SHAWN HAYS, EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Shawn Hays’ credits her roots for growing her success. “I’m very passionate about genealogy as it gives us a chance to discover our history and how it shapes our life,” said Hays, AHBA’s new executive officer. “For example, my great- grandfather was born into slavery, emancipated and eventually became a business owner. His experience made my family value education, perseverance and hard work”
These values are what brought Hays to AHBA. She’s excited about strengthening the homebuilding industry through the services AHBA provides its members. “AHBA provides exceptional service to our members through education, strategic planning, governmental affairs, and sales and marketing.”
Hays brings more than a decade of leadership in government and the nonprofit sector. She’s also a very active member of the Anchorage community. She’s served on the board of directors of Access Alaska and volunteered for the YWCA, Bean’s Café and American Red Cross.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Hays moved to Anchorage in 1997. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s of public administration with an emphasis on organizational management.
Hays’ many hobbies include reading about history (people are often surprised to learn she’s a WWII buff). She also holds a deep appreciation for music and travel.
DREW CASON, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR
Drew Cason is deeply invested in making his hometown of Anchorage a better place. Cason is a third generation Alaskan and AHBA’s new legislative affairs director. “As a recent first-time homebuyer, I’m eager to lower the barriers to home ownership for my friends and neighbors,” Cason said.
Cason is a graduate of West High School and earned two degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He reached the US Universities Debating Championship semifinals twice as a Seawolf. Cason spent a little time away from the state he loves after college, but Alaska was never off his mind. He worked in Washington D.C. at Jack Ferguson Associates, a small lobbying firm focused on Alaska issues.
“I appreciate the opportunities Alaska provides to spend time outdoors,” Hays said. “I’ve loved exploring Alaska from Adak to Deadhorse. I always appreciate Alaska’s wildlife, landscapes, buildings and meeting the mobs of people we just don’t have here.”
Cason worked for Denali Daniels and Associates facilitating strategic planning, public relations and legislative advocacy for public and private clients. He spent several years as a legislative staffer to the Alaska House Majority and Speaker Bryce Edgmon. Cason is an active member of the Anchorage community. He serves on the board of directors for the UAA Alumni Association and Alaska Common Ground.
“Joining AHBA is an amazing opportunity for me to take what I’ve learned working for and with public and private stakeholders at the federal and state level, and apply it to improving the quality and increasing the supply of housing in Anchorage,” Cason said.
Cason loves playing Ultimate Frisbee, which is where he met his fiancé. He also enjoys billiards, bowling and board games. Cason is also quite the chef and he’s particularly passionate about cooking wild game that he harvests himself.