What career best suits someone with degrees in journalism, philosophy, and public administration? It turns out that’s the perfect combo for a person who is instrumental in the continued growth and development of our urban core!
Alex Morrison is our Director of Planning and Public Spaces , as well as the Executive Director of the Urban Development Authority (UDA). He was recently recognized as one of Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Leaders in their “Georgia 500” list. That’s why – and for so many other reasons – he’s this week’s Staff Spotlight.
Alex grew up in Pike County, Georgia, then moved to Macon to attend Mercer University, graduating in 2007 with those journalism and philosophy degrees. Then he went to the University of Georgia to earn his Master’s in Public Administration.
“My degrees helped me understand the modes in which people operate, and the ways people think, which has made me a better planner and allowed me to really seek out public comment and public engagement as part of all our efforts,” says Alex. “You cannot have the greatest good for the greatest number without knowing what the greatest good for the community would be.”
Alex began his career with the city in 2010 when he was hired as the Main Street Macon Manager. His job was to align downtown development efforts under a city office banner to promote improved efforts in creating a stronger urban core. From there, he went to work for the UDA, where he remains Executive Director. In this role, he is the primary public employee charged with facilitating downtown development projects from public finance to public space management to business development and support. As Director of Planning and Public Spaces, Alex has an expanded role of what he’s been doing with UDA to align strategic initiatives of Macon-Bibb County, whether they be in public spaces, or economic development, to have a greater cumulative impact for all people.
It’s a big job, but Alex has a big heart for this city – which is what’s kept him here.
“At Mercer I really fell in love with Macon. It’s a place that has a great chance to tell a story to the rest of the world that no other place can. It’s a place of true healing and reconciliation, and it has so much heart that it can’t help but seek ways to heal itself,” he says. “It’s important for me when I see something like that, to help. That’s why I continue to seek ways to serve Macon from a community engagement and civic engagement standpoint. I can’t just go and do any job… I love this place too much.”
His heart permeates his work and home life. Alex is an avid pickleballer – a sport he says is good for competition, catharsis, and camaraderie. He says his biggest passion, though, is food. He takes joy in making people happy with food and traveling to enjoy it himself.
“I seek the tastiest foods,” says Alex.
Alex, Macon wouldn’t be the same without you. Thanks for being a champion for our community, and for being part of #TeamMaconBibb!