Meet Our Staff

Jeff Lawson

President

Jeff A. Lawson, MAI, SRA, is President of J. Lawson & Associates, LLC, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm serving north metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia.

Following graduation, Mr. Lawson was employed as a staff appraiser with a local savings and loan from May 1983 to March 1990, completing primarily residential and vacant land appraisals. He attained the SRA designation in 1988. In March 1990, the savings and loan company arranged for Mr. Lawson to work a full-time internship with a commercial appraisal firm in Atlanta. Upon receiving the MAI designation in 1993, Mr. Lawson was hired as the Senior Review Appraiser for First National Bancorp, a $2.1 billion financial holding company with 18 banks in Georgia and 3 in Florida. First National Bancorp was acquired by Regions Financial Corporation in 1995, and Mr. Lawson was promoted to the Senior Review Appraiser positon with Regions. During his time in the banking industry, his responsibilities included policy formulation, assuring compliance with federal appraisal regulations, the formulation and implementation of appraisal review procedures, review of appraisals, assisting with the disposition of bank-owned (OREO) real estate, the evaluation of appraisal quality on due diligence exams, evaluation and/or performance of feasibility studies for prospective branch/bank locations, and managing/qualifying appraisers for approved appraiser list for each affiliate bank.

In July 2002, Mr. Lawson became Vice President of Carr, Lawson, Cantrell & Associates, Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm with offices in Atlanta and Gainesville. In September 2013, the company was dissolved and Mr. Lawson founded J. Lawson & Associates, LLC.

Mr. Lawson is a past president of the Atlanta Area Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, a nationally published coauthor of Mastering Real Estate Appraisal, and an active national faculty member of the Appraisal Institute having instructed various courses and seminars. In May 2013, Mr. Lawson was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to serve as one of the five members on the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board (GREAB). Mr. Lawson was elected Co-Chair of the GREAB in 2015 and presently serves in this capacity. Mr. Lawson holds an active real estate sales license and has qualified numerous times as an expert witness in local, state and federal courts.

Mr. Lawson resides in Gainesville, Georgia with his wife Amy. They have three grown children. Mr. Lawson is an avid golfer and University of Kentucky supporter, having played on the university golf team from 1979 through 1983. Mr. Lawson is an active member of First Baptist Church in Gainesville, Georgia.

James R. Sigsbee

Vice President and Senior Appraiser

James R. Sigsbee, MAI, is currently the Vice President and Senior Appraiser at J. Lawson & Associates, LLC.  James is an MAI Designated member of the Appraisal Institute, a Certified General Real Property Appraiser in Georgia, and a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in Georgia. Previously, James was the Vice President of Carr, Sigsbee and Associates, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia. James has been exclusively engaged in the valuation and analysis of commercial real estate since 2004 and has a wide variety of experience by property type.  James graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a degree in Business Administration (Finance).  He currently lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife and two daughters.  James enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, traveling, reading, and mountain biking.

Alex B. Rubin, MAI, AI-GRS

Senior Associate Commercial Appraiser

Alex is an associate appraiser with J. Lawson Associates, LLC. He was the Owner of Alex Rubin & Company from July, 1996 to December, 2019. Prior to operating his own appraisal firm, he was employed with Upton Associates from April 1987 to July, 1993. Alex graduated from Georgia State University in March, 1987 with a BBA degree in Real Estate and Urban Affairs.

Alex has completed numerous advanced appraisal courses and seminars with the Appraisal Institute, of which he is a member as well as a designated review appraiser. Alex is qualified to teach several courses for the Appraisal Institute. He is a past president of the Atlanta Area Chapter of the Appraisal Institute as well as Georgia Appraisers Coalition.

Appraisal experience includes valuations of a variety of property types including residential, commercial, industrial, multi-family, office, vacant land, development land, retail, and special-use properties. He has extensive experience in condemnation appraising as well. Alex has mentored many young appraisers over the years. He is also qualified as an expert witness in several jurisdictions.

Alex currently resides in Sugar Hill in north Gwinnett County with his partner, Louanne Vallee and their dog, Redsky. Alex and Louanne spend a good amount of time with their grandchildren and enjoy playing sports, music, time on Lake Lanier and hiking in north Georgia. A true native of the Atlanta area, he roots for local teams including the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Falcons.

Matthew P. Smith

Senior Associate Commercial Appraiser

Matt is a senior associate appraiser with J. Lawson & Associates, LLC.  He was an associate appraiser with Carr, Lawson, Cantrell & Associates, Inc. from August 2007 through October 2013 and prior to that worked in Right of Way Acquisition with the Georgia Department of Transportation.  Experience includes market research and appraisal analyses for a diverse array of property types including but not limited to commercial, office, vacant land, and special use properties.  He has completed numerous advanced appraisal courses and seminars with the Appraisal Institute, of which he is a member and currently is a candidate for designation.  Matt is a 2006 graduate of North Georgia College (now known as the University of North Georgia).  He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Social Science and a minor in Business Administration.  He spent his college years working for the Northeast Georgia Health System.

A member of the Gainesville Jaycees since 2008, Matt has been an active board member within the organization since 2013, serving as President in 2017.  He was named a VP to the State Jaycees board for 2015 and 2016.  Additionally, he is a 2013-2014 graduate of the Leadership Hall Program.  Matt is also involved with local politics, serving as Secretary of the Hall County Republican Party from 2016 to 2017 and as Chairman from 2017 to 2019.  He was also voted as a State Committee Member in 2018 for the Georgia Republican Party.  He currently serves as 3rd Vice Chairman for the Georgia 9th District Republican Party.

Matt currently resides in North Hall County with his wife Jessica, daughter Mattie Brooke, and mini goldendoodle Gus.  Besides spending time with his family, he enjoys hunting and playing golf.  An Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs fanatic, Matt (along with Jessica and Mattie Brooke) spends summer evenings watching the Braves and fall Saturdays in Athens pulling for the “Silver Britches.”  Go Dawgs!

Amy Lawson

Executive Administrative Assistant

Amy is the executive administrative assistant at J. Lawson & Associates, LLC, formerly holding the same position in the Gainesville office of Carr, Lawson, Cantrell, and Associates, Inc. from 2005 to 2013.

Before entering the business world, Amy taught high school English for 17 years in Cleveland, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education and finished her master’s degree in the same major at North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia) in 1993.

She and her husband, Jeff, live in Gainesville and have three grown children. An active member of First Baptist Church in Gainesville, Amy enjoys reading, papercrafting, puzzles, movies, HGTV, and traveling.

Chris W. McDuffie

Associate Appraiser

Chris W. McDuffie is currently an associate appraiser at J. Lawson & Associates. Chris graduated from North Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance.

Chris is currently pursuing his Certified General License and MAI designation. Appraisal experience includes valuations of a variety of property types including commercial, office, vacant land, and special-use properties.

Chris currently lives in Banks County, Georgia. Outside of J. Lawson & Associates, Chris is co-owner of McDuffie Farms, an active member of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, and a member of Maysville Baptist Church.

His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Brent Smith

Associate Appraiser

Brent is currently an associate appraiser with J. Lawson & Associates, LLC. He was an associate appraiser with Carr, Lawson, Cantrell & Associates, Inc., 2005 to October 2013, and associate appraiser with Priority Valuation Services, 2002 through 2004.

Experience includes market research and appraisal analyses for a diverse array of property types including commercial, office, vacant land, and special-use properties. Continuing education includes numerous advanced courses with the Appraisal Institute.

Brent graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991 with the degree of Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering. He worked as a truck driver during college and still holds a Class A commercial driver’s license.

After college, he worked as process engineer for a wood products company, General Manager for a truck repair company, and construction contractor.

Brent is an avid reader and devout Braves fan. He lives with his wife and two children in northern Hall County.

Will C. Wright

Associate Appraiser

Will is currently an associate appraiser at J. Lawson & Associates. Will graduated from Furman University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Math and Economics and also holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Will is currently pursuing his Certified General License and MAI designation. Appraisal experience includes valuations of a variety of property types including commercial, office, vacant land, and special-use properties.

Will currently lives in Gainesville with his wife, Jessa, and two sons, George and Walter.

Outside of J. Lawson & Associates, Will is a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. His hobbies include spending time with family and friends, reading, playing music, and exercising.