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Hall of Fame inductees named


News Publisher

The Atmore Area Hall of Fame Committee has made its selection for the 2024 inductees. They are Velma Jackson-Wilkins, Foster Kizer, Lavan Martin, James McNeil, Howard H. Patterson Sr., Dr. Delaine Salter, and Rev. Monroe Tucker.
The committee is changing the induction ceremony this year. Rather than an evening event, it will be held Sunday afternoon, May 19, at 2 p.m., at The Club. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served following the ceremony and everyone is invited to stay for a time of fellowship and visit with the inductees and their families.
Tickets for the induction ceremony are $25, and everyone attending (regardless of age) must have a ticket. Tickets are available at the Atmore News Office, 128 S. Main Street – cash or check only, no credit or debit cards. Seating is limited.
Members of the committee are President Billy Conn Madison, Charlotte Boyle,
Sherry Digmon, Larry Forney, Ann Gordon, Anthony Marshall, Dr. Ullysses McBride, Myrna Monroe, and Lori Stinson.
Each week, Atmore News will feature one of the inductees. This week, Velma Jackson-Wilkins is featured.
Velma Jackson-Wilkins
Born in Little River, Alabama, Velma Jackson-Wilkins grew up in Atmore. She was in her words, “the poorest of the poor.”
She attended Escambia County Training School but graduated from Escambia County High School in 1972. While attending high school, she was active in several organizations.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration from Alabama State University in Montgomery, and a Masters of Business Administration in Management from Pace University – Lubin School of Business in New York City.
Like most people, Jackson-Wilkins had her share of jobs, from American Electric Power Company as a statistician, to Irving Trust Company as an executive trainee, and to Clairol as a budget analyst.
Her career officially started when she was recruited to work at one of the largest financial institutions in the world, Citibank (currently Citigroup). During her time at Citigroup, she held a variety of positions. After 29.5 years at Citigroup, Jackson-Wilkins retired as a Senior Vice President in 2009.
Because Jackson-Wilkins believes in giving back and serving, she became active in numerous community programs and participated in several mentoring programs, including Citigroup United Negro College Fund Fellows Program, Junior Achievement, and Pace University’s student shadowing program.
In addition to having relatives in Atmore, she maintains her ties in other ways. She established two businesses – Velma’s Gift Gallery and The Corner Market in Atmore – and purchased several single family homes. After retirement, she and her husband started Wilkins Management, LLC, which acquires residential rental properties.
Even with a busy schedule, Jackson-Wilkins has written two books, Too Many, Too Soon in 2013 which chronicles the death of several family members, and A Look Back in 2015 which travels back in time to her upbringing in rural Alabama.
She is a speaker, a leader, a mentor. Causes that are important to her are education, social action, homelessness, poverty and children/youth, and she is heavily involved in numerous philanthropic efforts.
In 2017, Jackson-Wilkins was in Atmore to speak to speak to senior members of the Escambia County High School Choir which had been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. She not only spoke to them, she gave them a $500 donation, and while they were in New York, she showed them around and took them to dinner.
During her visit, Jackson-Wilkins talked about some of the people in education as she was growing up in Atmore – Dr. Ullysses McBride, Curtis Harris, George Mosby, Cornell Torrence, Eldred Pritchett, Woodrow McCorvey. These were teachers, coaches and administrators – educators who stressed the importance of getting an education, who mentored and nurtured their students, who took a personal interest in their future and their success. She has not forgotten.
Velma Jackson-Wilkins has been married to Guy Wilkins since 1997.