Vice-Mayor Martin Receives TML Leadership Award

Vice-Mayor Martin Receives TML Leadership Award
Posted on 06/14/2018
Media Advisory from TML: Columbia Vice Mayor Dr. Christa Martin was awarded the inaugural Bob Kirk Local Government Leadership Award by the Tennessee Municipal League at their 79th Annual Conference in Knoxville.
The Bob Kirk Local Government Leadership Award is presented to the council member, alderman, or commissioner who is at least in their second term of service to their municipality and has shown themselves to be an outstanding public servant to both their municipality and their community. The award is named for Dyersburg City Alderman and TML Past President Bob Kirk who has served his city for nearly 51 years as an elected official with great esteem and continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to better his community. 
Martin came from humble beginnings, growing up and working on a large, more than 700-acre family farm along with her mother, father, grandmother, six siblings and grandmother and her three brothers and their families. Martin’s experience with public service started early, going with her father as he went to meet local officials to discuss issues in the area. 
Education has always been a part of Martin’s life. She first attended a local two-room school house and then graduated from Central High School – now Columbia Central. She holds an associate’s degree in data processing from Columbia State, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in information systems from Middle Tennessee State University, and a doctorate in higher education leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She is also a Maxine Smith Fellow with the Tennessee Board of Regents. 
Since 1979, she has worked for Columbia State Community College as a programmer analyst, assistant director, and director of computer services. Martin presently serves assistant to the president for access and diversity, and was given the school’s 2015 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award for her dedication to public service. 
During her lifetime, Martin has served on more than 23 local boards and committees including the Maury Regional Hospital Foundation board, Project Learn-Adult Basic Education board, Boys and Girls Club of Maury County, and Maury County Imagination Library board. Her many accolades include the NAACP President’s Award, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service and Government Award, and the Columbia State Outstanding Professional Staff Award. In 2004, she was ordained as an elder at New Smyrna Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 
Martin was already serving on several city boards and committees when she was first appointed by late Mayor Barbara McIntyre to serve an unexpired term on the Columbia City Council in 1992. Once the term expired, she ran for the Ward 3 seat, which she held up until she was selected as the city’s vice-mayor in 2014. Upon her election, she became the first black woman to hold the office of vice mayor in Columbia. She also serves as an at-large member of the Tennessee Municipal League Board of Directors.
During her tenure with both the city and Columbia state, she has seen Columbia grow from 29,000 residents to 37,000, while Columbia State has grown from a single campus in Columbia to locations in Clifton, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, and Lewisburg.  
Martin and her husband Willard have two adult children, Karlston Martin, who resides in Georgia with his wife and two children, and Jyuana Martin, who followed her mother’s footsteps into politics when she was elected to the Maury County School Board in 2014.