By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Dave and Tina Shaw, their sons, Gary, Joseph, Andrew and Michael, and even their dogs, Linus and Leo, operate by two simple words: family first.
Between juggling busy careers, a long list of community involvements and afterschool activities, the Shaws, who have been named by the Times West Virginian as the 2013 Marion County Family of the Year, make sure they never neglect their number one priority.
“The Shaws have done well,” said Mary Jo Thomas, who nominated the family for the award. “They’ve done lots of things within the community, their jobs and volunteer activities, but in the meantime they always give time to family.”
Doing so can be a balancing act, though. Tina, who is the president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is also a member of the GFWC Woman’s Club of Fairmont, the president of the Marion County Boys and Girls Club, the acting chair of the Seven Stories Theatre Company, and the president of the Fairmont Senior High School Choral Boosters. She is also a Rotarian, is on the United Way’s Board of Directors and was recently recognized as the Outstanding Fairmont State University Alumnae for 2013.
Meanwhile, Dave is busy working at Freedom Bank and serving on the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission Board of Directors, the County Planning Commission, the State Board for Manufactured Housing and the Fairmont Senior High School Choral Boosters. He is also a former member of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce Board and the City Water Board.
Both Dave and Tina keep their schedules full with their respective activities and leadership roles, and that appears to be a characteristic that runs in the family.
Their oldest son, Gary, 26, is an attorney at the United States Department of Justice; Joseph, 22, is an assistant manager at a restaurant in Washington D.C.; Andrew, 18, is a senior at Fairmont Senior High School and serves as the student body president; and Michael, 16, also serves as a class officer at FSHS. In addition, Gary, Andrew and Michael have each served as officers of the West Virginia Association of Student Councils.
“Both Dave and Tina are excellent parents and role models for their four sons,” Thomas said in her nomination letter. “They have led by example that serving others and being involved is what the Shaw family does. “
While the Shaws are often in the spotlight for their efforts, Thomas said said they also maintain those efforts even when nobody is watching.
“Obviously in some of their roles they’re out front, but they’re also people who are really working behind the scenes,” Thomas said. “You see them driving the kids — not just their own — here and there, chaperoning events, helping with decorating, preparing food, coaching and raising money.”
According to Thomas, it’s their willingness to help others and give back that led her to nominate the Shaws for the award.
“The Shaws are dedicated to improving Marion County and the quality of life of our citizens,” Thomas said. “The Shaw family is a strong, loving, involved family, and one I am most pleased to nominate as the 2013 Marion County Family of the Year.”
Email Kaylyn Christopher at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.