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About Jim Gibbs

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professional standards are met. Enforcing the rules also helps our licensees to have the best possible reputation with the public.”

As an attorney working outside the real estate industry—he was listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and named to the Nashville Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list—McMullen brings a unique perspective to TREC.

In an interview with the Tennessee Association of Realtors, McMullen acknowledged that he doesn’t have the real estate exposure that some of his fellow commissioners have. “I’m not in a real estate office very day, and that is good and bad,” he says. “I don’t necessarily have the level of involvement or detailed knowledge that the other seven [non-public] members have”—McMullen’s fellow public member is Johnny Horne of Chattanooga—“but I can be the person who sort of asks the dumb questions in the meetings. And those sometimes turn out to be really good questions!”

McMullen has “learned a lot about this complex industry by being on TREC,” he adds. “It’s a tremendous profession with a lot of great, hard-working people who do a lot to help others. I really enjoy being part of that.”

Commissioner McMullen has served for eight years on the Board of Commissioners for the City of Oak Hill, four years as Mayor and two as Vice Mayor; he is an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville; and he and his wife, Kelly, are the parents of a 10-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.

As if those pursuits weren’t enough to keep him busy,  for the past 15 years, he has moonlighted as a football official for the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA).

Football and TREC have similarities for McMullen. As a law partner, he is immersed in legal cases, focusing primarily on bankruptcy law, government relations, and commercial litigation.

“Being a referee is a good way to be with people who are not lawyers for a while,” he says. “It’s fun to be around the kids and the sport, and to get a little exercise. That’s not unlike serving on a board like TREC, where we deal with a lot of different kinds of issues than I would in a typical day.”

His bottom-line commitment to TREC, McMullen says, is “to help make the profession as strong as possible, to serve the public well, and to ensure the public’s utmost trust in our licensees.”

John Griess, Chairman Commissioner Gary Blume Austin McMullen, Vice Chairman Tennessee Real Estate Commission

Commissioner Austin McMullen serves a one of two public members of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC). He is also the current vice chairman. By day, Commissioner McMullen is a partner with Nashville law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLC.

Commissioner McMullen holds business and economics degrees from Millsaps College and a law degree from Vanderbilt. Commissioner McMullen believes the TREC’s main role boils down to “ensuring that we protect the public.”

“That is really important, because buying a home is the largest transaction most people will ever be involved in,” he says. “REALTORS® perform a tremendous service to the public, so we want to be sure the highest