveraged technology to streamline the construction process.


Information Handoff: Let’s Get this Party Started!

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

For years, COAA’s conferences featured an open forum discussion of the information exchange or handoff process – best practices for improving how building & equipment data information is turned over to those responsible for operating & maintaining a new or renovated facility.


Capital Project Cost Management - Implementing a Pre-Construction Contract Review (Approved for 1 AI

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

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


Introducing the Next Generation to the Skilled Trades

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 (Approved for 1 AIA CEU)

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

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


SunTrust Park & The Battery Atlanta Visit/Tour (Optional)

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