Introducing Lisa Smith
Meet Lisa Smith, the NEW Vice President of Community and Economic Development for Georgia Power. New to the role but not to Southern Company, she's focusing on workforce development and engineering in addition to recruiting new business to Georgia and supporting local and statewide initiatives that promote community development.
Lisa is no stranger to driving business initiatives in Georgia. Before transitioning into her current role she served as the Vice President for the West Region for Georgia Power. It is here where she was directly responsible for the company’s external activities for 550,000 customers across a 72-county area for the west side of the state.
We invite you to get to know Lisa Smith, Vice President of Community and Economic Development.
How long have you worked for Georgia Power?
I worked for Southern Company for 28 years, four of those years at Mississippi Power and the rest at Georgia Power.
How do you feel about transitioning to the role of Georgia Power Community and Economic Development Vice President?
I've shared with the team that I cannot adequately describe how excited I am. This group has such an awesome reputation, very successful experts are called upon by many leaders in the company. And so just to be a part of that AND promote the state of Georgia, it is very different from anything I've ever done. I feel very fortunate, honestly.
Why do you feel like it's important for Georgia Power to participate in economic development? Why do we do it?
We do it for a couple of reasons. Most of my career has been on the traditional side of the [Southern] company that keeps the lights on and grows revenue from that perspective. But what I love about community and economic development is that it's not just about winning the customer. It's about promoting the state.
If we grow, if the state grows, we all grow! It is about making sure that our communities are prosperous and healthy.
And so it’s that perspective, and then just tie in the citizens wherever we serve. Community development just aligns greatly with that. If I could wake up passionate about anything, it would be this, along with employee development.
Growing community, serving citizens of the state of Georgia, and employee development are all a part of what makes this role and this group so exciting.
Where do you live now in Georgia? What part of town are you in?
I am moving from Columbus, Georgia back to Newnan. It's a great community. I used to serve as an area manager in the city. When I told the community leaders we were moving back we were invited to dinners. It’s a real family feel even after all these years.
And what's really interesting, one of our outside partners in the community is Newnan Utility. The person who's over Newnan Utilities has already said, "When you get settled, we're going to have a big celebration."
What do you love about the state of Georgia? What makes it different?
It's beautiful, first of all. There’s a great quality of life. Whatever you're looking for, you can find it here. There’s the diversity of metro Atlanta, and then you can go to Dublin, Georgia. The state is very diverse. You can go to beaches in Savannah. But when I think about, even on a personal level, my son and his experiences, I just think it can't get any better than this. I am glad to be here and all that it affords.
Tell me about your family.
I have one son who just turned 18. My husband and I have been married for 25 years. They're just a couple of great guys. They both like to cook and I like to eat, so it's a good partnership.
What’s your favorite book?
I love to read, but I like to read for pleasure. There was just a book that I read years ago, and I really want to read it again, called the Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. I don't even remember what was so good about the book, but it certainly made a lasting impression.