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Press Release

Release Date: September 03, 2020

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • Alesha Wilson

Chickasaw citizen Alesha Wilson spent 20 years as a schoolteacher and counselor. During her time as an educator, she stepped into many leadership roles – roles she saw as opportunities for growth. More recently, she has opened a new career in real estate. She continues to seek opportunities that help her grow as a leader and business owner.

“I was at a point where I was looking for my next step and I looked into some doctorate programs and nothing really grabbed me as far as what I wanted to do for my next step in education,” Mrs. Wilson said. “My mother told me she’d love for me to be a part of her new business she was developing for online real estate curriculum.”

Mrs. Wilson’s mother, Anne Woody, has had a notable career in real estate. She served on the Oklahoma real estate commission for 35 years, including time as executive director. Since retiring, Mrs. Woody has devoted her time to sharing her knowledge about real estate with others, including her daughter.

“At the time I didn’t really know anything about real estate, but I continued to think about it and talk with my mother,” Mrs. Wilson said. “It’s kind of hard to describe why, other than the seed was planted and it kept growing. Now that I’m in the position that I am a broker, and even before that, I feel very fortunate to have her education, knowledge and mentorship.”

In the state of Oklahoma, 90 credit hours of online or classroom training must be completed before taking a required national real estate exam. Upon passing the national exam, an additional 45 hours of training must be completed within a year.

Mrs. Wilson goes well beyond the continuing education required to maintain her license, because she feels a responsibility to offer effective education.

“My focus is to protect and educate my customers through their home buying and selling process,” Mrs. Wilson said. “Every customer and transaction I have I use as an opportunity for me to share knowledge and bring professionalism to the industry. With some real estate transactions, customers have had negative experiences, so I’m trying to change that viewpoint.”

The driving factors in all of Mrs. Wilson’s transactions aren’t tied to a monetary goal, but the feeling she gets when she’s doing a service for them.

“A lot of what I do I don’t technically receive compensation for because I get paid when there’s a closing transaction,” she said. “But I’ve found that I derive a lot of energy from just helping people. When I first got into this field, people would ask what my money goal was. But that wasn’t my focus.”

Soon after receiving her real estate license, Mrs. Wilson took additional training to become a certified real estate broker. The designation allows her to hire associates and grow her business. She serves the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and offers residential real estate services.

With her background in education, Mrs. Wilson offers teaching and counseling skills to other professionals in real estate.

“My mother encouraged me to also become a certified real estate instructor, so I do have that capacity that incorporates some counseling components,” she said. “I feel fortunate I have the background I have.”

Assistance from Chickasaw Nation Higher Education has been a big help as Mrs. Wilson has developed a new career. She utilized tribal Education Services while earning her master’s degree in education with an emphasis in guidance and counseling. She was further aided by the tribe as she earned her realtor’s and broker’s licenses through an online vocational schooling scholarship.

After establishing her business, Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC, Mrs. Wilson grew curious if there were any programs the Chickasaw Nation offers for business owners.

“Occasionally I would look and see what new programs were offered by the Chickasaw Nation,” she said. “So, I started researching and the Chickasaw Business Network is where I landed. When I started the application process, Bailey Walker helped me through my application. I didn’t know who he was at the time, and then I met him again when I became a member of the American Indian Chamber of commerce (AICCO), where he currently serves as the president. It was great to have that connection.”

The Chickasaw Business Network provides a network of valuable business resources to Chickasaw entrepreneurs, other Native American-owned businesses, and other federally-recognized minority-owned businesses.

Mrs. Wilson applied to have her business listed on the Chickasaw Business Directory. The directory identifies existing businesses at least 51 percent owned, controlled and operated by Chickasaw citizens. This allows potential business opportunities to grow among Chickasaw citizens.

She also applied for the tribe’s Preferred Vendor Program. This program increases business opportunities for qualified Chickasaw citizen-owned business enterprises and those of other qualified minorities.

“I was impressed with the amount of information and steps in order to get the Chickasaw preferred vendor,” she said. “It was a process to meet the standard requirements.”

Establishing her business with the network has presented several opportunities to network and grow in the real estate field and as a leader.

“I started getting emails about different opportunities and workshops,” she said. “The very first opportunity that presented itself was last year at the Chickasaw Dynamic Women’s Conference. They wanted Chickasaw women business owners to come and set up booths. My mother and I enjoyed it so much we knew we wanted to attend it for years to come.”

She received more information about the AICCO and is now a member.

“I attended my first meeting in June of last year and I’ve been going ever since,” she said. “I’m currently a board member with the Oklahoma City chapter. The focus is tying in community and businesses. There are a lot of like-minded people and I felt very comfortable from the very beginning and that doesn’t always happen.”

From the AICCO, Mrs. Wilson found her next leadership pursuit.

“I attended the Gathering last year at Durant and I purchased a booth for the days that we were there,” she said. “The Gathering Business Summit is an opportunity for members of the AICCO and others to experience breakout sessions and networking opportunities of connecting businesses together. That’s where I heard a lot more about Leadership Native Oklahoma. They had the graduation sessions and I thought ‘this is very cool.’”

Leadership Native Oklahoma (LNO) is an educational program developed by AICCO to enhance and equip leaders to bridge the educational gap between Native and non-Native communities, businesses and other significant issues in the state.

Mrs. Wilson applied and was accepted for the class of 2020. Her leadership class will graduate this fall.

“I haven’t shied away from leadership because I’ve stepped into leadership roles as an educator,” she said. “But I still felt that there’s another level that I’m not getting into. So, that’s one thing that I told them. I said I really don’t know where this is going to lead me, but I know it will help me be a stronger leader and maybe who I need to be.”