If your last name is Allgood, it is practically preordained that you will be a positive force in the universe. Alvin Allgood answered the call to service when he joined the Army in 1983 at age 19. Alvin saw the Army as a place to get some seasoning and maturity before starting “real life.” After four years, Alvin “graduated” from military service and eventually earned a degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Public Relations, Advertising, and Communications.
While in college, Alvin worked with at-risk youth at Children’s Comprehensive Services, in a residential treatment center for juvenile sex offenders. He then joined the team that founded Educational Services of America (now known as ChanceLight), the nation’s leading provider of behavioral health, therapy & education solutions for children and young adults. After ten years with ChanceLight, Alvin spent a year with Vital Voices before joining EdisonLearning as a Senior Vice President. At Edison, Alvin established an alternative virtual education platform and launched several Magic Johnson Bridgescape Learning Centers and virtual schools before he was recruited back to Vital Voices as the COO.
While all of his previous employers are focused on helping people, Vital Voices is the only actual nonprofit for whom Alvin has worked. This organization invests in women leaders with a daring vision who improve the world by applying a four-pronged approach, including Individual Investments, Signature Leadership Programs, Network Activation/Global Advocacy, and Thought Leadership.
During his tenure, Alvin has created more infrastructure around finance, HR, IT, and Monitoring & Evaluation. Alvin put his shoulder to those particular boulders and set up an accounting department, created an IT inventory management system so each staff member would have a new laptop every three years, established monthly finance reviews, created a culture where department leaders owned their own numbers, wrote data governance policies, and created naming conventions. This year he is creating data management protocols and converting to an automated Salesforce CRM system.
It is a paradox that the work Alvin does, while not glamorous, is so vital (pun intended) to the overall health of the organization. Toiling in the background was something Alvin did back in high school when he ran lights and sound for a bands. We like to consider Alvin’s Operations Team as the roadies for the Vital Voices stars. Vital Voices was indeed founded by veritable rock stars; Hillary Clinton and Madelyn Albright initiated the program within the US Department of State, and then Vital Voices eventually became an independent organization with 50 full-time associates.
You can hear the pride in his voice when Alvin talks about Vital Voices staff and particularly when describing some of the women who have been honored at their Annual Global Leadership Awards, including:
Sunitha, a courageous woman who fights trafficking in Hyderabad, India;
Kakenya, who had a dream for ending child marriage and building an all-girl’s school in her hometown of Enoosaen in south Kenya;
Panmela, a graffiti artist based in Rio de Janeiro who uses her work as a medium to fight violence against women.
Vital Voices recognizes that men contribute to the battle for the equality and safety of women and girls and has also recognized those who have given their time, talent, and resources to the fight. Winners of the Voices of Solidarity award include in addition to luminaries such as Vice President Joe Biden and actor Patrick Stewart:
Sadou Lemankreo, a police officer and human rights defender who is challenging a culture of silence around violence against women and human trafficking in Cameroon;
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a former peacekeeper and diplomat advancing the inclusion of women in all UN efforts to protect human rights;
Tom Wilson, Chairman and CEO of The Allstate Corporation, who encourages other CEOs to join him in recognizing the impact of domestic violence.
When not advancing Vital Voices’ cause, Alvin is an avid cheerleader at his son Samuel’s sporting events and his daughter Hannah Claire’s equestrian events. Alvin has a personal goal to walk over 100 miles this year as he continues to section-hike the Appalachian Trail. We have no doubt he will make this goal and continue to make an impact across the globe.