Distinguished for her efforts and passion as a political leader, Lynn R. Smith was raised to believe that involvement in one’s local community was essential for a positive and thriving society. Since 1997, Ms. Smith has served as a state representative for Georgia, advocating for State House District 70. As a state representative, she has sat as the chair of the House Natural Resources and Environmental Committee since 2005. Her varied legislative career includes appointments on the House Working Group on Creative Arts and Entertainment; the Appropriations, Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee; and the Rules Committee.
Among numerous other posts, Ms. Smith also held the role of developer on the NR&E Committee Policy Academy in 2011. She is a former lay appointee of the State Bar of Georgia Investigative Panel and a former vice chair of the Environment Committee with the National Conference of State Legislators. Ms. Smith’s broad network is sustained through various affiliations, including her efforts as a board member for the Southern States Energy Board and as a member of the National Conference of State Legislators. She has also chaired the Energy and Environment Committee for the Southern Legislative Conference and was the author of 2023 legislation to provide options for temporary property tax relief following natural disasters (HB 311).
Reflecting upon her abundant career, several key achievements define Ms. Smith’s service to the state of Georgia, including her role as the author of bills like the Water Stewardship Act and as a contributor to revisions of the Brownfield Act. She is also proud to have led the development of the Chattahoochee Bend State Park and helped secure state funding to spur the development of the Central Education Center and new construction for the West Georgia Technical College Campus in Coweta. In addition, she acquired grant funding to assist Coweta County in purchasing the Brown’s Mill Battlefield, a historic Civil War site.
Throughout her broad spectrum of accomplishments, Ms. Smith is particularly proud of her contributions to helping pass the 2008 house resolution that created water districts and guidelines to protect water quality and quantity. Likewise, she notes that the highlight of her career has been her dedication to public service, improving her constituents’ quality of life and preserving the environment. Being the steady hand through much-needed debates is also one of her achievements.
To attest to her notable professional efforts, Ms. Smith was consecutively named to Georgia Trend Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Georgians from 2011 to 2016. In 2011, she received the Friends of Business Award from the Regional Business Coalition, the Tourism Champion Award from the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and the Environmental Leader in Golf Award from the Georgia Golf Environmental Foundation, having also earned recognition as a House Hero by James Magazine and winning the Legislative Livestock Showdown at the Georgia National Fair. Additionally, Ms. Smith was honored as the Georgia Chamber Legislator of the Year and listed as One of Georgia’s Most Influential by James Magazine in 2010.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Smith was granted the Pacesetter Award from The Stennis Center for Public Service in 2007, the Champion of Cities Award from the Georgia Municipal Association in 2006, the Legislative Achievement Award from the Georgia Forestry Association in 2006 and the Legislative Award from the Association of County Commissioners for the 2005-2006 year. Named a Gracious Lady of Georgia in 2005, she was also the recipient of a Trailblazer Award in 2004.
Ms. Smith attributes her success to her willingness to listen to people, instinctively knowing what people need and acting to address those needs. Backed by coursework from the University of Georgia, she got involved in her profession upon successfully solving some challenging problems with the local chamber. Subsequently, she was requested by business leaders in her community to put her problem-solving abilities to work and run for office. Her personal motto remains: “I’m your problem solver.”
Outside of her duties as a state representative, Ms. Smith remains active in her local community. To date, she has maintained affiliation with the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, the Newnan Carnegie Library, the Newnan-Coweta Public Library, the Newnan Junior Service League, the Newnan Rotary Club and the Central Baptist Church. She also served on the boards of the Newnan-Coweta United Way, Newnan Hospital, the Coweta Economic Development Partnership, and the Shenandoah Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center. A master gardener, Ms. Smith is also a member of the Driftwood Garden Club.