Dedicated and hardworking from the start, Wanda Lynn Wheeler-Mains always loved working with words and would make up stories with a weekly word list. In fifth grade, she won a spelling contest between the fifth and sixth grade classes. She went on to earn her diploma from Chauncey High School in just three years, having completed both seventh and eighth grade in one year while living in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. During her time in Hazleton, she played piano for assemblies with both Hazleton Junior High School and Hazleton High School and sang as an alto in the school choirs.
Notably, she was one of 30 seventh graders who were selected to take an experimental “speeders course” from The Pennsylvania State University. She has also completed college level coursework in writing, having initially found her love of writing as an editor for her school newspaper and a writer of theater skits and actress at her high school. Following her graduation, Ms. Wheeler-Mains decided to get married and settle down to start a family instead of immediately pursuing a career.
While she and her husband were expecting their second child, Ms. Wheeler-Mains realized that they would need another income to support their growing family. In 1956, at the age of 22, she joined Avon as a representative and began selling their products door to door. An outgoing and engaging individual, she was a natural when it came to selling products, which have included everything from cosmetics, to jewelry, to household items, to clothing and accessories. Ms. Wheeler-Mains also notes that her deep and abiding love of people has allowed her to flourish as well, since she meets new people all the time as a representative.
In addition to her work as a representative, Ms. Wheeler-Mains went on to serve as a trainer for her fellow Avon representatives and later achieved the positions of assistant manager and district chair. An exceptional resource for product knowledge, she notes that her favorite items include the Far Away cologne mist, the Skin So Soft lotion and the strawberry lip balm. Furthermore, Ms. Wheeler-Mains cites the mentorship she received from her manager, Elizabeth McDaniel, as the driving force behind her own successful start at the company, and she hopes that she can now provide that guidance to others. She has been blessed to see some of her clients become members of her church.
Ms. Wheeler-Mains remains active as an Avon representative to this day, continuing her person-to-person sales technique, as, unlike many representatives today, she has made a conscious choice to not sell online. For her excellence over the course of the six decades she has been active in the field, she was notably inducted into the Avon President’s Club. Additionally, as a distinguished Marquis Who’s Who listee, Ms. Wheeler-Mains has been named a Marquis Who’s Who Top Professional, featured in Who’s Who in America and presented with a Marquis Who’s Who Humanitarian Award.
An accomplished writer, Ms. Wheeler-Mains is a member of the Athens Writers Association, through which she has many essays and poems collected in their 2002 book “Pickin’ Fleas: Writers Grooming Writers,” and has composed a variety of songs and other music. Additionally, she has been very involved in her local community and served on the cancer board. Since 1971, she has been active with Hope for Humanity Inc. and has spent time in several roles with her local Seventh-Day Adventist Church, including communications secretary, personal ministry member and pianist. In her free time, Ms. Wheeler-Mains has cultivated her hobbies of playing the piano and singing alto, which she does with various singing groups and at nursing homes.
Born in Mount Kisco, New York, Ms. Wheeler-Mains was married to her late husband, Charles, a police communications officer, for many happy years. Together, they are the proud parents of three children: two daughters and one son. While her son, Loren, a photo journalist, has sadly passed, her daughters are today accomplished professionals in their own fields. Sherry is the owner and operator of a flower shop and Wendy is a registered dietician. Her family has grown to include six grandchildren, Tyler Mains, Jeremy Windland, Crystal Windland Kennedy, Ronni Sayre, Jimmy Riley and Skyla McGee Robinson; nine great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; her brother George Gross, a schoolteacher in Philadelphia; and her sister Audrey Reed, a television consultant and author in California.