Gaylord driven by passion for Elkin

Jessica PickensStaff Writer

September 16, 2012

After searching for a small town, Laura Gaylord moved to Elkin two years ago with her husband Raymond, whom she calls “Duke,” and their son David.

Originally from Ohio, Gaylord moved to South Florida in middle school and studied fine arts at the Florida Atlantic University. As a military wife, she moved with her husband and David, who is in 10th grade at Elkin High School, to Kansas, Virginia, Hawaii, Missouri and North Carolina before retiring to Elkin.

“We had always lived in a larger city. The lifestyles were so fast paced and schools were overcrowded,” said Elkin’s new Main Street and Community Manager. “We wanted to find a place where we could relax. When we found Elkin, we loved it. My son thought it was great that people he didn’t even know waved at him.”

The thing that most intrigued Gaylord about Elkin was its downtown.

“Whenever we would look at a town, we would always look for the downtown,” Gaylord said. “It’s a signature of the people that live there and the town. When I saw Elkin’s downtown I saw so much potential and could feel the excitement of the people here.”

Her passion for the area led her to apply for the Main Street and Community Manager, and her first day in the position was Monday, Sept. 10.

“I initially didn’t think anything about applying until people started suggesting to me that I did,” Gaylord said. “Then I started thinking about all the business owners I knew and decided to apply. I’m very passionate about Elkin and interested in helping create a vision for the town’s future.”

Gaylord’s love for Elkin can be seen through her website, WhatsUpElkinNC.com.

“The more I learned about the town, and the more people I met after moving here, I knew I had to brag about the town,” she said. “So I created the website to show off everything in this area. This is the perfect area for people to stop going down I-77 on trips, or a great weekend getaway for people in North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia.”

Along with WhatsUpElkinNC.com, Gaylord is also active with the Community Choir and Foothills Arts Council. As a photographer and painter, Gaylord’s work has been showcased at the Arts Council and she also teaches after school art classes.

Since starting as the Main Street and Community Manager last Monday, Gaylord has been making lists of ideas she has for the town.

“I’ve been taking notes all week. I want to get small things accomplished that sometimes get lost, such as aesthetics and presentation downtown,” she said. “I look forward to working with the different boards and seeing what their passions are.”

Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1514 ext. 17 or jpickens@heartlandpublications.com.