Larry Hanson currently serves as the CEO and Executive Director of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). Founded in 1933, GMA represents all 537 Georgia cities through its lobbying, training and technical consulting services. Larry also serves as the Secretary-Treasurer for several city-focused nonprofit groups, including the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System, the Georgia Cities Foundation, Georgia City Solutions and the Georgia Forward-Young Gamechangers. Prior to his employment with GMA, Larry served as City Manager for the city of Valdosta for over 22 years.
Throughout his career, Larry has received numerous awards for his leadership and public service. Some of these include 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 2017, Georgia Trend Magazine recognized him as a Notable Georgian and in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. Larry was also named by James Magazine as one of the Most Influential Georgians in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Larry is a graduate of Valdosta State University and Valdosta High School. He is a Past President of the Valdosta State University Alumni Board and a past member of the VSU Foundation. 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. Larry is the proud father of two children, a son and a daughter. He is a long-time member of and served as an Elder at First Christian Church in Valdosta, is a past chairman of the church board and holds joint membership at Peachtree Christian Church in midtown Atlanta.