American Village has national influence

It’s always good to see an outside entity recruit talent that has helped bring success to Shelby County over the past several years. Especially when that entity is in Washington D.C.

Last week, the White House Historical Association in Washington reached into Shelby County to select Stewart D. McLaurin – currently the executive vice president of the American Village Citizenship Trust – as its president.

McLaurin was chosen from among 300 other candidates from across the nation, which speaks volumes for the caliber of leadership in place at Montevallo’s American Village.

In naming McLaurin the organization’s new president, White House Historical Association Chairman Fred Ryan highlighted McLaurin’s ties to the historical community and harped on his “proven fundraising experience” and his experience in conducting community outreach.

While he is working for the National Park Service, McLaurin will work to promote an understanding and appreciation for the White House – a job he was well-groomed for through his work with the American Village.

In the same week, the Women’s Committee of 100 for Birmingham named American Village founder and Chief Executive Officer Tom Walker as its 2014 Citizen of the year.

Walker worked to dream up and build the American Village into a destination fostering patriotism and an understanding of America’s history and values.

“Tom Walker’s vision to create a colonial village where visitors could learn and share in American History, rediscover the significance of the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and Bill of Rights, is helping youngsters and adults make connections not only to our nation’s past—it’s liberty, law and good citizenship—but also to understand their great responsibility for its future,” one of Walker’s nominators wrote about him.

American Village has been a Shelby County gem since it opened its gates in 1999. It’s good to see others take notice.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.