MADISON – Greg Shaw sees many parallels with owning a small business and the mechanics of running a city. Shaw represents District 4 on Madison City Council.
“As a small business owner, one has to juggle many different aspects of the business at the same time. My work has allowed me to interact with customers, clients, employees, vendors — all types of people and personalities,” Shaw said.
Running a small business is similar to leading small-town government, Shaw believes. “People, finances, budgets, growth all need to be managed to reach a successful end result. My past experiences will assist me in helping the city reach its full potential.”
Shaw firmed his decision to enter the political arena after Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway and then District 4 Councilman Mike Potter approached him. They both felt Shaw’s experience in owning Southern Scape LLC would be a good fit in aiding and promoting future economic growth for Madison.
Shaw listed the most demanding needs for District 4:
* Keeping the schools a top priority.
* Improving roads in the Limestone County portion of Madison.
* Expanding and connecting sidewalks.
“As for the city as a whole, I believe using a common sense approach as it pertains to growth of the city. We need to ensure that we are growing but not at a rate where we outgrow our schools, infrastructure, or fire and police protection,” Shaw said.
Shaw earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture (landscape design) in the College of Agriculture at Auburn University in 1996.
In 1984, his family moved to Madison for his father’s job as an engineer with Research, Development and Engineering Center on Redstone Arsenal. Greg attended Madison Middle School (now Madison Elementary School) and graduated from Bob Jones High School (now housing Discovery Middle School).
In 1997, Shaw opened his own business, Southern Scape LLC. “I’ve had lots of time to learn how to grow a small business. I’ve learned and gained a lot of real-world knowledge on what to do … and also what not to do,” he said.
“I truly believe my work experience has taught me how to better communicate when working with people for the greater good in accomplishing any goal. I believe the city, as well as a small business, has to have a good compromise of ‘want versus need’ to be successful,” Shaw said.
A native Madisonian, his wife Kimberly Romans Shaw also attended Madison Middle School and graduated from Bob Jones and Auburn University. Kimberly earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“Kim worked for COLSA Corporation for 13 years as an accountant and proposal analyst. She loves kids and the water and saw a need in Madison for teaching water safety. She left COLSA and now teaches Infant Swimming Resource lessons to kids from six months to six years old,” he said.
Their children are Maddie, 12, a sixth-grader at Mill Creek Elementary School and student at The Dance Company, and Reed, 4, “who attends weekday at Asbury United Methodist Church and thinks he is Batman,” Greg said. The Shaws are members of Asbury UMC.
Greg is involved with Madison Street Festival; Madison Arts Council; and numerous committees, like growth study and salary supplement, for Madison City Schools. With Southern Scape, he has partnered with Merrimack Hall on events and helped Huntsville Hospital’s Caring House.
Among his unknown talents, Shaw is a talented cook. “I’m actually pretty good at it! We recently re-landscaped our backyard. We put in an outdoor kitchen, so I spend a lot of time grilling and cooking for friends and family,” he said.
In his spare time, Shaw enjoys exercising, gardening and, of course, Auburn football.