When you think of recently elected Grayson Mayor Allison Wilkerson, you might think of “firsts.”
As far as this small Gwinnett County city of 2,700 is concerned, she is its first female mayor.
And, she’s the first second-generation mayor as her father, Doug, retired from that position in 2001.
And, to top that: she’s not only a native Gwinnecian, but also a native Graysonian! No transplant here.
She, her dad, and her late mother, Alice, moved to Grayson from Snellville in 1975 when she was only a year old, back when Gwinnett County had a lot less people, and Grayson was no exception.
“Grayson was a lot different back then,” Allison said. “Not much traffic… no grocery stores or gas stations.”
“I do remember when there WAS a gas station where the Publix is now,” she said. “There was not much activity and it was a slow, little town…but that’s not a bad thing.”
Allison knew early on she wanted to “follow in her dad’s footsteps” in real estate.
“When I was little, most of the girls wanted to be teachers and nurses, traditional jobs,” she said. “I wanted to sell houses.”
And, that’s exactly what she did.
After being graduated from South Gwinnett High School in 1991, she attended Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., receiving her two-year Business Administration degree in 1993.
“Dad said if I wanted to sell real estate, I had to have a college degree,” she said. “He didn’t say I had to go four years!”
Allison attended real estate school at Georgia Institute of Real Estate in Atlanta, and received her real estate agent’s license in 1994, her broker’s license in 1999.
One major project in the hopper for this year is the construction of a major amphitheater located next to City Hall and across the street from the elementary school. Proposed uses are concerts, movie screenings, special events, and school activities.
“We’re going to let the designers play with the project,” she said. “And then work backwards on it for the budget.”
This year’s scheduled events at City Park include the Grayson Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 12 and Grayson Day, Saturday, April 26.
Allison has held several leadership roles in her career, including being a member of the 2000 Leadership Gwinnett Class, and served as president of the Gwinnett Municipal Association in 2004. She presently is the vice-president of GMA and a member of the executive committee. She will be eligible to serve as president again next year.
New Grayson Mayor Allison Wilkerson confers with her City Administrator Laura Paul-Cone as she begins her first term.