Flagstaff has a secret weapon in the extremely accomplished Alice Ferris. In the year 2000, Alice gave birth to her son, Matthew, and since staying at home full-time was not what she bargained for, with Matthew in tow, she created her own consulting firm.
Passion is what she is all about. No matter what she does, and she does it all, she does it wholeheartedly. Alice is the creator of GoalBusters, LLC, a consulting firm established in 2001 (originally as Ferris Consulting) that provides strategic planning, leadership, special event coordination, and an array of other hands-on development. Clients include public broadcasting stations, rural healthcare clinics, educational causes and Native American organizations, to list a few.
“I have worked for nonprofit organizations for my whole career,” explained Ferris. “At the beginning, and still to this day, the purpose of GoalBusters is to help people have the resources – money, staff, volunteers, proper training and tools – to make their communities a better place.” One long-term client of GoalBusters is The Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF). LuAnn Leonard, executive director of HEEF, speaks highly of Ferris and her company’s contributions to the community, “Alice cares about rural Arizona and is committed to working to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they provide.”
Ferris is receiving recognition from those outside our community as well. Recently, she was awarded the highest professional certification from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the largest community of professional fundraisers in the world. Ferris is one of only 90 professionals worldwide to achieve this distinguished honor.
Being on the road 149 days out of the year isn’t something included in most people’s job description, however, Ferris takes it all in stride.
“The good part is I did get opportunities to present in Toronto and in Mexico City, which are amazing cities,” she said of her travel- laden schedule. Another highlight for Ferris happened in 2010, when she “got to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu!” Traveling has also allowed her inner critic to come out, but not in the way you might expect – she has turned her road adventures into a sort of culinary hobby, one she frequently blogs about on the GoalBusters website (see Alice’s Restaurant Picks).
“My business partner and I travel a lot, and when we are on the road, we are looking for the places that have good food and provide a ‘sense of place’ – that reflect the communities they are in,” explained Ferris. “No offense to restaurant chains, as there are some good ones, but we generally are looking for the locally-owned and operated places.”
A few other hobbies Ferris enjoys: cooking, eating and wine tasting.
“Oh, I also had a personal goal this year to turn myself from a walker into a runner, and I ran my first 5K in November,” she said proudly. “I also practice tai chi and yoga. The last three hobbies counteract the first three.”
So what’s left to accomplish for Ferris? Plenty! As far as GoalBusters is concerned, she says she’d like to “eventually bring on a couple more associates.” And on the personal side of things, she would like to learn Chinese and “present in an Asian country.” FBN
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