MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MAA (NYSE: MAA) announced today that Thomas L. Grimes, Jr. has been appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Grimes joined the company in 1994 shortly after MAA's initial public offering and has served as Executive Vice-President and Director of Property Management Operations since 2008. In his expanded role as Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Grimes will also oversee the company's Asset Management and Human Resources functions. Mr. Grimes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Memphis. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110614/CL19184LOGO ) (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111207/CL18182 ) Commenting on Mr. Grimes' appointment, Eric Bolton, Chairman and CEO, said, "We are excited to have Tom take on this new role. He has been with our company for over 17 years and has a strong grasp of our business and our approach to building value for MAA shareholders. Importantly, Tom has a deep understanding of our company culture and the importance we attach to it. We have a deep bench of talented professionals across all key functional areas of MAA. Under Tom's very able leadership, our property operations are well positioned to continue delivering strong performance in the future." Mr. Grimes noted, "Our focus in capturing superior performance from each of our properties is supported by one of the more sophisticated operating platforms in the industry and a group of experienced and very capable apartment real estate professionals. Our senior management team has an average tenure with our company of 11 years and represents a key component in driving superior long-term results. The apartment leasing fundamentals across our markets are very positive and our team is excited about the opportunities in front of us."