Teresa Wiseman: Community Strong Person of the Year 2016

Teresa Wiseman serves on the United Way Board of Directors, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts Board of Directors, and the Danville – Pittsylvania County Schools Career and Technical Education Advisory Council. In the past, she served on the Haven of the Dan River Region Board of Directors.

Teresa is part of the Danville Toyota family which sponsors numerous events and organizations. On top of the sponsorships, Danville Toyota offers Drive2Give which is a monthly program where someone who test drives a vehicle will have a chance to win $1000, and a local charity receives $1000.  Teresa personally works most of the events Danville Toyota sponsors. She believes if one ever truly wants to make a difference, they must be willing to put in the work and effort to make things happen.

Why is community involvement so important to you?

Community involvement is important to me for multiple reasons. First, I love Danville, I love the people of Danville, and I really want to see Danville thrive. Second, I am a type 1 diabetic, and have been for 35 years. I feel battling the disease almost my entire life drives me to help others in whatever battles they may face. Being involved in the community is an avenue to offer that help.

How do you balance life, work, and community involvement?

I schedule everything! I have to in order to balance it all. The trick with scheduling is trying not to over schedule free time. I like to be spontaneous sometimes, so it is important to make sure I have time open for that.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

The only limitations that we have are the limitations we set deep within ourselves. If you are never afraid to fail, then you will always succeed.

Who are your real-life heroes and why?

I have a lot of heroes. First, our military and first responders are heroes. These are men and women that risk their lives every day to keep us safe. In addition, both of my parents are heroes. My father for not only serving in the USAF, but also for everything that he has accomplished. People always walk away after meeting him feeling that they truly met someone amazing and special. My mother is a cancer survivor, and she battles with Atrial Fibrillation. She is the strongest woman I know. She always has a smile on her face. My mom is the one I call immediately whenever I need that piece of advice that I know can only come from her. She is a true inspiration. Last, I have always considered Gabrielle Coco Chanel to be a hero. After growing up in an orphanage in France, she completely redesigned the entire fashion industry for women. Basically, she had a dream, and she made it real, all while liberating women all over the world with fashion. She epitomizes the idea that you can make anything happen by starting with only a dream.

What is it about Danville that makes it special to you?

The people, hands down. Danville has some of the most amazing people I have ever met who are passionate about the community. They put in all the effort to make this place wonderful. They are truly humbling and inspiring. Some of the locals have contributed countless hours on various projects, all to see this area grow and flourish.

Do you have a favorite quote, and if so what is it?

“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  Dr. Martin Luther King.

What is your idea of happiness?

Happiness to me is a state of mind that you choose to be in. Things that help me get in that state would be being able to do what I love. I am typically a happy person. Life is too short to not be happy. Even if I wake up in a grouchy mood, I will still make a good attempt to smile at the first person I see…then poof! I’m happy!

What are your favorite things to do in Danville?

I love the Riverwalk, Restaurants, I love the various events to be able to see my colleagues and peers, and I also love to sit on my back porch and listen to the great outdoors.

What are your visions for the future of Danville?

I see Danville continuing to grow at a good pace while keeping our small-town togetherness. I think if there was ever a city that has so much potential, it is Danville. We have passionate people in the right positions who will make things happen here. It is an exciting time to be a Danvillian.