2007-07-18 / Community

Fleming takes the helm at GPA

New President of Georgia Press Association receives gavel from former President Burgett Mooney. New President of Georgia Press Association receives gavel from former President Burgett Mooney. A very capable and lovely Southwest Georgia lady was elected to the highest office of the Georgia Press Association recently.

Judy Fleming, general manager of the Early County News, was inducted as the 121st president of the Georgia Press Association during the 2007 GPA convention in Savannah.

She became the fourth woman to lead the association, following in the footsteps of Marianne Thomason of the Newnan Times-Herald, Barbara Stinson of the Macon Telegraph and Cheryl Williams of The Blackshear Times.

Judy and Early County News publisher Billy Fleming are only the second husband-wife journalists to both serve as GPA presidents. Cheryl and Robert Williams were the first. Billy served as GPA president in 1996-97.

Judy was presented the gavel by outgoing president Burgett Mooney of the Rome Tribune following the election of officers during the June 16 GPA business meeting in Savannah. She was elected GPA secretary in 2005 and served as vice president this past year.

"The Georgia Press Association has a rich history of service to the people of our communities and state through our newspapers," Judy said following her induction. "It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve as president of our association."

Also inducted during the business meeting were vice president Buff Leavy of the Brunswick News and secretary Laura Geiger of the Barnesville Herald-Gazette.

Judy's newspaper career began in the late 1960s. She actually went to work for the Early County News before Billy joined father Hoyle Fleming, making the News a fourth generation family business.

Both Judy and Billy have been active in the press association since the 1970s, serving on and chairing a number of committees and serving on the board of directors. Billy is presently serving on the Georgia Press Education Foundation Board of Trustees.

This Georgia Press newspaper wishes our neighbor and friend Judy a most successful reign as our new president. We at the Miller County Liberal are looking forward to her capable leadership through this next year.

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