For Sylvia Clark, a strong voice, creative ideas, and a passion for serving others led her to seek the Ward 3 seat on the Winona Board of Aldermen.
“I am the person who will have initiative and get things done,” Clark said. “I want to be the one to make things happen in Ward 3 and Winona. My motto is ‘Winona, let’s move forward.’ If you aren’t moving forward, you are either stagnant or moving backwards. We aren’t moving forward as progressively as we should with our ideal location.”
Voters in Ward 3 will head to the polls Tuesday to make their selection for alderman, and Clark is asking for support in her bid for the seat.
A 1987 graduate of Winona High School, Clark received her Associates Degree in business from Northwest Mississippi Community College. She went on to the University of Southern Mississippi where she earned a degree in Healthcare Management and Kinesiology. She received her Masters of Science degree in Belmont University in Nashville in occupational therapy.
Clark began her career in Hattiesburg at Wesley Hospital before returning home to Winona, where she gained additional experience with outpatient clinics and skilled nursing. In 2007, she settled in pediatric therapy and started her own company, Kinnectz Therapies, LLC, which focuses on early intervention of children.
“I’m a third generation business owner in Winona,” Clark said. “My grandfather, the late Ora Clark, owned a barber shop in downtown Winona. My parents, Louise Clark and the late Bill Clark, owned a gas station in Kilmichael until it was sold and my father started his own logging business.”
An active volunteer, Clark has worked with Toys for Tots, Relay for Life, the American Heart Association, and the Autism Foundation. She created the Rangers Run This scholarship program at Northwest Mississippi Community College to help others achieve their dream of going to college, and she serves on the alumni board for Northwest, the first African American woman to serve in that capacity.
She is also an active member of Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Winona, where she serves on the Youth Ministry Committee.
Clark’s most important role is mother to LaQuentin Potts and Alison Crockett.
If elected, Clark will focus her enthusiasm for helping others and provide Ward 3 with an active and tireless voice on the board of aldermen.
“Our community is really close-knit, and we want Ward 3 to look its best and be represented,” Clark said. “I can provide the leadership needed to move Ward 3 forward with necessary improvements, community building, and insightful planning for the future. I believe Ward 3 does not currently have a voice on the board of aldermen, and we are crying out for something to be done. I feel like our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.”
Clark said she will focus on improving infrastructure in Ward 3. She will work for better streets, cleaner ditches, fewer unkempt properties, and better water.
“I hope to accomplish better roadways,” Clark said. “There are some roads in the city limits that are still gravel.”
Clark said many streets in Ward 3 are in dire need of repair, and some are nearly impossible to traverse. She said city-installed speed bumps should be functional, and additional signage is needed to protect pedestrians on heavily-traveled streets. Repairs to crumbling sidewalks should also be a priority.
Clark wants drainage ditches kept clean and rocked to prevent erosion.
“We pay taxes, and those ditches are eroding that land,” Clark said. “It is not fair to property owners. Ditches in other Wards are maintained. Other aldermen are taking care of their Wards. We deserve the same thing. Somebody is not speaking for us.”
Clark also wants the city to employ a full-time code enforcement officer to get dilapidated and unkempt properties back in compliance.
“Let’s clean up Winona,” she said. “We are a beautiful place. Let’s make it more beautiful.”
With a new businesses coming to Winona, Clark wants to ensure residents of Winona and Montgomery County have the skills needed to compete for those jobs.
“I want to help with workforce development,” Clark said. “Not all people are meant for academics, and young people need training to enter the workforce immediately after graduation. I’ve always believed that education is an avenue that will open doors.”
The creation of a STEM program (science, technology, engineering, and math) at local schools is essential to prepare students for a changing workforce.
“Technology is where business is going, and our young people need to be prepared for that changing workforce,” she said.
Clark has dedicated her professional life to serving children, and as a member of the board of alderman, she hopes to continue as a positive influence to the youth of Winona.
“I want to be a light – a vision for young people,” she said. “I want them to know someone is working for them and their futures.”
Clark believes collaboration and effective communication are essential in building a proactive and involved community. Clark wants to establish a Chamber of Commerce to promote, serve, and build the local business community. In addition, she also hopes to connect residents with programs, services, and essential information beneficial to improving their quality of life.
“Social media is a good platform to keep the public informed as to what is happening in the city and connect them with programs and services that would be beneficial to them,” she said.
As the citizens of Winona decide who will lead the community for the next four years, Clark said she is a leader to help build a stronger and better Winona in the future.
“If we get the right person on the board, we could have a dream team,” she said. “When a community is led by a dream team, it just takes off.”