Woman of Innovation: A. Alanda Gregory

A. Alanda Gregory has never been one to sit on the sidelines, nor rest on her laurels.

In addition to being named as the Her magazine and BizTimes.biz Woman of Innovation, in the past year, the 54-year-old mother of five also was honored with the prestigious Iowa Governor’s Arts Award, recognizing her as an emerging arts leader.

Additionally, Gregory was named Coach of the Year for her work as a certified life coach and mentor through the Master Force Academy and was named a National Leaders of Color Fellow.

“I’ve been on this path ever since I was in high school,” Gregory said, seated behind her desk at Tri-Phoenix Group, LLC, in Dubuque’s Millwork District, ever ready to get down to work. “It’s very exciting to be recognized and to earn an award, but I also look at it as a way to keep perpetuating the work I’m doing.”

Originally from Chicago and calling Dubuque home for the past decade, Gregory is the co-founder and operations director of Tri-Phoenix Group, which aims to act as a business concierge service for entrepreneurs and creative professionals.

It specializes in media services, strategic planning, back office support and professional networking — specifically targeting local artists.

“It’s an area that a lot of artists need help with, in terms of resources, and an area that a lot of artists don’t always like dealing with,” Gregory said. “We help with that, but also give creative professionals the tools and the know-how they need to get their work out there.”

She also is the founder of the Small Business Alliance of Dubuque — now known as the BIPOC Leader & Professional Collective — to help promote BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) business leaders in the community. And she is the creator of Dub City Radio and the BIPOC News of the Tri-State.

An event organizer, Gregory recently hosted the third annual Tri-State Black Business Expo.

Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society, is a Carnegie-Stout Public Library Board Trustee, is on the Business Advisory Committee for the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce and is a staff volunteer for the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival and Voices Studio.

A a life coach, Gregory has helped facilitate workshops through the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and Turnt Kidz.

Her real passion is in forging connections.

“I look at myself as a people connector,” Gregory said. “When we know how to form a good connection with people, we can be better ourselves.”

That fascination, and learning how to achieve it in business, began manifesting at an early age.

“When I was a little girl, I would watch my mother work,” Gregory said. “I remember I would be sitting at my little desk with my little chalkboard and work books and copying her, saying that when I grew up, I wanted to be a boss lady.”

She also developed an appreciation for the arts, with her parents exposing her to the creative scene Chicago had to offer, including art museums, opera and theater, and live music.

Through block parties, Gregory further gained insight about developing community through events.

Her collaborator in business and in life, husband Matt Gregory, said his wife is committed to opening doors and leading others, whether those are creative professionals or people who have been marginalized.

“She contributes to many causes, including her work as a board member,” he said. “She sees a need to prove how representation matters. She shows up as a community advocate and has a love and generosity for people.”

Gregory sees it as her life’s calling to act as an advocate.

“You need to stand in who you are,” she said. “You also have to work to create what you want to see in your community and consider the legacy you are leaving behind. Never take it for granted.”