GaFCP’s Gaye Smith Named One of Small Town America’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015

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Gaye Smith named one of Small Town America’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015


Rural Leader Magazine just named Georgia Family Connection Partnership Executive Director Gaye Smith one of Small Town America’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015.

Small Town America’s 100 Most Influential People Honors recognizes leaders from small communities throughout the Unite States who have made tremendous contributions to their communities.

“This year, we recognized leaders in a variety of areas, including business, nonprofits, health, faith-based, music, art, athletics, education, and government,” said Kuanita Murphy, publisher and editor-in-chief. “Our anonymous panel of judges received scores of nominations with the daunting task of selecting the 100 most influential people.”

The 2015 honorees include Georgians Christine B. “Nickey” Knighton of Randolph County, who became the second black woman in the United States to earn the right to wear aviator wings within the Department of Defense; singer-songwriters Luke Bryan and Phillip Phillips of Leesburg; and Carolina Panther Thomas “Pokey” Davis of Shellman, named NFL Man of Year in 2014.

“I’m honored that someone took the time and thoughtfulness to nominate me for this honor, and I’m grateful to the judges.” said Smith. “Working on behalf of all of Georgia’s counties is my passion, but most especially our smaller, rural counties that do so much with so little, and are truly the backbone of this state.”

Rural Leader Magazine is a digital publication that launched in March 2014 to tell stories of everyday people doing exceptional work in small rural communities, nationally and abroad. The publication has readers in 18 countries: the United States, Brazil, Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Netherlands, China, Columbia, Germany, Algeria, South Africa, France, Bolivia, Canada, Spain, Ireland, Israel, and the Philippines. In addition to the Small Town America’s 100 Most Influential People, Rural Leader Magazine also honors:

  • students under 20 who have made outstanding academic achievements and service to community;
  • best small town restaurant, recognizing mom and pop establishments—nominations are ongoing; and
  • 40 under 40, recognizing young leaders in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama for their exemplary contributions.

To find out more about Rural Leader Magazine, or to nominate a local hero, send an email to Murphy at