Tray Allen is a man about town. You’ll see him at local restaurants or perhaps with his wife Emily and one of his two young sons, Joe or Mix, on Main Street. It’s hard to believe that he’s been selling real estate since 1998, when he decided to join his father, Joe Allen, in a business that he didn’t at first see himself in.
“I graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in finance,” said Allen, “but after doing a few things I definitely wanted to come home, back to Warrenton, and I always had that opportunity to join in my father’s business,” he said.
No regrets when it came to that decision. “I love it,” said Allen. “You get to meet new people … situations are always different … and it’s very satisfying when you’ve helped someone find a home … no doubt the major purchase in a person’s life.”
Always involved in the community, serving on different boards and active in various organizations, when Allen was approached about serving in a leadership role with Experience Old Town Warrenton, it was another heartfelt decision that didn’t take him long to make.
“It was sort of out of the blue … but I did accept it,” said Allen who moved to town in 2018. “It didn’t take a lot of thought … I enjoy everything about the town.”
Allen is keen on the variety of perspectives of the current board, which numbers close to 20. He’s also happy to work with the executive director Charity Furness. “And Will Ashwell will be our vice chairman,” added Allen. Ashwell, a local attorney, also lives in town.
“We are getting there,” said Allen, “To rebuild and rebrand the town’s visibility … the new signage, First Fridays, the farmers market, murals, the LOVE sign, hanging flower baskets … it’s all coming together.”
Allen sees the role of Experience Old Town Warrenton as not only catering to local residents, but enticing visitors from other counties. “We’ve been pretty successful with many of our events and want to do more of that,” said Allen, “make Warrenton a destination.”
“It’s been great working with the town … there is a lot of collaborative energy … it’s all about partnerships.”
Allen knows that he is in a rare group in terms of the town’s population – being able to live, work and play in the community where he lives. Roughly 65% of Fauquier workers commute out of the county. In terms of his real estate business, Allen says that it’s a balance of folks already living here looking to make a move – many to town – and those who seek a slower pace and enhanced quality of life by moving to Fauquier. “There is a trend toward walkability,” he added.
Allen takes over the reins from Amelia Stansell, a senior loan officer at UVA Community Credit Union.
“It was an honor to be the chairman for two years as we were in our start-up mode and I am proud of the many accomplishments we had during that time – namely, hiring our dynamic and capable executive director, Charity Furness,” said Stansell. “It was bittersweet to pass the gavel to Tray Allen at our December board meeting. While I will miss leading the board, I know that Tray is the right person as my successor and I have my full support behind him. Tray is a Warrenton native, a property and business owner; the success and strength of our town is important to him. He and Charity have established a great working relationship and while he is new to the board, he is quickly coming up to speed.”
“I am highly impressed with his leadership thus far,” said Stansell adding, “I am looking forward to serving on the board as the immediate past president and working on several special projects that we have on our strategic plan – there are many great things coming in 2020!”
“The town is such a wonderful place … I’m looking forward to this,” said Allen.
Reach Anita Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org