Featured Member: Alison Davis Curry


Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?

I help clients achieve their goals. Sometimes this means creating viable businesses, professionalizing practices, developing client bases or donor pools. Sometimes we are focused on sharing our story with the world; sometimes we need to take a step back and create the business itself. Sometimes clients know what they want, but more often, they know what is missing. I treat every client’s business as if it were my own — one that creates value for me, and my clients, and their clients.


What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

I am most proud that I have been able to be the CEO of my life. I raised my girls myself, giving them the time and attention they deserve, and supporting us all as a single mother.


If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be, and why?

I don’t see the workplace as male / female, but as inclusive or divisive. Men and women are both capable of being inclusive and divisive. John Hunt talks about creating environments where there is a democracy of ideas. This happens infrequently. But we all know that there is value to being young, freshly out of school, and first generation with new tech platforms. There is also value in wisdom, experience, and institutional knowledge. We can’t have diversity of thought when we don’t have a diverse workforce. The differences between us are strengths. We should not be encouraged to stifle ourselves by all dressing in one uniform; speaking a language of made-up jargon, or worrying more about performative tasks than growth and goals.


Do you have any advice on how to craft a winning pitch?

Focus on the goal, not how you get there. Think about what success looks like, not the tactics. For my clients, the tactics might be a website, PR, social media, events. But these are not goals. The goal — What are we doing here? What does success look like? How will you describe this venture at its maturation point? This is what we need to define in conversation with our clients. A shared vision of success. Once we set the goal, we can set off, tacking as necessary. And please be sure to create an environment for success, one where a shared vision means a situation that works for the clients, and yourself in service to the client. As they advise on a plane, be sure your mask is on first.


Who has been your biggest cheerleader? 

My girls are my greatest fans. And also my task masters, holding me accountable for every goal and ambition I throw out. 


How do you negotiate the balance between life and work when you are the one setting the boundaries?

It’s tough. We need to be accountable to clients. But we are sometimes the only ones who can show up for our families. If we show up 100% for our clients when we can, we can have the comfort of them having our back when we can’t.


If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her?

Set a pace you can maintain; a career is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.


How do you make work work for you? 

My work doesn’t always work for me! I am sometimes delivering on a project fee at a lower rate than what I pay my dog walker; too light for work or totally overextended. Sometimes I have people on my team who can’t get the work done fast enough, or don’t have enough to do. Like the stock market, we can’t gauge well on the day to day. The 65-day moving average blends the ups and downs. And as we move into the 10year, and 20year cycles — we see a different story. My friend Danny Green told me — “And later when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted story. But at the time, it don’t.”  I am hangin’ in with Joe Walsh till I get there.