Sementha Mathews, Public Information Officer for the City of Valdosta, received the 2013 Loyce Turner Outstanding Public Official of the Year Award at the Valdosta State University Public Administration Advisory Committee Award Luncheon, on April 17.
Mathews is responsible for planning and directing the city’s information program which provides an effective communication link for local government officials, city employees, citizens and the news media. Her work involves developing, implementing and monitoring communication strategies and programs to ensure a positive public image of the city and the timely provision of information to citizens. Mathews oversees the operations of Metro Valdosta 17, Valdosta’s government access channel, and the city’s award-winning website—both of which provide citizens with 24/7 access to news and information about their local government. She is also very involved in the planning and implementation of special events and programs for the city that inspire public involvement.
“Sementha is so deserving of this recognition. She has an outstanding record of dedicated and distinguished public service to our citizens and our community,” said Mara Register, Assistant to the City Manager.
“Off duty,” Mathews is an adjunct instructor at Valdosta State University in the Communication Arts Department, is the 2013 President Elect for the Leadership Lowndes Board of Trustees, is active with Toastmasters International, and is a member of Crosspointe Church. The Valdosta Junior Women’s Club named her the 2011 Woman of the Year.
“Each and every day Sementha comes to work with a passion for serving people. Her enthusiasm, dedication, and professionalism are obvious to all and demonstrate the very qualities and ideals this award represents. She is truly deserving of this honor,” stated City Manager Larry Hanson.
Mathews has a Bachelor of Art degree in Journalism from the University of Hawaii and aMaster of Public Administration degree from Valdosta State University. Mathews and her husband Lawrence, a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, have three children attending college in Valdosta, two of which are at VSU.