456 N. Hawthorne Road
Winston-Salem NC, 27104
Gloria Whisenhunt has been a Forsyth County Commissioner since 1996 and has served as both Vice Chair and Chair of the board. Prior to that, she served on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education from 1990-1996.
Whisenhunt, a Stokes County native who now lives in Winston-Salem, was a cosmetologist with a shop in her home for more than 40 years before she retired. In her occupation, she dealt with many women and heard about the problems they were having with their children's education. After her only son, Chad, left for college she decided to run for school board in 1990. She won despite having no political experience and a grassroots campaign that consisted of just her and her husband, Curt.
Commissioner Whisenhunt said during her tenure, she found that there was constant friction between the school board and the Board of County Commissioners. She ran for county commissioner in 1996 because she felt the knowledge she gained on the school board could help that situation. She said, as Commissioner, she learned there was a lot that the two elected bodies didn’t realize about each other.
Whisenhunt said during her time as a commissioner, relations with the school board have improved, and she’s been a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility in the county’s budget. She’s been deeply involved with health issues, as a member of the Department of Public Health’s board who now serves on the consolidated Human Services Board, which advises both Public Health and Social Services. She’s also been at the forefront of helping the county deal with drug addiction through programs like Stepping Up, which helps women with substance abuse and mental illness who’ve been incarcerated at the county jail.
Whisenhunt said she’s constantly educating herself on issues that are important to the citizens of Forsyth County. “I remember how I got here and I remember why I’m here,” she said. “I just enjoy working for the citizens, trying to make everybody's life just a little bit better.”
She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties (NACo), a position she was elected to by her fellow county commissioners from across the state. She’s currently chair of Long Term Care on the NACo Health and Human Services Board and serves on the NACo Large Urban Counties Committee. She’s also a member of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Board of Directors and General Government Committee.
She was named one of the Triad’s Most Influential by Triad Business Journal in 2007. In 2019, she was recognized at the Outstanding Women Leaders Program held annually by the City of Winston-Salem. Whisenhunt is a member of the Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority and Forsyth County Republican Women. She’s also served on many other committees including the Forsyth County Emergency Management Advisory Council, Forsyth County Airport Authority/Smith Reynolds Airport, Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation, NC State Intergovernmental Committee, NC Risk Management Board of Trustees, Forsyth Hospital Board of Trustees, Piedmont Triad Research Park Board of Trustees, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority and she was co-chair of the 2000-2001 NCACC Legislative Goals Committee.
When she’s not serving the county, Commissioner Whisenhunt loves gardening, reading, going to the beach and yoga.