Dr. Alicia M. Straughter
Alicia Straughter
Dr. Alicia M. Straughter’s professional background includes over 25 years in the not-for-profit industry with a focus on executive board development, fundraising, HR leadership, and nonprofit management and operations.

Dr. Alicia M. Straughter’s professional background includes over 25 years in the not-for-profit industry with a focus on executive board development, fundraising, HR leadership, and nonprofit management and operations. She is passionate about lifelong learning, health and fitness, and the power of positive leadership, and she strives to achieve a synthesis of these interests in her work.

Her career began at Athletes Against Drugs (AAD), a not-for-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 partnership with a private donor, amassing close to $1 million dollars in educational scholarships to low-income youth in the Lawndale Community of 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.

Her sports event marketing includes many years of celebrity golf events, sports industry luncheons, athlete achievement awards dinners, celebrity galas, private celebrity and corporate CEO events throughout Chicago and nationally.

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. She also offered business courses at Concordia, DePaul, and Benedictine Universities.

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.

In a fusion of her prominent interests and values, Dr. Alicia launched AMS Consulting Services, Inc. to help not-for-profit businesses, entrepreneurs, for-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 transformational leadership style and thought leadership in developing HR Departments from the ground up. She applies strategy and attention to detail to anticipate employment problems and has saved her clients millions of dollars in potential liability lawsuits.

Since 2001, Dr. Alicia has been the President and business liaison for the Broadview Manor Association. In this capacity, she strategically transformed a failing 12-unit condo building and association in less than a year.

In 2013, Dr. Alicia connected with the National Basketball Retired Players Association, Chicago Chapter, working closely with the Chapter President in nonprofit event management for several years. Dr. Alicia’s leadership and management style allowed her to develop numerous financial opportunities that proved to be effective strategies for marketing, structure, and branding for the organization during her time with the chapter.

In August 2019, Dr. Alicia joined the Advisory Board of A Safe Haven, an organization focused on the homeless epidemic in Chicago. In September 2019 with a long-time college friend, Dr. Alicia launched a podcast called Soul of a Leader (SOAL). The podcast focuses on servant leadership, authentic leadership, and spiritual leadership (SAS). The podcast reaches over 50,000 listeners and is available on all major platforms, including Google Play, iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher. The episodes feature conversations between the hosts and ordinary people who make extraordinary impact as they lead with their souls. Dr. Alicia’s strong marketing, branding, and chief operations talents are evident in the development of the SOAL Leadership Institute brand.

In June 2020, Dr. Alicia joined Loyola University’s Risk Management Advisory Board to make an impact with diversity and inclusion (D&I) for students working in risk management. Her workshops, fireside chats, and classroom lectures showcase her expertise in risk HR. She co-authored her first book Soul of a Leader Echoes with her college friend to share real-life stories about individuals who lead with soulfulness and with servant, authentic and spiritual leadership (SAS).

During 2022, Dr. Alicia was called to help a national nonprofit organization that was in danger of losing a $15 million federal grant. Her focus on strategic HR, D&I, cultural initiatives, and youth programs established a process for success. In less than 6 months, she implemented effective leadership strategies, branding, grant reporting, employee development programs, and youth programs to save the grant. She also helped bring in another $1.2 million of carryover and supplemental federal funds by applying her experience in budgeting, grant review, and execution of grant deliverables.

In 2023, Dr. Straughter joined the Elmhurst University School of Business board to provide professional guidance in the areas of business programs, community engagement, and D&I.