Mayor Kim Learnard
by Susan Walworth
As Peachtree City’s second female mayor, Kim Learnard defines herself as a concrete thinker. “Bring me all the information and a few options and together with my cohorts on the city council, we’ll make a decision and take it from there,” she said.
Kim and her husband Rob moved to Peachtree City 22 years ago from North Metro Atlanta after she ran in the Peachtree City Classic and discovered the area’s beauty. “We wanted to be a part of the Peachtree City quality of life,” she said, adding that it was a great hometown for their three children, Katie, Jenni and Doug.
With a Midwestern upbringing, Kim earned an electrical engineering degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee. As a female engineer in the ’80s, she said, “I always felt like I had to make my own way.”
Her career has included installing robotics systems for General Motors, providing technical training for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and serving as vice president of West Georgia Technical College. Before becoming mayor, Kim served two terms on the city council.
She encourages input from citizens on the comprehensive plan update, which provides a road map for the city council. Important themes include the village concept, preservation of green space, transportation, and economic development. She also believes Peachtree City is well-positioned to take a leadership role in working with Fayette and Coweta counties, local municipalities, and the Georgia Department of Transportation to solve the area’s traffic problems.
“I would like to leave Peachtree City as a world-class city reflected in our recreation facilities, safe paths, fierce protection of our green spaces, and a productive and positive climate in city government,” she said. “I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to do the best I can for the future of Peachtree City.
by Susan Walworth
To ‘give moms the gift of time,’ Caroline Kirsch launched The Peachtree City Moms, a website that connects busy moms with local businesses and resources. As part of the larger Local Mom’s Network, The Peachtree City Moms includes a calendar of local events, community resources, and guides for everything from children’s parties to local elections, deals and coupons, and even a Peachtree City Mom online shop.
Caroline, the mother of Kathryn and Linden, remembers being a new mom. “It can sometimes feel like you're in a silo,” she said. “I know how important it is for moms to have community and easy access to resources. This was a way I could play a part in helping new moms who come to the area.” A former medical sales representative, Caroline’s decision to become a stay-at-home mom was easy, but the transition was more difficult than she expected. “When you're working, things are much more predictable. Being a mom is less predictable.”
When the New Orleans native moved to Peachtree City with her husband Jeff, Kathryn was a toddler. Caroline fell in love with her new community, quickly overcoming the isolation of being in a new place with no family nearby. She even wrote a book—GoodNight Peachtree City.
Caroline stresses the importance of moms taking time for themselves. Her self-care includes running, paddle boarding, and spending time with friends. “When I do things that fill my cup, I come back to my kids and my family more present, more patient, and really just a better mom.”
The Peachtree City Moms has also had in-person events with more planned this year. “I love what I'm doing, and I hope to build this platform to provide more connection for moms in the area.” For more information visit www.thepeachtreecitymoms.com.
by Pam Reid
Judiffier Pearson personifies excellence in the entrepreneurial world of business. Her creative journey from southwest Atlanta to Fayette County began with her entry into the world of beauty, grooming, hospitality and wellness. Her giftedness to create in a variety of media, along with her passion to be an instrument of growth and change, is the beauty and significance she brings to her service and the lives of others.
At a time when there were no business blueprints for the salon industry, Judiffier wrote and published two best-selling books to meet the need. Her reputation for excellence grew, as did her roster of celebrity artists beginning with award-winning gospel artist Tramaine Hawkins, and continued to grow with television personalities from Good Day Atlanta and Fox 5 and NBC affiliates.
From Girl Scout Troop leader to Vice President of the local chapter of Jack & Jill, Judiffier used these opportunities to build a community encompassing a deeper level of cultural and heritage experiences for her daughters, and many other young people in Fayette County. One such example was the memorable experience for local students to participate in a private discussion forum with cast members from the Marvel movie, Black Panther.
Judiffier’s service includes nine years with Clayton State University as a consultant with the Small Business Development Center, and in her later years as a lecturer. Currently, Judiffier is a lecturer with Georgia State University’s Creative Media Industries Institute. “I learn as much as I teach. The careers we’re preparing students for, don’t exist. It keeps me fresh and inspired. I’m also becoming a next-generation storyteller.” That said, Judiffier has a documentary and a new book in the works.
by Pam Reid
Investing in someone else with a genuine and loving desire to see life change for them, is Lisa Mahaffey’s passion . . . that, and her love for Jesus. Widowed in her twenties, Lisa’s faith was challenged in ways she never imagined. Through it all, Lisa testifies that God walked alongside her every step of the way, and that’s exactly what she does for others.
Painfully shy as a child, Lisa recalls, “If my dad had not pulled me out of my shy phase, God couldn’t use my mouth, which is exactly what He’s doing.” Lisa uses her story to encourage people through the grief of losing a loved one, the worry over a wayward child, or the healing from an accident.
As Lisa learned to heal her grief, doors opened for her to have a greater impact on the lives of others. Emails with stories from people about the good that came from the hardship they endured, poured in. Lisa approached her Associate Pastor with the idea to use the stories to write a book. The collaboration resulted in Mourning Break, available on Amazon.
At the start of a new year, when people consider resolutions and individual change, Lisa’s pastor shifted the focus from oneself to service to others, by asking this question: “What breaks your heart?” Lisa knew what God wanted her to do. She called the Fayette County jail to learn how she could help. Today, Lisa’s been volunteering and ministering to women in prison for six years.
Lisa did not miss a beat when the pandemic restricted access to the prison. She began a Bible study for local girls who enjoy fellowship, worship and learning God’s word. Lisa is eager to get back into the jail. She believes that when the women leave prison, they will be little lights shining where it's dark. “I plant the seeds, and God waters them.”