“Alex is smart, committed, supportive and has decades of leadership experience. When I am working with him on a project, his contributions make that project better. He has helped me grow both personally and professionally. I can’t imagine a better person to help organizations and individuals build on their strengths.”
– Tara Mack, Executive Director, Education for Liberation Network
“Alex Poeter was one of the wisest and most strategic not for profit leaders in Chicago for over twenty years. He was a leader in Chicago’s community organizing community, and he built a strong organization with numerous high quality programs and services for both youth and adults. Alex has a leadership style that is centered on focused listening and clear analysis, and he is skilled at collaborating with diverse groups of individuals and organizations. Alex is rooted in social justice values and empathetic of the many challenges not for profits and their leaders face. He is also a very creative problem solver who anticipates trends and understands how to marry big ideas to clear action plans.”
– Brian Brady, Executive Director, Mikva Challenge
“I have had the pleasure to partner with Alex Poeter on inter-generational, social justice work with the Chicago Freedom School for 5 years. Alex is committed to collaborative and participatory community based work with multiple stakeholders. He is an excellent facilitator and organizer – with the ability to garner resources and support multiple voices in consensus building and decision making processes. Institutions, community groups and folks that are seeking a thoughtful, committed and inclusive consultant need look no further.”
– Keisha Farmer-Smith, PhD, Director of Programs and Quality Assurance, Family Focus Inc.
“I was invited to give a weekend workshop in Chicago by Alex and several of his fellow steering committee members in the summer of 2006. They were in the final planning stages of creating what would become the Chicago Freedom School (www.chicagofreedomschool.org). I was asked to give a one-day workshop to student organizers and a one-day workshop to the steering committee on the topic of the relevance of the 1964 Freedom School History and Curriculum to activists and organizers today. The weekend was impeccably organized — every detail of the completely full weekend was planned and executed to perfection. Alex impressed me with his ability to both “step-up” and “step-back” among his peers. He made sure that he never dominated the conversations and activities, yet he made sure that his fellow participants stayed on topic and provoked deeper discussion at appropriate moments. He made me look good!
His humor, charisma, intelligence andpassionate commitment to social justice infected every conversation I had with him or witnessed during my stay in Chicago.That weekend was one of the most memorable and profound experiences I have had as a professional, in large part because of Alex.”
– Kathy Emery, PhD, SF Freedom School and SFSU
“Having worked with Alex for years, I remain steadily impressed with his abilities to perceive and articulate short and long-term needs in a deeply caring manner. If you are looking for a loud superstar, keep looking. If you are looking fora caring and thoroughly competent coach to help you break out of what’s holding you or your organization in harmful patterns, you’ve found him.”
– Leigh Patel, PhD, Writer, Sociologist, Educator
“I have partnered with him professionally on a number of projects. I had the chance to see him launch his professional career more than two decades ago in Chicago when he founded and led his first organization. He has been continuing to create successful organizations and projects ever since, including projects I have been involved in. His calm and analytic approach to challenges and his way of reaching consensus in making decisions together have been valuable assets. Alex creates a very nice and comforting work environment. All in all he is the best business partner I have had so far.”
– Juergen Scheer, Programmer & Consultant
“Since I was a teenager I had the pleasure of working with Alex in many different capacities. Alex was the Executive Director at the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council where I was a youth leader. As a youth leader Alex always pushed me to exceed far beyond what I thought my capabilities were. He challenged me to stand up for what I believed in and helped me become a strong leader in the community. With Alex’s guidance and support I was able to grow as a leader more than I thought ever possible.”
– Lisa Rodriguez, Chicago
“Working with Alex Poeter has proven to be invaluable to our staff’s ability to move forward in a positive way with mentoring and coaching young people, creating a healthy environment in which our staff and students can thrive, as well as creating an easy to use outcome-based evaluation system and infrastructure for our organization.”
– Melinda Wiggins, Executive Director, Student Action with Farmworkers
“In my first ten years at the Wieboldt Foundation Alex started not one but two community organizations. It is most difficult to start one – it takes energy, intelligence, and focus. To start two is exemplary.
Alex processes these three qualities and used them to train the local leadership of these diverse organizations, and to enlist and nurture the participation of of a large number of neighborhood residents, organizations and institutions. He also enabled local residents to develop an agenda and devise strategies, and provided a social justice framework to the field of community organizing. The older I get the more I realize that one of things that holds low-income people back is shame – shame that they have lost their homes, shame that they can’t find a job with a living wage, shame that they can’t count on their local schools to educate their children.
Alex is uniquely qualified to educate and encourage people in such a way that they feel both supported and more powerful. This demands patience, resilience and a deep understanding of human nature – three other qualities that Alex showed in all of his work in Chicago.
I would recommend Alex to anyone who needs someone with any of the qualities mentioned above. I sincerely know that you will not be disappointed.”
– Regina McGraw, Executive Director, Wieboldt Foundation
“I have found my coaching sessions with Alex Poeter to be impactful. After an hour long session, I go from being overwhelmed to feeling empowered with a clear directive of how to move forward. When I can process an issue I am having with Alex, I find that I can solve my own issues and be a more effective worker and team player.”
– Nadeen Bir, Program Director, Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF)
”I started working with Alex at a time when I realized that I had outgrown my job but was unfocused about what I wanted to do next. It was important to me to find a coach who could mentor me from a place of experience. Alex is an expert listener and skilled coach. He helped me create my career vision and clarify my values. Alex helped me identify my strengths and replace obstacles with new ways of thinking. Working with Alex gave me the courage to develop my own path in order to fill a community need that is not being addressed by anyone else. It was a privilege to talk with Alex on a weekly basis and I consider my time with him to be one of the best investments I have made.”
– Nicole Jurek, Founder, Local Circles
“Alex is an outstanding coach. I continue to work with him as I build my business and career, and our sessions are the highlight of my week. What sets Alex apart from other coaches is his ability to deeply listen and connect with the underlying thoughts and issues holding a client back. He is also one of the most skilled note takers I have ever seen in action! After each session, I receive a detailed email summing up what I shared and we discussed, with additional thoughts, insights and recommendations. These are incredibly helpful to implement the next steps and I have been keeping all of them, since the very first one. Alex has a gift for coaching and consulting, and combined with his extensive learning and knowledge, he can help anyone move past inner and outer barriers and start the life they intend to live.”
– Aurora Meneghello, Founder, Repurpose Your Purpose
“Alex is a dynamic, thoughtful and values-driven leader. In our work together at the Chicago Freedom School, Alex always impressed me with his insightfulness, honesty and dedication to social justice. He is trely collaborative in his approach and excels at building genuine partnerships with individuals, groups and organizations. He is knowledgeable about the dynamics of community and organizational development and skilled at putting that knowledge to work for strategic purposes. And, not insignificantly, he does this work with joy, always knowing how to make those around him smile.”
– Kristen Atkinson, PhD, Visiting Professor, UIC