Upon first glance, it is easy to dismiss Collison Realty’s quaint office building as just another house in Parkland. The little house blends in nicely with the other houses on the street. It’s not until you notice the logos in the windows or the hanging out front that you realize this is a small business. However, despite its small size, the unassuming house plays an important role for equally unassuming Parkland community.
Collison Realty was started in 1965 by Grace and Dayle Collison. The original location was at the corner of 112th st and Golden Given Rd. The Collison’s owned and operated the business until 1990 when their son, Pat Collison, and his new wife, Julie, (they met at a Real Estate Convention) bought the company. After Pat died unexpectedly in 2005, Julie began the process of taking over as managing broker. Now, Julie Collison is the vibrant face that runs and manages this self-proclaimed “Parkland born-and-bred company.”
Not only is Julie also Parkland born-and-bred (Okay, Midland born), but she is an active community member. She beams with pride as she talks about Collison’s (and her) role here in Parkland. As a small business owner, she feels a certain responsibility to be involved with the local community, such as with the Garfield Business Owners Association. One big project that Julie helped to start was the blog, Discover Parkland. This blog is a way to showcase the community in a town that seems to have been prescribed as “The wrong side of the tracks”
At every opportunity, Julie works to dismantle the negative perception others seem to have of Parkland. Parkland is unfairly depicted as a less than ideal place to live due to a flurry of news stories that paint Parkland in a poor light. Julie’s love for Parkland is most evident when she talks about the events that have contributed to this poor perception of Parkland. Not only does it hurt her heart, but also her business. As a real estate agent, she always tries to show the good in her community, such as the booming local school district, the high number of locally owned businesses, and the beautiful campus at PLU.