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Posted on: October 5, 2021

Mayor of Gallatin Elected President of Regional Council, Smyrna Mayor Honored

Mayor of Gallatin Elected President of Regional Council, Smyrna Mayor Honored for Coordinating Transportation Plans
GNRC adopts budget, celebrates regional impact, and honors leaders at Annual Meeting

The Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) re-elected City of Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown as its president at the organization's annual meeting held in late September. The Regional Council facilitates collaboration among mayors and county executives across the rapidly growing mid-state area. GNRC also re-elected Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial as vice president and City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts as Treasurer. 

"I am proud to serve as GNRC's president," said Mayor Brown. "This organization continues to be an extremely productive forum for collaboration among local leadership. I believe in the spirit of cooperation within the Council, and I look forward to continuing to work together to leverage our resources to improve the lives of Middle Tennesseans." 

At the meeting, the Regional Council adopted a $20 million operating budget that will enable state agencies and local governments to tap into billions in grants and assistance for economic development projects, transportation improvements, water and sewer expansion, and local arts and tourism initiatives. Local companies and residents will benefit too. GNRC provides small business lending programs, home repair programs for low-income families, and long-term care services for older adults and adults with disabilities. In FY 2021, the agency helped connect thousands of older Tennesseans with services such as Meals on Wheels, in-home care, Medicare counseling, and family caregiver support. 

Michael Skipper, GNRC executive director added, "The challenges of the last year and a half gave made it extremely clear just how important our work is in helping local leaders forge partnerships with state and federal officials. Area mayors and county executives are to be commended for their efforts to plan and prioritize local needs while thinking regionally." 

A highlight of the annual meeting is GNRC's awards program which honors those who have demonstrated leadership on a regional scale. Three awards were presented this year: 

  • Town of Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed was presented the Marshall S. Stuart Award for her outstanding leadership in coordinating plans to address transportation challenges. As chair of the GNRC Transportation Policy Board, she oversaw the development of the $10.5 billion regional transportation plan adopted by area mayors and transportation officials in early 2021. She is currently spearheading efforts to expedite the timeline for implementing projects from the plan. 
  •  Former Westmoreland Mayor Jerry Kirkman was presented the Maynard Pate Award for his exceptional leadership in bringing awareness to the opportunities and challenges of Middle Tennessee's rural areas. Kirkman served on GNRC's Executive Board for many years, providing guidance to help the agency address the needs of small towns and rural communities. 
  • GNRC honored a former member of staff, Kim Hale, with the R.J. "Hank" Thompson award. Hale recently retired from the agency after serving older Tennesseans through the Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program for more than 20 years. In her role as District Public Guardian, Hale was known for her compassion and dedication in providing care and support to older adults in need of conservatorship. 

GNRC is one of nine development districts across Tennessee tasked with facilitating cooperative policymaking to direct state and federal investments into local social services and public infrastructure. The Regional Council governing body is comprised of mayors and county executives, state legislators, and appointed experts representing business and social equity issues for Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson counties. 

To learn more about the GNRC's programs and services, visit The 2021 Annual Report is available at 

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