For Immediate Release 

January 16, 2023 


The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Kentucky Chapter proudly announces Shirley McVay Wiseman, the owner of McVay Group, as the esteemed recipient of the NAWBO Kentucky Legacy Award. This prestigious recognition is a testament to Ms. Wiseman’s extraordinary contributions to the world of business and her pioneering spirit in various roles throughout her illustrious career. 

Shirley McVay Wiseman’s journey in the world of real estate commenced in 1966, marking the beginning of a remarkable professional odyssey. Over the years, she has served in numerous positions, each marked by groundbreaking achievements and leadership milestones. Her achievements include: 

  • Pioneering her way into history as the first woman to serve on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Executive Committee, the first woman officer of NAHB, and ultimately becoming the first woman President of NAHB.  
  • Contributing to the Reagan Administration for three years in Washington, D.C., with positions in; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner. 
  • Serving as a Kentucky Real Estate Commissioner. 
  • Playing vital roles in various institutions, including the Barry Law School Board, Barry University Board of Trustees, and the State Department as the leader of two international commissions to Russia and China. 
  • Serving on the board of Fannie Mae in 1990 and building a Demonstration House in Warsaw, Poland, on behalf of the U.S. State Department. 

McVay Group, with its base in Lexington, Kentucky, spans its operations across Kentucky, Arkansas, and Florida. Under Ms. Wiseman’s leadership, the company has thrived in commercial and residential real estate properties across multiple states. Additionally, she owns and operates assisted living facilities in Arkansas, demonstrating her commitment to enhancing the lives of others.  

Ms. Wiseman’s entrepreneurial spirit shines through as she successfully owned Wiseman Homes, Wiseman Real Estate, and Wiseman Construction and Development, operating in Kentucky and , Florida. Her journey from real estate sales to home construction in a time when women were rare in the field resulted in her recognition as the “Builder of the Year” in both Lexington and Kentucky.  

One of the crowning achievements of Shirley’s illustrious career was being elected as the first woman President of the National Association of Home Builders in 1989. She is honored in both the Kentucky Housing and the National Association of Home Builders Hall of Fame, celebrating her groundbreaking contributions to the industry. 

While serving as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary of Housing she was interviewed on the esteemed news program, 60 Minutes. She played a pivotal role in founding the Homeowners Warranty Corporation of Lexington. 

Beyond her national and international roles, Ms. Wiseman has been a dedicated philanthropist. She secured funding for the Bob Brown House, a residence for mentally and physically handicapped individuals in 1975 and continues to raise funds for the organization to this day. 

Shirley McVay Wiseman’s dedication extends to her roles as a Trustee for Barry University in Florida, a leader of the White House Women’s Trade Commission to China, a Director with the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, and a three-year term on the Kentucky Real Estate Commission. 

Ms. Wiseman’s long list of accomplishments and awards is a testament to her commitment to her communities in Kentucky, Arkansas, and Florida. She is renowned for her generosity with both her time and financial contributions, making a profound impact wherever she goes. 

The NAWBO Kentucky Legacy Award is a well-deserved recognition of Shirley McVay Wiseman’s outstanding contributions to the business world and her unwavering dedication to uplifting communities. Her legacy will continue to inspire women in business for generations to come. 

The award will be given at the NAWBO Kentucky EPIC Luncheon on March 12th in Louisville, Kentucky.  More information on the event is on the NAWBO Kentucky website at .  

Additional awards will be awarded at the EPIC event. 


NAWBO Kentucky serves Kentucky, the Southern Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio areas.

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