We’re an eclectic bunch and that’s the way we like it. Our Team Series invites you to learn more about the unique skills and backgrounds that each team member brings to Realize and our personalized, value-add approach.
BA, MBA, Principal Consultant
Strategy, Executive Search and Interim Leadership Placement, Workplace Facilitation, Organizational Assessment, Harassment and Discriminatory Practices
It seems that whoever you ask, Alison has a distinct talent for connecting with people. Whether in the Realize office or at the workplaces of her clients, people are drawn to her charisma and work ethic – qualities that have lent themselves well to her history of working in the area of family and child services.
Prior to joining Realize, Alison worked in the non-profit sector for more than twenty years and managed non-clinical, preventative programs for children and youth at Family Services of the North Shore, and further back, she worked for the Elizabeth Fry Society and Westcoast Child Resource Society.
Alison’s extensive work in the non-profit sector gravitated towards supporting organizations to surmount financial and organizational challenges. Seeing a number of hardworking people come to rely on her inspired her to take measures to better serve socially minded businesses.
“I realized that my contribution back to the sector would be to get the MBA and help them with the business and achieving their mission,” says Alison.
Her years of work experience and obtaining an MBA and BA in Psychology from Simon Fraser University equipped Alison with a skillset nuanced towards supporting businesses in the non-profit sector when she joined Realize in 2006, becoming a Principal Consultant for the business.
She says that having her work experience combined with her business education gives her an edge in understanding realistic benchmarks for non-profit clients.
“I have the understanding of how important mission-driven businesses are,” says Alison, “because I’ve worked in different sized organizations, I understand what pressures they’re under financially.”
Alison’s literacy of impact-driven businesses has also equipped her with a knack for building strong, safe workplaces for clients. Her intelligence coupled with an empathic approach lend themselves to her talent for sourcing the right leadership, assessing organizational processes, and creating stability in all the organizations and businesses she works with.
She knows first-hand that the people in this sector require support and direction to navigate their challenges, which is why she dedicates so much of her work for Realize to working directly alongside her clients. Alison believes that investing her time and energy into her work means that ultimately it will contribute to the betterment of those people – whether the children and youth these organizations serve, or the staff that work so hard to create a difference – making her efforts all the more worthwhile.
“I really respect the people dedicated to the sector, it’s a very positive connection,” Alison says about her work. She also recognizes the need to create a sense of stability not just organizationally, but in the work culture as well. “To revive these people, to find a little bit of fun and humour in it helps – there’s still some room to come up and enjoy each other’s company and learn to be together again.”
Beyond her work for Realize, Alison also volunteers at the Palliative Care Program at Lions Gate Hospital, where she has been supporting the program for the last seven years. When she isn’t working or volunteering her time, Alison can’t get enough of the outdoors. Whether it’s a hike through the wilderness with her dog or a motorcycle ride to Fergie’s in Squamish for brunch with her husband, Alison loves finding her next outdoor adventure.