Born and raised in White, Lewis is son to Dean and Lanell Lewis, purveyors of Old Car City, and brother of Tracy Lewis, owner of FasTrak Delivery.
Lewis runs the family’s private enterprise managing billboard advertisement, but with a passion for public policy feels drawn to the public sector. In a 2010 interview with The Daily Tribune News, Lewis described his various roles in policymaking as an outlet for serving others and the place where he can “do the most good.”
“I’ve always felt I’ve had a calling for public service,” Lewis said. “Ever since I was a little boy I’ve been fascinated with public policy and those serving in those arenas. That’s just where I think I can serve people the best and do the most good.”
Name: Jeff Lewis
Occupation/Title: President, DeLew Outdoor Advertising; Government Affairs and Business Development Consultant; Elected to Georgia Department of Transportation Board, Congressional District 11
City of residence: Cartersville. Grew up in White
Family: Married to Kim for 22 wonderful years. We have three boys: Macall, a senior at Cartersville High; Parker, an eighth grader at Cartersville Middle; and Peyton, a fifth grader at Cartersville Elementary.
Education: Graduate of Cass High School, Double Major in Political Science and Philosophy from Jacksonville State University and University of Alabama. Masters in Business Administration, Jacksonville State.
When were you first elected state representative and how long did you hold that office?
A: First elected 1992, served for 16 years. Last 5 years as State Rep. I had the pleasure of serving as Chairman of the Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee.
What is your role in your position as state transportation board member?
A: Serving as Board Member for 11th Congressional District, which includes all of Bartow and Cherokee counties, and one third of Cobb and a portion of Fulton. The role is to help establish policy for the DOT with respect to budget and upkeep as well as maintenance of infrastructure and the development of new infrastructure. Most importantly, to serve the people and locally elected officials of the 11th Congressional District.
What led you to the field of civic service?
A: I’ve always had a passion and desire for public service. I got the right encouragement at the right time and it propelled me to move forward.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role in the community?
A: Seeing various issues and challenges resolved and helping people with their needs over the years. I love knowing I have helped people who were at an impasse with their situation. There were and are many situations where I simply could not bring about a solution, but it is always rewarding when you can.
What would you consider your greatest personal or professional achievement?
A: As I’ve been told many times, I married above myself. Kim is my greatest friend and asset by far, and asking her to be my partner in life was and is the best personal decision I’ve ever made. Also, the joy of raising three sons who are turning out to be fine young men. I’m extremely proud of each of them and it’s always personally rewarding when you see them making wise decisions and realize they have been listening more than you thought. Professionally, I’m proud to have served our community for 16 years as State Representative and now as a DOT Board Member. I don’t take those responsibilities lightly and greatly value the trust which others have placed in me to make sound decisions which benefit our community. Receiving “Legislator of the Year” Award two different times was also very rewarding. I received the award for my work with business and economic development issues.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Be a bridge builder, not a bridge burner. And when plans succeed, look at others and give them credit, but when plans fail, look in the mirror and take responsibility.
What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
A: It might surprise some to know that I went through Army Ranger training. I was also offered an acting/drama scholarship to college. I also had an interesting opportunity in 2008 to be the Georgia Ambassador to the UK for climate change discussions.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A: That’s easy ... Old Car City in White.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
A: Conservative, visionary and outgoing.
If you were not in this line of work, what would you like to do?
A: College professor or college president, U.S. Ambassador, or an author.