Dr. Alicia M. Straughter’s professional background includes over 20 years in the not-for-profit industry with a focus on executive board development, fundraising, HR leadership, management and operations.
She is passionate about lifelong learning, health and fitness, and the power of positive leadership and strives to achieve a synthesis of these interests in her work.
Her career began at Athletes Against Drugs (AAD), a nonfor-profit organization founded by Stedman Graham. During her 17-year tenure as Managing Director, she guided the organization in its focus on empowering youth. Dr. Alicia restructured and customized AAD’s in-school programs and youth-focused events. She developed a scholarship program in a low-income area in Chicago. To strengthen AAD’s marketing strategies, Dr. Alicia coordinated youth sports clinics with professional athletes and built strong alliances with celebrity agents, publicists, professional sporting teams, and corporate leaders.
Dr. Alicia’s role at AAD also included writing projects. She authored a book to inspire young people to learn about health, fitness, and nutrition. She also developed a youth lifestyle magazine for distribution to inner city youth in Chicago and other cities.
Continuing to focus her efforts in the educational arena, she worked as an adjunct professor at Dominican University for 9 years, lecturing on Marketing Concepts for Organizations. Dr. Alicia taught weekly Teens Can Make It Happen classes at the Chicago Job Corps. Dr. Straughter lectured at Concordia, DePaul and Benedictine Universities lecturing in business courses.
Dr. Alicia’s degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, a Master of Science in Organization Development from Loyola University of Chicago, and a PhD in General Business with a concentration in organizational management from Capella University. Her dissertation focused on women in executive positions and how they moved beyond the glass ceiling.
Dr. Alicia’s goal for future research is to explore how continued growth and effective leadership can determine the next level of a person’s life.
In a fusion of her prominent interests and values, Dr. Alicia launched AMS Consulting Services, Inc. to help not-for-profit businesses, entrepreneurs, profit businesses and municipalities build strong HR leadership and management teams. Working with mayors and other city officials, Dr. Alicia guides municipalities to leverage their human capital through organizational development, one-on-one coaching, strategic HR, risk management and performance improvement. Dr. Alicia is an accomplished lead negotiator for multi-million-dollar employment contracts. She is well-known for her transformation leadership style and thought leadership in developing HR Departments from the ground up. She is very extensive with solving employment problems that saved several client’s millions of dollars in potential liability lawsuits. Dr. Straughter’s strong leadership and investigation skills are methods to protect her clients.
Dr. Straughter is known for her work with the National Basketball Retired Players Association Chicago Chapter by setting up the nonprofit and successful event management for several years while working closely with the chapter President. Her leadership and management style allowed her to develop numerous financial opportunities that provided effective marketing strategies, structure, and branding for the organization during her time with the chapter in 2013.
Since 2001, Dr. Alicia is the President and business liaison for the Broadview Manor Association where she strategically turned a failing 12-unit condo building and association around within 6-12 months.
In August 2019, Dr. Alicia joined the Advisory Board of A Safe Haven organization focused on the homeless epidemic in Chicago. In September 2019, Dr. Straughter launched a podcast called Soul of a Leader (SOAL) with a long-time college friend, the podcast is focused on servant leadership, authentic leadership, and spiritual leadership (SAS). The podcast reaches over 50,000 listeners through the support of the SOAL guests. The podcast can be found on all the major platforms such as Google Play, iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher. The podcast was launched to talk to ordinary people with extraordinary impact as they lead with their souls. Dr. Alicia’s strong marketing, branding, and chief operations talent are seen throughout the development of SOAL brand as multiple books, virtual workshops, executive coaching and speaking opportunities have evolved.
In June 2020, she joined Loyola University’s Risk Management Advisory Board to help make an impact with diversity and inclusion for students working in risk management. Her expertise in risk HR is seen during workshops, fireside chats and in the classroom. She co-authored her first book Soul of a Leader Echoes with her college friend to share real-stories about individuals who lead with soul and with servant, authentic and spiritual leadership (SAS).