Lissa Smith

Traffic. It might as well be a four-letter word. Pair it with “congestion” and those become fighting words in Plano. Let’s face it. Transportation has become a headache in our growing city.

But Plano’s got the right woman to handle its traffic concerns—City of Plano Mayor Pro Tem and long-time Plano resident, Lissa Smith. “Traffic is a growing concern among our citizens, and we have been actively planning solutions to facilitate mobility throughout the city,” she assured.

Locally, Plano’s city council is constantly looking for new solutions and ways to optimize traffic flow in the city. “Along with other North Texas cities, we are working closely with NTTA, TxDOT and DART to expand road capacity and transit options,” Lissa explained.

Lissa also serves on the Regional Transportation Council (RTC), which makes decisions and recommendations that impact mobility and transportation within the North Texas region. RTC is part of a larger council—the North Texas Council of Governments (NTCOG)–that recently appointed Lissa president, a role that will allow her to lead the council and subsequently guide its numerous departments, including Emergency Preparedness.

“Through our involvement with NTCOG, the city of Plano has a valuable resource with experts in each [department],” Lissa said. “That expertise is available to help Plano tackle related issues on a day-to-day basis as well as assisting with future planning that helps the Plano of today and the Plano of tomorrow.”

Taking an active governmental role in the City of Plano, Collin County and the North Texas region, Lissa attributes her desire and courage to influence policy to strong female role models in her life.

“My most influential role models were my grandmother, who was loving and caring and a woman of deep faith; my mother, who is strong-willed and taught me to always stand up for what I believe in; Adelfa Callejo, a truly amazing Dallas Hispanic activist who was a dear friend of my family; and Senator Florence Shapiro, who taught me ‘It can be done!’”

But it takes more than just following footsteps. Lissa has daily motivation that keeps her going: “My inspiration in life is my son Brandon, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2004 when he was 19 years old. I think about him every day. It was through our faith, family and the support of all our friends in Plano that we were able to get through this difficult time. Brandon continues to inspire me to give back to this community that has done so much for us.”

See all of the women in our Girl Boss 2016 feature >
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