BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Elaine F. Almquist, Founder & Principal of Almquist & Associates

What is your name?

Elaine F. Almquist

What is your title?

Founder & Principal

What is your business name?

What is your website URL?

What is your Instagram handle?

What is your LinkedIn URL?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women member?

Just joined!

Where are you based? How did you end up there?

I grew up in Medford and Haverhill, and have lived in the Greater Boston area most of my life. I currently live in Somerville.

Tell us more about your company! What do you do and what pushed you to start?

My passion and purpose is to help people grow their political power and become more civically engaged. The way I pursue that is by advising candidates running for public office at every level, and by training and supporting community members to become engaged in our democracy. My consulting firm is primarily focused on electing women, people of color, and people from other underrepresented populations set up their political campaigns. I've been working on campaigns for twenty years now, and I started my firm to make sure every woman running has access to professional advice and support to be successful!

What is your definition of success? How do you know when you’ve reached it?

My success is my clients' success! The most telling success is when a client wins their election to public office. Sometimes success just looks like people stepping up to participate in their community in a way they didn't know how before. And sometimes it's convincing a person to put their name on the ballot for the first time!

Tell us about your most transformational moment as an entrepreneur?

The two most powerful moments for me are 1: that I am the sole income-earner in my family, and our family income is completely from my business. That was a marker of success that I am deeply proud of. And, 2: every time one of my candidates is sworn into office I get goosebumps. It's an honor to be part of the success of other people.

What was one of your biggest challenges in business?

One of the biggest challenges is that I opened my first firm (with a business partner) just a year before the pandemic. The shop was growing and succeeding until the world stopped, and the political candidates and elected officials I worked with really had to focus on making sure their communities survived, which meant they didn't have as much time or need for my services on the campaign side. They were very focused on constituent services. Ultimately we closed shop and I opened my current firm on my own. The challenges I face now and just making sure I'm managing all the financial responsibilities of the business well, which has been a steep learning curve!

How do you handle the harder days? The struggles? Those moments when you feel like giving up?

I'm very lucky to have a wonderful husband who is incredibly emotionally supportive, and I also have a large community of people I can lean on from my two decades in the political arenas in Massachusetts. I'm lucky to have earned many allies and we all support each other.

How has being a Boston Business Women Inner Circle member positively influenced your life + business?

I just joined, so it's a little early to say, but what I see in this community is MANY women with the leadership skills our government and political climate deeply needs to be in public service!

Tell us about your most proud moment in your career.

I worked on a campaign for State Representative that went to a recount. The whole election result was delayed by months. Ultimately, my candidate won, and I was able to go to her swearing-in which was conducted by our first woman Governor, Maura Healey, and first woman Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. It was an honor to be in the room for so many powerful women in leadership positions.

Who is the woman behind your business? What does she like? How does she spend her free time? What does she value?

I'm a person who loves good food, great conversation, laughs, and novel experiences. I like craft beer, travel, roller-skating, riding my bike, and reading.

What makes you stand out from others in your field? What do you do differently?

My firm serves a niche market--women, people of color, and people from other populations that are underrepresented in government. We lead from a movement-building perspective and believe in removing barriers to power for our clients.

Where can we keep up with you? What social media platforms do you use the most?

I'm most active on Twitter, and can be found at @EAlmquist

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