Davis was born and raised in Smyrna, then moved away with her husband, Col. Ron Davis, while he served 30 years in the military. The couple returned to the city in 1990. She was announced for the award at a Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Smyrna Area Council meeting on Nov. 10.
“I was very surprised!” Davis said. “When they first started, I felt, ‘Wow, that sounds like a really neat person,’ and when they said, ‘And she is the vice chair of Keep Smyrna Beautiful,’ I figured out it was me. The words were very kind, and you almost feel like you didn’t recognize that person when someone else is saying those things.”
Jim Duelmer of Vinings Mortgage, in announcing Davis as the citizen of the year, described her as “the kind of individual that you want to work with when working on a community project,” he said. “Dependable, dedicated, selfless and conscientious are just some of the adjectives that come to mind when describing” her.
Davis has been on the Keep Smyrna Beautiful board for six years and is the co-founder of Williams Park Neighbors, for the park near Atlanta Road.
She serves on the Keep Smyrna Beautiful board because, “We only get one world and we only get one shot at it, and if we don’t educate people to take care of ourselves and our community, we’re going to be in a world of hurt,” she said.
The board adopts miles of roadway to clean up, gives garden tours throughout the community, and helps finance things like the community garden.
“This year, what we’re going to put our money into is the understory trees at Taylor-Brawner Park,” she said. “The master plan put the big trees in, and it’s going to take a lot of little trees to help that area grow, too.”
She helped start Williams Park Neighbors out of a passion for her community and socializing.
“We have four functions a year and usually try to tie in something to help others into our social functions,” she said. “We work with MUST Ministries and do school drives for Argyle and Belmont Hills (elementary schools).”
In 2005, Davis and her neighbors got nearly 1,300 people to sign a petition to help purchase a portion of land that became Williams Park.
“We’re just neighbors and we try to look out for each other … Smyrna is just a super place to live. It’s small town but we’re close to the amenities of a big town and it’s just home,” she concluded.
Davis was nominated by Ann Kirk, who in a statement wrote this about her:
“Liz Davis has made a tremendous impact on the quality of life in Smyrna. Her instigation of and continued involvement with the Williams Park Neighbors has been one of the main factors in turning that neighborhood from a run-down area into a highly desirable and close-knit neighborhood.
“She has also given significant amounts of her time to Keep Smyrna Beautiful and the parks commission resulting in the successful starting of Keep Smyrna Beautiful Garden Tours and raising thousands of dollars for the Community Garden and for other improvement projects at schools and in our parks. Smyrna is a much better place because of Liz Davis.”
Davis’ husband Col. Ron Davis was recognized as the city’s Citizen of the Year in 2007.