Valisa Kerr was nominated for The Faces of Suwanee due to her years working part-time for the City of Suwanee back in the old days when it was still a small town of about 4,000 people. She is a positive, delightful person and shares with us her passion for people and her purpose.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Richard Trice recruited me in 1994 to work part-time for the City in the Water Department, filling in for Lisa Pendley, who was on maternity leave. We were in the process of building the new City Hall and I then worked with the Chief of Police, Mike Boyd, overseeing the construction and planning the interior of the new building. I was in charge of the community engraved bricks, too. I believe that I am one of the reasons that Elvira Rogers stayed with the City at that time, working with Planning & Zoning, issuing building permits, and then I was transferred to our court system, handling citations and processing tickets for the police department. Officer Cass Mooney was a huge help to me.
I was co-chair for the Suwanee Day festivals for 3-4 years and drove a four-wheeler from the police department at the front of the parade, driving all day to make sure everything ran smoothly. That was so much fun and, of course, the festival was smaller and held in Old Town Suwanee on Main Street.
I have always been a people person. My husband’s job transferred us to Houston and my son Jason decided to stay in Suwanee. In December of 2002, my son was badly injured in a car accident, leaving him in a wheelchair with a traumatic brain injury. We returned to Suwanee and I became caretaker of my son. In June of 2008, my husband passed away.
What is your favorite restaurant in Suwanee?
The newly opened La Belle Vie because of the atmosphere and amazing food.
How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
Since 1992. I live just outside the city limits now in Duluth.
What has kept you here?
The community and friends, and the continuing sense of a small town.
How big is your family?
My son and I, and my mom and sister who live in Memphis, Tennessee.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
Richard Trice. He is the one who got me involved with the City.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A private Caribbean island where I am waited on hand and foot!
What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
It was at a drive-in, and my friends and I snuck through, underage, and saw The Exorcist.
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
Help those in need and try to love everybody. Try to have a positive attitude and smile on your face no matter what you may be going through.
What is something on your bucket list?
For my son to be able to say, “Mom, I love you.”
If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be and where would you go?
My mom and to her favorite place, Golden Corral.
What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see.
Pop rock is my favorite. I would like to see Journey, Bon Jovi and Cher (close-up next time).
What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
City Hall. I used to feel like I knew everyone in town in the early ’90s.
What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
Town Center Park with the fountain and outdoor space. I love taking my son there.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Being able to take care of my son. I would love to see my son get married and have a grandchild. It would be nice to find a gentleman who is athletic with an outgoing personality who would be willing to accept my son and me.
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I didn’t know myself or realize what I could do until my son’s accident. I have never met a stranger and I have a strong will and loving heart for everyone. I have a strong desire to help people.