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Wednesday's Woman: Kelly McAloon

The sense of community in Snellville has grown within the past couple of years. Kelly McAloon is one of the reasons why.

As one of the founding members of the South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation and Snellville Tourism and Trade, Kelly McAloon is involved in much of what people love about Snellville.

An Appleton, Wis., native, McAloon moved to Snellville about 35 years ago. She started off working for Marci Imports, located back then on the corner of Highways 78 and 124, from the late 1970s through the early 1980s.

She quickly worked her way into a position as a purchasing agent. As an international buyer, she traveled to seven different countries purchasing gifts, wicker and rattan for 34 stores. 

A Mother's Love 
In 1990, McAloon and her husband were blessed to have their daughter, Michelle.  She left the workforce to focus on her child. 

“Once Michelle was born,” McAloon said, “I helped my husband in the antique business.” 

During the summer months of Michelle's early years, they spent a lot of time on the road delivering antiques. They traveled to every state except North and South Dakota. 

As time passed and Michelle began school, McAloon wanted to make sure she remained involved and proactive in her life. She worked on the yearbook in her elementary school for three years and was involved in various PTA activities, including the position of co-president of 's PTA.

When Michelle hit high school, she became co-president of the PTSA. It was during that time, 2007, that the South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation was born. 

“We tried to raise money,” McAloon explained. “We had silent auctions, and all the funding went back into the schools.” 

The foundation offers scholarships, educational grants, mentoring programs, and other immediate needs for which public funds may not be available, according to the foundation's website.

She also started the school's first Taste of South Gwinnett in 2005. The first year, there were more than 800 people in attendance. 

A New Calling
After so many years volunteering at local schools, McAloon had to readjust when her daughter went off to college.

It was a "strange feeling," McAloon said.

She was offered a job at Success Through Advertising (STA). While she was there, she met someone who told her she would be a perfect fit for Snellville Tourism and Trade (STAT). Now, she serves as their vice president.

"I was appointed from city council as one of the board of directors," she said. "We're a very hands-on group that brings a sense of community to Snellville and promotes business."

Last year, STAT headed up the parade in Snellville Days.  Prior to that, the was in charge, and this year, the city's mayor holds the reigns.  

The city's farmers' market also is under the umbrella of STAT. The group sponsors or hosts a number of other activities, as well: Popcorn in the Park series, Sizzling Weekend, the Snellville Fall Festival, and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, among others. There is also a quarterly magazine called Snellville Spirit.  

“I love Snellville and I think we're way ahead of the curve,” she said. “We are bringing the community together. My motto has always been, build it and they will come.”

McAloon is also heavily involved in the , where she is helping put together the first annual Beach Blast 5K, 10K and Fun Run on May 19 at

“It's a juggle sometimes,” she admits. She is appreciative of the “fabulous city council,” and all the help they give during the events.

“When we're doing these events,” she said, “they are at every event helping. It's unbelievable.”

McAloon believes that Snellville truly is, as its slogan states, a city where everybody is proud to be somebody. Her goal is to be a part of that, helping to make the city a better place with a strong sense of community.

“That's the direction Snellville is going in,” she said.  

Barbara Bender May 03, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Kelly is one of the hardest working volunteers I know. She is such a dreamer of how big the events can be and she always pulls it off. We are blessed to have her on the Board of the Sneville Tourism and Trade Association. She brings an incredible amount of energy and enthusiam to every event.
Tom Witts May 04, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Thank you for recognizing one of the hardest working volunteers in our City. The Fall Festival, the Christmas Tree lighting, and the upcoming Beach Blast (May 19th on the Green in Snellville) all are the handiwork of Kelly. Her energy, Snellville Spirit and willingness to step up are an inspiration to all of us who serve Snellville. For the Christmas tree lighting, she borrowed my box truck drove to Suwanee, packed the truck with decorations for the town green. Then unloaded them into City Hall. After the event was over, she repacked the truck and returned the truckload of decorations. Now that's commitment. Tom Witts Mayor Pro tem City of Snellville
Dave Emanuel May 04, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Could this be the same Kelly McAloon that the mayor tried to remove from the STAT board???

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