Mary Lou Hildreth is the Mayor of the City of Keystone Heights and serving her second term in this position. During her tenure she has accomplished many things to the benefit of the city. Mary Lou established the only Community Redevelopment Area in the entire county. She has obtained over $2 million dollars in grant funding. She jump started the recreation park that had been languishing and has seen it through to completion as well as cleaned up a blighted park. Most importantly, she is very visible and makes every effort to represent the City of Keystone Heights in all venues from the Chamber of Commerce to the legislative halls of Tallahassee. She is undaunted in constantly lobbying and promoting her community to its advantage. Mary Lou frequently attends conferences, workshops and summits all over the state to learn new ideas and share information with others.
Mary Lou was honored to be finalist for the Florida League of Cities’ Mayor of the Year award in 2008. She Chairs the Budget and Finance Committee and Community Redevelopment Agency. Mary Lou is an active member of the Florida League of Cities and the Florida League of Mayors, serving on the League’s Energy and Environmental Legislative Council. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Florida League of Cities and in 2009 was elected Vice President. She is the League’s appointee to the Executive Committee for the Florida Urban Forestry Council, and in 2009 was elected as Secretary. She is Secretary/Board Member for the Lake Area Ministries Building Fund, and Chairs the Board of Directors for the Keystone Heights High School Academy of Agriscience. In 2009 she was re-appointed to the Clay County Tourism Development Council. Mary Lou is a graduate of Leadership Clay, Class of 2007 and the Northeast Florida Regional Leadership Academy of 2009.
Mary Lou is very active in her communities’ civic associations. She is a member of the Kiwanis, Jaycees, and Our Country Day. Mary Lou is a Master Gardener volunteer with UF/IFAS and received the Volunteer of the Year Award for her work at the Florida Youth Challenge Academy in 2006. She is also an active member of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce. She frequently is invited to Camp Blanding to speak to the troops as they deploy and when they return home as well as attending other ceremonies honoring the Florida National Guard.
Prior to holding political office, Mary Lou worked as an administrator and client liaison for the Law Firm of Bacen & Jordan, P.A. for 18 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida where she majored in Special Education. She is married and has one daughter.