Alex Thomas, Support Services Director, Southeast Human Services Center

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself.

I am a wife and mother of three, two girls (two and seven) and a son who passed away eight years ago to a genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy at three months old. As the Support Service Director, I not only support and supervise my team but I also provide support and guidance to our center and regional and statewide leadership. I have dealt with a lot of challenges in my life, but I feel like it’s made me a stronger and better person. I strive to be a good role model and inspiration to my children and anyone else who is in need of support.

I have been in my current position for three years, but I have been at Southeast Human Service Center for five years. [I love] helping our clients in any capacity that I am able and being able to watch them reach their goals during their recovery journey. I also love to support our staff in our wellness and development needs.

Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why?

I would have to say right now it would be my supervisor, Alanna Zeller. She pushes me to be seen in an environment that may feel uncomfortable to speak up in. She also encourages me to be who I am by supporting my never-ending ideas and my personal development growth.

What drives you?

Right now it is my personal growth. Becoming a better person internally will allow me to be a better mother, wife and leader which I strive to be every day. I am my daughters’ role model and want to make sure that they grow up seeing a strong, confident woman and know they can achieve that too.

What are some important lessons you have learned in your lifetime?

Your life will never look the way that you pictured it while growing up. I never saw myself as being a bereaved mother having to face every day knowing that I will never be able to hold my son and that [I] will always have that “something missing” feeling. I also would have never seen myself being in the position that I am in taking on responsibility and being a part of programs like the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program.

What are some of your favorite things to do in our community?

I recently just volunteered at Ronald McDonald House making a meal for those who are staying. This was something that I enjoyed when I was staying at Ronald McDonald and wanted a chance to give back. This was such a great, fulfilling opportunity and I intend on doing this much more often.

What is your dream job and why?

Growing and developing people in their careers. I love this concept and helping people see their strengths and weaknesses and support them in getting where they would like to go in their career/life.

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

The Myth of the Nice Girl by Fran Hauser. I have always been known to be the nice girl and it has made it easy for people to take advantage of that or railroad me. This book helped find ways to still be the nice person that I am and want to be, but still take command of the room. Closing the Confidence Gap by Kelly Thompson. This book talks about how to be a confident person and leader and be able to advocate for yourself in positions that are more commonly filled by men.

What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?

Not only would I love to gain more confidence in myself as a leader, but I would love to gain long-lasting friendships.

What do you think can be improved in our community?

More intentional resources for those who are underprivileged/homeless and more affordable daycare/educational opportunities for our kids/families.

What do you think can be improved in our business community?

More collaboration and understanding. We have so many businesses within our community that could do so much more if working together and understanding the services/goods/resources that they provide to our community.

What are some of your passions outside of work?

I love to read. It allows me time to myself to escape from the real world or to improve upon myself.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of Fargo INC! magazine?

I am so thankful to be a part of such an incredible opportunity and I hope that I get to inspire other young women to take the chance on taking on this program like other alumnae have for me.

Share This Article
Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.