I, Alexandra Suchman, am committed to helping clients achieve their missions of enhancing justice, compassion, health, civility, knowledge, creativity, and beauty in the world.
My career has been guided by three central tenets:
- I am driven by a commitment to help make the world a better place.
- I believe in the benefits of organization, planning, and structure.
- I am most fulfilled when I can use my innate problem-solving skills to help other people.
I founded AIS Collaborations to be able to apply these fundamental traits to help as many fellow do-gooders as possible be as successful and productive as possible.
Having worked in small, mission-based businesses and non-profits, I understand the unique challenges faced by small workplaces, such as:
- Everyone fills multiple roles and must figure out how to perform new responsibilities on the fly.
- You're operating with a limited number of people, often with limited resources.
- Most resources are allocated toward mission-focused efforts, rather than on operations and infrastructure.
- You’re too busy with the day to day work to take the time to redesign your work processes to make them more efficient, so you get stuck in a pattern of constant crisis and catch-up.
These small organizations are capable of accomplishing amazing feats through dedication, flexibility, and ingenuity. Too often, though, the details of running a successful workplace and ensuring that all work is performed in a deliberate, efficient, and effective way is overlooked.
And that is where I come in!
My background in both research and operations management provides me with an unusual blend of skills and perspective that sets me apart from other consultants. I understand that every workplace is unique in terms of its needs, history, people, and culture.
My job is to learn about your mission, ask all the right questions about how you do your work, and suggest solutions that address the operational challenges within that specific context.
- Every new client and every project is undertaken with fresh eyes, meaning no preconceived ideas as to what the issues are, how they came to be, and what the solution should be.
- Problems are solved through every day, common sense reasoning, as opposed to lofty management concepts.
- All recommended solutions are developed specifically to fit with the client's workplace culture, communication styles, levels of comfort with technology, budget, etc.
A native of Rochester, NY, I moved to Washington DC to pursue public policy work with vulnerable populations- working with such organizations as the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the American Public Human Services Association, and multiple Federal agency programs across the health and family support landscape.
As Manager of Operations and Business Development for a small contracting firm, I developed an operational infrastructure from scratch, and implemented numerous processes, training programs, and resources to ensure consistency and quality across all company activities. These tasks were especially critical, as the company was experiencing tremendous growth (from 5 to 50 employees during my 8-year tenure). While this growth was a direct result of the company’s success, it presented a number of operational challenges, as the infrastructure had to be designed with enough flexibility to accommodate additional growth. I built a business development strategy and process that could be scaled up at every step, from proposal writing to process management to budgeting to compliance review. I adapted key project management principles and practices to fit within the context of a small, research-oriented business.
After nearly two decades of project and operations management for contractor groups, academia, and health advocacy organizations, I realized I had cultivated a unique skill set that could help other small and growing organizations build reliable and sustainable operations infrastructures, and founded AIS Collaborations in early 2017.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Colby College, and a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the George Washington University. I am also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and a member of the Project Management Institute.
Other fun facts about me:
- I love dogs, especially my beagle Lindy.
- I am a decent tap dancer.
- I strive to keep my work email inbox limited to no more than 20 emails at any given time (and am mostly successful!)
- I love everything about food – cooking it, eating it, reading about it, understanding the science behind it….