Julie Smith Inducted into the Georgia Municipal Hall of Fame

Staff Report

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

Pictured:  Shelly Berryhill, commissioner from Hawkinsville; Julie Smith, mayor of Tifton; and Larry Hanson, GMA CEO and executive director.

Julie Smith is one of three outstanding local government leaders inducted into the Georgia Municipal Government Hall of Fame on Monday, June 26 at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Annual Convention in Savannah. 

Prior to her career in public office, Mayor Smith worked as a longtime real estate agent and actively participated on local boards, commissions and city council in her hometown of Tifton. In 2016, Mayor Smith become Tifton's first female mayor—a position she holds with immense pride to this day.  

As Mayor, she has taken special pride in the city’s efforts to revitalize a previously neglected part of town and worked tirelessly to bring high-quality housing to the area and improve residents’ access to community activities. This focus underscores her belief that the investment cities make in housing, arts and culture, clean water, public safety and community and economic development have significant and long-lasting effects on people’s lives and the health and prosperity of a community. 

Her remarkable achievements also include serving as the President of the GMA, where she has dedicated her passion and expertise to benefit all 537 cities in Georgia. During her tenure as GMA President, Mayor Smith has been instrumental in advocating for the needs of Georgia's cities. She has served as a member of the Municipal Training Board, the Association's Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors. Additionally, she has chaired significant councils, including GMA's Legislative Policy Council, Federal Policy Council, and the Member Services Advisory Council. Mayor Smith has consistently championed the interests of Georgia's cities, making regular appearances in Atlanta and Washington D.C. to advocate for the needs of Georgia’s cities. 

The Hall of Fame recognizes city officials who have made extraordinary contributions to the city they serve and have exhibited strong support for the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). This year’s other inductees are:   

· Michael Brown, former City Manager of Savannah 

· Eric Clarkson, former Mayor of Chamblee 

GMA is proud to welcome these accomplished leaders into the Georgia Municipal Government Hall of Fame.