Name, Age: Gloria Rucks, Age Fiftysomething
How long you’ve lived in the city:
I have lived in Peachtree Corners for 16 years, since 1995. I own my own small business with my husband – David and Gloria’s Barber and Style Shop at 6025 Peachtree Parkway, on the corner of Jay Bird Alley and Peachtree Parkway.
Through the ownership of two successful businesses, I have learned the importance of cost control and the value of service to my community. I will apply these principles in my service to the new city of Peachtree Corners. My formal education includes training as well as course work at the Free Will Bible College in Nashville, TN. I have also graduated with honors from Roffler Barber College in Marietta, GA, and I am an alumna of the Dale Carnegie Effective Speaking program.
I have been married for 19 years to David T. Rucks, co-owner of David and Gloria’s Barber and Style Shop. I have one daughter, Kandace Greenway Mitchell, who resides in Macon and is employed by Staples in business development. Kandace attended Norcross High School and the University of West Georgia.
I have been a barber and small business owner of David and Gloria’s Barber and Style Shop since 2001. My previous employment experience includes a 15 year career as the liaison with the Georgia Department of Labor and new businesses, making sure tax dollars were being used in the most efficient manner possible. I learned how to run a business by working at Home Depot and starting their then new appliance department.
Political Affiliation: Staunch Republican
Religious Affiliation: Strong Baptist. I am a member of Shiloh Baptist Church on Spalding Dr.
Membership & Affiliation: none. My husband David is a Freemason.
Have you had any previous civic or public involvement?
I have a passion for fundraising. With the help from many folks right here in Peachtree Corners(!), I have assembled and mailed over 3000 care packages to our troops overseas, and I have conducted yearly yard sales whose proceeds were used to help wounded soldiers. I received a Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2005 for my work for troops in the Georgia National Guard and also a Georgia Peach award from the Georgia National Guard. I was written up in the AJC and did a local radio show. The best accolades, though, of course, are the many thank you notes I have received from our soldiers which are proudly displayed in my shop.
I am currently raising funds in a coat drive for the needy children in Appalachia. Other efforts I have been involved in consist of adopting Norcross Elementary families for Christmas and fundraising for Norcross High softball.
What is the driving force behind your interest to serve on the Peachtree Corners City Council?
I have a strong desire to help people. I want to use that passion along with my drive and energy to help our new city get started off on the best possible foot. As a business owner, I have much experience with managing to a bottom line, providing excellent customer service, and turning a profit. I know what it takes, and I can do it.
I am in direct contact with a large number of Peachtree Corners residents every day, all the time. I believe a business owner must be people-oriented, understand the bottom line, and be a great listener. My background in customer service with the State of Georgia, Home Depot, and my own shop have given me confidence in dealing with people and the ability to lead teams to accomplish great things.
What challenges do you see ahead for the new City?
Peachtree Corners is unique – we need to protect what we have with our strong businesses, our location so close to Atlanta yet still in Gwinnett County, our diverse population, and our conservative orientation. We need to manage our new city within its limited scope and within its financial means.
By keeping our city control so very local, we stand firm and together.
We need to continue to find ways to leverage our current business strength with our schools. There is much natural synergism that we can tap into by having these cornerstones of our community work even more closely together.
We also need to explore the need for more care and housing for our senior citizens. As our overall population continues to age, our geriatric needs become larger and larger.
What should the central mission of the city council be?
We need to make Peachtree Corners the best city in Gwinnett County. We have so many resources available to help us through our size, strength, diversity, inclusiveness, and enthusiasm! We need to bring all our residents together and working for the common good. There is much work to do, and we need to tackle it efficiently and with a strong eye to the future.
We need to continue to do everything we can to foster business growth in Peachtree Corners. We need to find ways to retrofit our existing business locations wherever possible.
Our new charter and “city lite” philosophy will allow us local control over three vital areas: zoning, code enforcement, and garbage collection. We need to manage these areas effectively and within budget. We need to keep our new government as small and as unobtrusive as possible.
There are many people who would have preferred not to incorporate (as shown by the number of people who voted against our new city). We need to overcome any remaining concerns, and we need to work hard to get as many people fired up about our new city as we can. We must not let Peachtree Corners expand beyond the spirit of our original charter and end up as yet another layer of government gone amok! Our new government must be beneficial to all the citizens of Peachtree Corners without adding any needless burdens.
Do you see any current zoning changes you would recommend and why?
I don’t currently know much about any zoning issues, but I am eager to learn and to hear the concerns and comments from all sides. I will work hard to help develop a plan that accommodates the needs of as many people as possible. We must be forward thinking as we develop our plans to be sure we lay an appropriately flexible strategy for our future.
How would your office approach business development in the district?
Peachtree Corners always needs more family-oriented businesses – between the salaries they pay and the tax income they provide, businesses vastly improve the quality of life in our community. I will do anything I can to keep the welcome mat out for new businesses. We need to use incentives to fill our vacant storefronts and business space, and we need to do all we can to foster the growth of businesses that are already here.
Why should voters vote for you?
I am a self-made woman, and I am a success story that highlights the opportunity this region and this country provide.
I have always done more with less. I was raised in the Free Will Baptist Children’s’ Home in Turbeville, SC, and I lived there from the age of 10 until I was 22 years old. As one of the oldest residents, I had responsibilities for raising other, younger children and serving as a role model; I also helped run the farm and the Home. I am proud to be the first resident to have graduated from high school and gone on to college.
My fundraising skills are a testament to my ability to lead a team. I have led efforts to send more than 3000 care packages overseas to our troops, conduct garage sales to help wounded soldiers, and provide coats for needy children in Appalachia, among others.
I am a strong Christian, and I am a breast cancer survivor.
I have conducted business in this community for the last decade, and I have lived in Peachtree Corners for the last 16 years. I am in daily contact with many residents and citizens, and that allows me to have my finger on the pulse of our community.
Please let me know your thoughts and comments.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, my web site is gloriarucks.com , and I’m on Facebook (Gloria Rucks) as well.