After a thorough national search, Mary Allison Haynie was named Executive Director of the AFA, effective October 1,2010.
Haynie was director of the Ottawa, Kansas, Main Street Association from 2003 to 2006. During her tenure, the organization received seven Governor’s Awards in 2004 and eleven in 2005. In June 2006, she became the community program director for Main Street Birmingham, Inc. and in January 2010 became the grants administrator and historic preservation specialist for the organization. Her accomplishments at Main Street Birmingham include facilitating the organization and incorporation of the Avondale Business Association, the Ensley Merchants Association, and the Art in Avondale Park Alliance. Haynie was responsible for adding historic buildings in Birmingham and Ottawa to the National Register. She authored Ensley and Tuxedo Junction, a photo book soon to be released by Arcadia Publishing company.
Haynie, who goes by the double first name of Mary Allison, was born in Birmingham and lived in Pass Christian, Miss., and Fairhope, Ala., before attending Rhodes College, where she earned a B.A. in anthropology/sociology. She received an M.A. in Historical Administration and Museum Studies from the University of Kansas and an A.B.D. in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murphreesboro . While at MTSU she was active in supporting the preservation of dry-laid stone walls of Middle Tennessee through research and advocacy.
She brings twenty-years of study and experience to the AFA in the fields of museum work and historic preservation along with skills in writing grants, managing special events, directing public programs, organizing volunteers, communicating, and networking. In her application she wrote, “I am eager to return to subjects more affiliated with my early career goals and my passion for rural landscapes, traditions, and cultural expressions that define the essence of Alabama.” Upon accepting the Board’s offer she said, “I look forward to taking on the upcoming challenge of continuing the outstanding work that has been accomplished by the organization while moving it forward to accomplish new goals and initiatives.” The AFA Board and retiring director Joyce Cauthen are confident that Mary Allison Haynie will be able to take the organization to new levels of achievement.