Tuscaloosa Executive Wins Top Association Exec Honor

Tuscaloosa Executive Wins Top Association Exec Honor

Shay Lawson, chief executive officer for the Tuscaloosa Association of REALTORS®, compares the work of local association executives to “symphony conductors orchestrating multiple objectives to achieve success for their members and communities.” Lawson is the 2023 Manie Barbour Association Executive Professional Excellence Award winner, the highest award bestowed by the Alabama Association of REALTORS® on an association executive.  

Named for Manie Barbour, who distinguished herself in her service as an association executive for the Tuscaloosa Association, the award honors a local real estate association executive who has served for at least seven years. 

Lawson, who has led the Tuscaloosa Association of REALTORS® for eight years, explained her view of a local association executive’s role, “We transform strategic objectives into measurable results; plan and coordinate professional development opportunities, community projects, and social events; are experts in event and project management; develop and empower local leadership and staff; advocate for property rights and homeownership; manage and oversee budgets; communicate with members, the public, tech providers and vendors; and are constantly looking for ways to elevate and improve the Association experience for members.”

The award came as a complete surprise to Lawson. “To be nominated for the Manie Barbour Award is an honor in itself,” she said. “To receive the Manie Barbour Award is humbling knowing that the nomination was submitted by my leadership. The support of my volunteer leaders is crucial to helping me achieve the strategic goals for our Association and ensuring its continued growth and prosperity for our members. It's a daunting role to serve as an Association Executive yet a rewarding position to see members achieve their real estate career and professional development goals.”

Lawson’s nomination details her deep involvement in local, state, and national committees including the AAR Professional Standards Committee.  For the National Association of REALTORS®, she served on the Land Use, Property Rights & Environment Committee; Leading Edge Advisory Board; and the NAR Research Committee. Locally, Lawson is a member of the Leadership Tuscaloosa Board of Directors and the West Alabama Food & Wine Festival Board of Directors.  She is a volunteer and former board member of the Humane Society of West Alabama, and volunteers with the Metro Animal Shelter and Bark in the Park.

A graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, Lawson is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association.