Alley Smith-Morrissey
Secretary, New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce
Chaplain at Maine Veterans Homes in Scarbrough
Assistant Coordinator of Veterans Services at the University of Southern Maine

Alley recently was appointed to the Board of Directors for the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce and she shared her thoughts about why she joined the NEVCC. 

After taking a course titled, Women in Leadership at the University of Notre Dame: Mendoza College of Business, I felt compelled to take a role at New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce. It is a unique opportunity for me to engage in labor relations, business relations, and building veteran camaraderie. Everyone knows that I am passionate about bringing people together. I am equally passionate about highlighting resilience and self-determination.

What are your goals at NEVCC?

My goal at NEVCC is to promote that fact that veterans truly value businesses that value their unique contributions to our nation and society. As we all know, a company’s identity is based on their mission and values. After military service, many of us (veterans) are seeking purpose and a career that aligns with our own core needs and values. We all need to grow and thrive after service.  We also seek employment stability and social stability.

What do you think makes a company stand out?

Business owners develop the next generation of organization leaders and community leaders.  Values of engagement, teamwork, effectiveness, and efficiency are not new to veterans I’ve always been inspired by businesses like Maine Veterans’ Homes, Military Talent Source, Boots to Roots, Honor Flight Maine, and many others.  They really set the example.  How? Great leadership.

What makes NEVCC stand out?

At NEVCC we get to network, build partnership, collaborate, build equity, and end the broken veteran narrative.  Our work urges a new and inspiring change in perspective.

Which tips would you recommend to avoid burn out?

It’s important to focus on your family and loved ones.  It’s important to surround yourself with positive and uplifting people – worthy of your trust and time.  It’s important to have personal and professional mentors and peers that you can count on. And last but not least, it’s vital to invest in your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health/wellness. Personally, I love trail running, camping, and volunteering.

What is your favorite leadership quote?

“…If we conform to style that is not consistent with who we are, we will never become authentic leaders.” – Bill George  [Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value, by Bill George}

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-Alley Smith-Morrissey: She is a member of the Maine State Workforce Investment Board: Veteran Engagement Committee. She is a recipient of the American Legion National Award for Employment and Training. She was recognized twice as an Outstanding Community Partner at the Maine Hire a Vet Campaign.  She currently serves at the Assistant Coordinator of Veterans’ Services at the University of Southern Maine.