Black History Month Employee Spotlight: Meet Alison Bibb-Carson

Alison Bibb-Carson’s journey through her career has been marked by the hand of fate, guiding her path with unexpected opportunities and serendipitous encounters. Upon graduation from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Interpersonal Communications, Alison’s career took an unexpected turn when she found herself immersed in the world of politics during then Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign. This opportunity, discovered through word of mouth, led her to become the national director of correspondence, where she served as a vital link between the campaign and the American people. This role would also take her from Washington, DC to Nashville, where she lived (but mostly worked) for a year and a half.

Following the campaign’s historic conclusion, Alison’s career continued to evolve, guided by twists of fate and the pursuit of new challenges. Her journey led her back to Washington and then home to Cleveland, where she embarked on roles in media relations at University Hospitals and associate director of communications at Cleveland Play House. Along the way, Alison’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish her own consulting business, a venture that allowed her to leverage her expertise and pursue her passion for communications on her own terms. Her ability to establish her own business stands as her proudest achievement. This venture, born out of necessity after a layoff, empowered her to take control of her professional destiny and forge her path forward. Managing multiple clients, including the T. Howard Foundation, American Water serving as managing editor of Parking magazine for the National Parking Association, further solidified her belief in her capabilities and resilience. “That experience taught me that I’m fully capable of doing things myself and I don’t always need to rely on others to get a job done,” she says. 

Today, Alison serves as the chief marketing and communications officer at College Now, a position that marries her professional expertise with her dedication to empowering individuals through education. In this role, Alison plays a pivotal role in shaping the organization’s mission and vision, driving initiatives that support students in their pursuit of post-secondary opportunities. Additionally, Alison’s commitment to her community extends beyond her professional endeavors, as she also serves on the Shaker Heights Board of Education – where she now serves as vice president — advocating for the needs of students and families in her hometown. 

Central to Alison’s inspiration is her granddad, Leon Bibb Sr., whose legacy looms large in her daily life. He spent his entire career in the Old Post Office Plaza building, working for the postal service — a path he chose out of necessity rather than preference, as racial discrimination barred him from his desired profession despite his college education in the segregated South. His resilience in the face of adversity left a lasting mark on Alison, instilling in her a deep sense of determination and perseverance. 

Alison’s work at College Now, located in the same building where her granddad spent his career, serves as a reminder to her of what her purpose is. “My grandad not being able to reach his full potential because he was Black is something I think about every time I walk into this building,” Alison reflects. “I feel like it’s very meant to be that I work here now and that I’m supposed to be learning something about our history.” Through her work, Alison honors her grandfather’s memory and strives to break down barriers for future generations, ensuring that his legacy of resilience and determination lives on. 

At College Now, Alison finds fulfillment in her collaboration with her team, Annie and Maeve, who infuse their work with laughter and camaraderie. The organization’s mission to increase postsecondary education resonates deeply with Alison, driving her to continue making a positive impact in the community.

Guided by her mantra to assume positive intent, Alison looks toward the future with a renewed focus on self-discovery and personal fulfillment. She aims to prioritize her own well-being and interests, recognizing that by nurturing herself, she can better serve others — a philosophy reminiscent of the airplane rule to put on the oxygen mask first before assisting others. In embracing this approach, Alison embodies resilience, adaptability and a steadfast commitment to living life with purpose and intention.