Known for his work in local government and building strong civic, business and federal relationships, Larry Hanson currently serves as the executive director of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). Founded in 1933, GMA represents all of Georgia’s 538 cities through its lobbying, training and technical consulting services. Larry also serves as the secretary-treasurer for both the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System and the Georgia Cities Foundation. Prior to his employment with GMA, Larry served as city manager for the city of Valdosta for over 22 years.
In addition to his daily responsibilities, Larry is spearheading the association’s new headquarters project and the creation of Georgia City Solutions, a 501 (c)(3) subsidiary of GMA which has been created to fund initiatives to build vibrant, economically prosperous and well-managed cities.
Larry is a graduate of Valdosta State University and Valdosta High School. He is also a graduate of Leadership Georgia and a charter member of Leadership Lowndes, serving twice as its president.
Larry currently serves on several national and state committees. In December 2019, Larry was appointed to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council. Through this appointment, Larry will assist FHLBank Atlanta in fulfilling its affordable housing mission and work closely with the FHLBank Atlanta board of directors to ensure the housing needs of communities within the Bank’s district are met.
Larry supports the United States military and frequently interacts with Air Force leaders and Georgia’s congressional delegation on various military matters. He was appointed by the Air Force to the Air Combat Command Commander’s Group. He serves on U.S. Senator David Perdue’s Military Community Group and on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Military Advisory Committee.
Throughout his career, Larry has received numerous awards for his leadership and public service, including the 2003 Outstanding Public Official Award from Valdosta State University, the 2004 Carl Vinson Institute of Government/Georgia Trend Magazine Excellence in Public Service Award and the 2010 Georgia City-County Management Association Pillar of Professional Management Award for outstanding leadership and professional service to the local government profession. In 2011, Larry was inducted into GMA’s Municipal Government Hall of Fame. In addition, Georgia Trend recognized him in 2017 as a Notable Georgian and in 2018, 2019 and 2020 as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.
Larry is the proud father of two children, a son and a daughter. He is a long-time member and serves as an Elder at First Christian Church and is a past chairman of the church board.