Airport Planning Manager Sees Master Plan Unfold Before Her
By Roishina C. Henderson
Shelley Lamar knew as a young girl that wherever her destiny led to in her career, it had to involve working with people. That destiny brought her to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where she has been for nearly nine years as the Community Development and Land Use Planning Manager.
“I’ve had experience in planning, marketing and public participation for almost 20 years,” said Lamar, who is responsible for working with area municipalities in the development of appropriate land use plans and other development programs at the Airport. “I’ve been involved in activities during the Airport’s master planning efforts. As that planner, I got a chance to see the master plan come to life. It’s rare to be able to see your plans in action. It’s been rewarding.”
Lamar participated in the public involvement aspect for planning in the Airport’s fifth runway, a $1.2 billion project completed in the spring of 2006 that has been dubbed “America’s most important runway” by Hartsfield-Jackson Aviation General Manager Ben DeCosta.
“I saw the dirt being moved, the pavement being poured, and I got to ride in the first plane that took off on the new runway. It was such a big and important moment,” said Lamar.
Born in Japan “to a military family” and arriving in the United States at age seven, Lamar studied engineering at Wayne State University in Michigan. It was there that she had an epiphany that being an engineer wasn’t her true calling.
“Drawing plans was not what was interesting to me, but rather I wanted to know why something was being built and the affect it would have on a community,” Lamar said. “I wanted to talk to people— to stakeholders and know things like: why do you need this or how would this roadway change current conditions?”
Prior to joining Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Lamar was a consultant on the Airport’s Joint Venture Core staff team, where she shared her expertise in community development and Airport planning. She has also been involved in planning projects with the Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Institute of Technology, the Georgia Department of Transportation, as well as the MAGLEV project, which is a proposed high speed rail connection between Atlanta and Chattanooga.
Lamar’s commitment to her planning career goes beyond her office
doors. She is active in numerous civic and professional organizations. She
serves as the immediate past president for the Atlanta Airport Area Chamber
of Commerce, where she played an active role in program development, special
events and community engagement.
Her work has not gone unnoticed. She was recognized in March 2007 during Women’s History Month for outstanding achievement for the City of Atlanta. “It’s gratifying and humbling when people recognize the hard work you do,” Lamar said.
© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.