Banker Spotlight - AA Shaw, LLC.

AA Shaw, LLC, represented by long-term friends David Deason, Joe Usher, and Henry Blackburn, joined GERA in 2014 as a way to learn from other members' experiences in the industry as well as lend support for industry efforts.

David Deason, whom currently lives in Guyton, Georgia, has a background in accounting. He currently serves as the Director of Human Resources for Colonial Oil Industries, Inc. where he has been employed for 20 years. Prior to working for Colonial, David worked in human resources for Dixie Crystal Sugars. Joe Usher resides in Savannah, Georgia. Like David, Joe also has a background in accounting and is a retired certified public accountant (CPA) from Hancock Askew, where he was a partner. Henry Blackburn resides in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Henry is a retired engineer who worked for military shipyards and the weapons industry.

AA Shaw, LLC. is responsible for the AA Shaw Wetland Mitigation Bank located in Effingham County, Georgia. The Bank consists of two properties, the Deason Tract and the Dairy Farm Tract, located approximately 1-mile apart. The Deason Tract, totaling approximately 450-acres belonged to David's Great Aunt and was purchased from her estate. Historically, the property consisted of planted pine and was managed for timber. Approximately 250-acres of the tract is dedicated to wetland mitigation while the remainder is within a conservation easement. The Dairy Tract, also approximately 450-acres in size, was the Usher Family's dairy farm. Like the Deason Tract, approximately 250-acres of the Dairy Farm Tract is dedicated to wetland mitigation. The remainder of the Dairy Farm Tract consists of agricultural fields, which are primarily planted for cotton, peanuts, and corn. Both tracts are utilized for recreational hunting.

AA Shaw Mitigation Bank was approved in 2012 and construction completed in May of 2014. Wetland mitigation was accomplished through filling historic man-made ditching created to drain both tracts to increase land use activities. The bank generated a total of approximately 500-acres of wetland restoration and preservation. Mitigation credits service the Lower Savannah Watershed.

AA Shaw, LLC became interested in mitigation banking because it fit the representative overall view of conservation and environmental protection as long-term land owners. Further, mitigation banking was more financially attractive than either farming or timber production. When asked how mitigation banking can be improved, the group felt the industry needs a more consistent application of the rules and compliance of the Clean Water Act. They also feel there is room for improvement when it comes to consistency and communication throughout the industry.

In their spare time, the members of AA Shaw, LLC enjoy managing their land as good stewards while they are able to do so. Further, they enjoy spending time with their families as well as helping those who are less fortunate.