GMA President

About Julie Smith

Mayor Julie Smith has spent her life working with and for the people of Tifton.

Smith has lived in the South Georgia city since the 1970s, when she moved with her family as a child. She formed Advantage Realty Partners with two business associates in 2007 and has been engaged with local non-profits and government boards for decades. Before becoming mayor, she served as Tifton’s Main Street Director. She also dedicated her time and energy to organizations including the Tift County Development Authority, Tift County Board of Health, Tifton-Tift County Tourism Outreach Marketing Group and Tift County Airport Authority. She also served as the former Co-Chair of the Tifton Heritage Foundation and worked for many years with her local First Presbyterian Church Session.

Despite constantly being involved in the community, it took someone else’s push to get Smith to seek elected office. Her longtime councilmember planned to retire in 2012, and he urged her to run. She won, and after a term on the city council, Smith became Tifton’s first female mayor in 2016.

During Smith’s tenure, entrepreneurs have launched more than 100 new local businesses, Coca-Cola opened a $65 million distribution facility and multiple new housing complexes have broken ground. Smith facilitated a public-private partnership to create a new local dog park, strengthened Tifton’s relationship with Tift County government and welcomed film production in the city – she’s even made her own on-screen debut as an extra in a locally-filmed production.

Smith has also brought her leadership skills to GMA, serving as first, second and third vice president; chairing the Legislative Policy Council and Federal Policy Council; and making regular appearances in Washington, D.C. and under the Gold Dome to advocate for home rule and the needs of Georgia’s cities.

Mayor Smith’s dedication, determination, compassion and lifetime of service have prepared her well to serve GMA and city leaders across Georgia. GMA is grateful to have her at the helm for the 2022-2023 term.