Here's what some little birds (who happen to be Alison's former collaborators and colleagues) have to say about working with her. And to make this page a bit more fun, we've illustrated the quotes with pictures of actual birds that Alison had the chance to observe, photograph, and learn about while traveling in Southern Africa.* To learn more about the testimonial provider, click on their name.
“Alison’s the person we turned to when we knew we had a problem, but we didn't know how to solve it. We asked her to help our grantees build stronger cross-sector collaborations, and she figured it out. We asked her to help our organization share what we were learning through our grants and investments, and she figured it out.”
"One of the things that I really appreciate about Alison is that she'll tell you the truth directly, but with love. I recall one walk we took around Lake Merritt where I was sharing about some fears I had about my leadership. Alison stopped me mid-sentence and said, "I care about you. You're creating that story and it isn't working for you. You need to let that go.” Then she proceeded to offer up treasures from her expansive and well-curated resource collection, including books and podcasts and personal introductions to people who’d worked through similar experiences, to help me reframe my thinking and go beyond the limitations I'd mentally imposed on myself. This is one of the things that I appreciate most about her - she never leaves you hanging; her feedback is always followed up with support and accountability. I think this is an amazing way of being in the world and one that I've seen Alison employ across the ecosystem of her life - from her personal friendships to her professional work."
"I have known Alison for over a decade and she is one of the most impressive and thoughtful change-makers that I've had the pleasure of working with. While there are many passionate leaders with great intentions, far fewer are like Alison, able to create significant social impact by bringing the right people to the table to collaborate. As a thought partner and colleague to me on two separate occasions, I've seen how Alison has approached cross-sector collaboration, facilitation, and curriculum development with an innovative and strategic mindset. And her ability to do that work while working on different issues, in different sectors and within different contexts is a testament to her rock star status."
"I love Alison. In the fifteen years we've known each other, I've hired her on three separate occasions because of her combination of smarts and compassion. Alison has the unique ability to truly listen to people, understand where they are coming from, hear their challenges and to apply her formidable problem-solving skills to guide them to smart solutions. Through her work she creates community and paradigm shifts that inspire people. She provides the framework for change."
"I had the pleasure of working alongside Alison for two years and appreciated the heart, curiosity, and knowledge she brought to partnerships we were developing with other organizations. She achieved the perfect balance of building genuine friendships with local leaders, while being able to push them to ensure they were reaching their goals. Four years later, I find myself sharing lessons I gained from her with the people I work with today."
"Alison is more than a storyteller, she’s a story-getter. As both a friend and former colleague, I’ve seen Alison draws insights and experiences out of people that they may not have even known they had. Thorough her genuine interest in getting to know people and their experiences, she weaves together concepts into action and individuals into communities working toward a shared goal. I admire her fearlessness and thoughtfulness in exploring the world."
"I've known Alison for five years -- we were colleagues for the first two, and have stayed connected ever since. But, that's Alison. Once she is your colleague, she'll always be your colleague. I've shared good news with her and she's been excited and supportive. And I also know that I can call or email her and talk through something I'm wrestling with and she'll listen with openness, empathy, and humor, and then help me figure out what to do next."
*And while it should go without saying that there's no correlation between person and bird, we felt we should say it.