Born July 1, 1954, the son of the late William and Sinclair Gilliard, Rep. Gilliard lives at 1237 Marvin Avenue in Charleston. He has three children, April Sinclair, Wendell G., and Keith Demon, who attended local public schools.
Rep. Gilliard is the President of WGG Consulting. He was educated at Devry School of Technology, and Labor Organizing School, University of Tennessee. Retired from Albright & Wilson Chemical Plant for 28 years as a chemical plant operator, serving as United Steel Workers Local Union President for 15 years.
Honors awarded to Representative Gilliard include:
- Arthur J. Clement Award for Excellence in Race Relations, 1999
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Stroll of Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Politics, 2004
- Beta Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,
Community Service Award in Politics, 2004
- Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church, MLK Humanitarian Award, 2006
- NAACP North Charleston Chapter’s Hall of Fame Award for Community Relations, 2006
- Voted Best Councilman by the Charleston City Paper, 2006–08
- Charleston Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.,
Community Service Award, 2008
“In my own words…”
Being raised on the East side at sixty nine Harris Street is something that Representative Wendell Gilliard will always treasure. It was there that he was taught how to love, care, and respect others and to never forget from whence he came. These values were taught by his father, the late Mr. William Leroy Gilliard and his mother, the late Mrs. Mary Sinclair Gilliard. After his mother’s passing, when Representative Gilliard was nine years old, his father, who was a well respected Master Barber and a strong figure, was left to raise the family the best he knew how. He taught Representative Gilliard to always reach for higher goals in life, not just for him, but to serve and help others as he passed along the way. (On the East side, they didn't tell each other “I have mine, now you go get yours!” It was expressed that “Here is some of mine, now let me show you how to share!”)
After graduating from Rivers High School and attending Devry School of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, Representative Gilliard moved on to become a union and community organizer for the United Steel Workers of America at the chemical plant where he was employed. He also held an elected position as President of the local union (863) for fifteen years. These positions allowed Representative Gilliard to travel around the country organizing private businesses that wanted union representation. After talking to various community leaders who knew Representative Gilliard, he was asked to run for public office. This led to his work now in public service. His eleven years of service on the Charleston City Council gave him a tremendous opportunity to take action on the important issues facing the wonderful people that live in District 111. He deeply understood the issues of jobs, education and health care that faced so many people on a daily basis and he believed that new leadership was needed for those issues to be addressed.
Representative Gilliard contributes his desire to run for office because of several very influential people: The memory of his father and mother, his brothers, sisters, the late great Mr. Isaiah Bennett, the late Ms. Miriam Bacot, the late Mrs. Maranda Holmes (Representative Gilliard was instrumental in renaming Court Street to Maranda Holmes Street.), the late Rev. Fred Dawson, the late Ms. Septima Clark, and all Matriarchs and Patriarchs who have gone on to higher life. It is because of these great role models, the way has been paved for Representative Gilliard and others who dare to serve.
Representative Gilliard feels we need to work together to bring positive changes, socially and economically, in our communities. When the old ways don’t work, he feels we need to start thinking outside of the box. Challenges facing communities require leaders who can make intentional and informed decisions with a variety of approaches to bring forward successful change. Such leaders have the capacity and will to work together with other leaders who represent different organizations and perspectives within the community. Successful leaders are prepared to mobilize the resources for the will of the people to bring a positive and sustainable change.
We face many challenges in our state such as Education, Jobs, Affordable housing, Economic development, Crime and Growth. It is going to take working collaboratively to make positive changes in all areas. New ideas are the catalyst for change! Representative Gilliard will always continue to make himself assessable and visible to his constituency; listening to the concerns and ideas of the people he represents locally. He values your support and looks forward to working with you as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Together, we can create a better future for Charleston and for South Carolina.
328A Blatt Bldg.
Columbia, SC 29201
Business Phone (803) 212-6793
P.O. Box 31641
Charleston, SC 29417
Home Phone (843) 402-9710
Business Phone (843) 209-3123