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Forty Under 40: Alison Cate

Director of marketing and development, Goodwill of Central Iowa


What are your goals in your role at your company?
My highest priority at Goodwill of Central Iowa since joining last year has been to establish a brand identity that clearly communicates the mission aspect of our organization. We want those who donate items to understand the full impact of that decision: that the revenue goes on to fund skills training and employment services for individuals with barriers. My first major project was to develop our new tagline: “You donate. We train. Jobs earned. Lives changed.” I am now focusing on expanding to a larger strategic approach of integrating the message into the community. 

What are your goals for community involvement?
I am privileged to sit on the board for the I Have a Dream Foundation and look forward to contributing ongoing marketing guidance and outreach conversations. There has not been one interaction I have had with the children served, one tour at Findley Elementary, one discussion with a graduate touched by this organization that has not left me with goosebumps. In Des Moines, it can be easy to take our education system for granted and lose sight of those students who are facing incredible barriers in their desire to learn. 

What’s your biggest passion, and why?
I believe strongly in leaving the world a better place than I found it and “paying it forward” by offering support to those in need. How much better would our world be today if we offered more kindness, even as small as one good deed a day, with no expectations in return?

What is it that drives you?
My father has been my biggest mentor in life, both personally and professionally. I remember at a young age he told me, “There are people who talk about doing things, and there are people who go out and do them.” 

Reasons she’s a Forty:

1.) Alison serves on the board of directors for the I Have a Dream Foundation and PRSA Central Iowa.  
2.) She has been active in supporting local nonprofits since returning to Iowa.
3.) She was a member of Tiger Housing LLC, a collection of individuals who partnered to stimulate growth in the community’s housing market.
4.) While in Las Vegas, she was named a Rising Star of Business by the Las Vegas Business Press and caught the attention of Iowa State University’s Alumni Association for its Visions Across America project, highlighting two alumni from each state in spring 2014.


See all 2018 honorees

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