Springfield, MO

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Mary Lilly Smith has served as director of planning and development since 2015.
Photo provided by city of Springfield
Mary Lilly Smith has served as director of planning and development since 2015.

Mary Lilly Smith retiring after 4 decades with city

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Mary Lilly Smith is retiring from the city of Springfield after nearly four decades.

Smith, director of the city's Department of Planning and Development, is slated to work her last day on April 30, according to a news release.

“I’m most proud of the team I’ve built in the Planning and Development Department and the relationships we’ve built with other departments and with the business and development community,” Smith said in the release. “Through those relationships we’ve been able to collaborate on projects that have resulted in new jobs and investments, retail activity and both downtown and neighborhood revitalization."

City officials credit Smith with having a hand in around 100 key economic development projects and business attraction, retention and expansion initiatives, as well as two long-range city planning efforts in Vision 2020 and the current Forward SGF. She served 17 years as economic development director before taking on her current role in 2015.

City officials detailed some of Smith’s accomplishments in the release:
• assisted in the facilitation of the development of Partnership Industrial Center and PIC West;
• worked to bring millions of dollars of private investment that resulted in thousands of new and retained jobs;
• led the use of local and state economic development incentives;
• helped redevelop center city, most notably the successful pursuit to redevelop the Heer's building; and
• served as an economic development partner with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Business Development Corp., City Utilities and Greene County.

"Her knowledge and caring for Springfield cannot be replaced," City Manager Jason Gage said in the release. "Without question, she will leave a void."

Assistant Director of Planning & Development Brendan Griesemer will serve as acting director as the city conducts a search for Smith's replacement, according to the release.


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I first met Mary in 1983 when we moved to Springfield and the Rountree neighborhood had their first meeting and was just trying to get started. that is still a very viable organization. we worked together the 12 years i was on city council. when Mary leaves, she will take with her more than 4 decades of development knowledge. she is honestly one of the most well respected city leaders the state and city was blessed with.

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