Allison is a Shelby County leader

By BETH CHAPMAN/Community Colunnist

When it comes to leadership in Shelby County, there is one name that cannot be denied —County Commissioner Lindsey Allison.

She was one of the first female lawyers here and was the first female elected to our county commission.

Lindsey Allison

Allison grew up in Vestavia Hills, received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University and her law degree from Cumberland School of Law. She has served on the commission for 20 years and practices family law.

Her most important contributions as a commissioner have been establishing a foundation and various systems through years of growth to manage the county government responsibilities: financial controls, infrastructure, law enforcement, landfill, water system, parks and senior centers, just to name a few, after helping get the county out of financial crisis in 1994.

She said her leadership skills have been through on the job training. “I learned much more from my failures than through my successes; however, I have served, or been surrounded by, amazing elected and management personnel.”

Her two mentors were Judges Patti Smith and Patricia Fuhrmeister.

Allison believes the most important leadership traits a person can have are “to be a good listener, to humbly approach a problem and to be prepared to make tough decisions when those decisions may not always be the popular or easy decisions.”

Her advice for young people who want to grow into leadership positions are to put themselves in numerous positions to learn — on the job, volunteer with non-profit organizations, educate themselves on various issues, find a good mentor and work harder than anyone else.

“I have met many intelligent and bright people — but hard work always wins out,” Allison said.

In addition to being the chair of the commission, she is involved with Baptist Health Systems on the Quality Control Committee, the Shelby Leadership Board of Directors, the Shelby County Indigent Defense Council and the Shelby County Arts Council.

She and husband Russ have two daughters, Leigh and Kelsey. They are members of Asbury United Methodist Church and live in Indian Springs.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident. You can reach her at