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Salem Business Legacy: Deanna Gwyn- A Beacon of Community Commitment and Excellence

Written by Wyatt Jones on Feb. 8th, 2024
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Here in Salem, where we take pride in our dynamic history and the vigor of our community, Deanna Gwyn stands as a testament to innovative leadership and steadfast dedication. Her career, spanning more than thirty years as a Principal Broker in the real estate industry, coupled with her esteemed role on the Salem City Council, delineates a narrative of dedication to both her professional field and the community she serves. Recently recognized as the REALTOR® of the Year by the Mid Valley Association of Realtors, Deanna’s accolade is a reflection of her exceptional contributions to the real estate sector and her broader impact on the community.

Deanna attributes her success to a blend of increased association involvement and a steadfast business approach. “I am honored to have been chosen as the REALTOR® of the Year for the Mid Valley Association of Realtors. There were so many deserving candidates,” Deanna modestly remarks. Her guidance to those aspiring to excel in real estate is succinct yet profound: “Have a business plan and be consistent.”

Her journey to becoming a foundational figure in Salem’s business and community landscape was significantly shaped by early experiences and mentorships. Under the tutelage of community luminary Gladys Blum, Deanna learned the value of active community engagement and the importance of being visibly engaged. This mentorship played a crucial role in her decision to step into a leadership role within the community, especially when the opportunity to represent her ward on the city council presented itself. “After several weeks, someone said, ‘It sounds like this is really important to you, why don’t YOU run?’. After consulting with my team and family, they all said yes. I was all in,” Deanna recalls, marking a pivotal moment in her political career.

In her leadership roles, Deanna has demonstrated resilience and a forward-thinking approach to addressing community challenges, particularly in areas such as public safety, homelessness, and housing affordability. Her background in a military family and longstanding connection to the Willamette Valley have fueled her commitment to public service and a pragmatic approach to problem-solving.

A significant challenge in Deanna’s journey was a family health crisis, which reshaped her understanding of leadership and underscored the importance of community support. This personal experience highlighted the value of perseverance and empathy in her professional and council duties.

Deanna’s dedication to fostering community engagement is evident in her support for local involvement. “I have been attending our neighborhood association meetings. That is a great way for community members to get involved. I am encouraging everyone to join a committee or board,” she advocates, underscoring her belief in grassroots participation.

Her time on the Salem City Council has been characterized by efforts to unify diverse viewpoints for the collective good of the community. “We have to engage in meaningful conversations with everyone, with a heart to understand,” Deanna states, emphasizing the shared objective of enhancing Salem.

Looking forward, Deanna is focused on addressing some of Salem’s most pressing issues, including enhancing community safety and resolving homelessness, with a philosophy centered on a “Community First” approach.

Throughout her career and community service, Deanna has maintained an optimistic outlook, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth. “I believe challenges are an opportunity for us to be better,” she asserts, promoting a focus on positivity and continuous development.

For those looking to emulate her path, Deanna offers two key pieces of advice: prioritize family and well-being and engage with the local business community through organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce.

Deanna Gwyn’s narrative is one of steadfast commitment, resilience, and an enduring dedication to her community. As she embarks on her latest role at Windermere Heritage, while continuing her service on the Salem City Council, her legacy of leadership and community service stands as a beacon of inspiration for Salem’s future.

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