Alicia is the co-founder of GXA (along with her husband and business partner, George). Currently, she is the vice president and a key decision maker that serves as a strategic business planner and advocate for the organization. With a background in human resources, she serves as the tri-chair on the HR committee as well as on the advisory board.
One of her most recent accomplishments -- Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader honoree – acknowledge her work helping young African American women succeed in IT.
“Personally, as an African-American woman, I am stepping from behind the curtain into the light to demonstrate to other women that owning an IT company is attainable,” she said.
Being a member of the chamber is essential to that goal.
“I am a member of the Richardson Chamber for three reasons,” Alicia said. “Business growth, professional development opportunities and business legislative awareness.”
“The largest benefit I have received was becoming aware of state grant money. As a result of the information and my business relationships in RCC, GXA was one of three companies that received a training grant for our employees valued over $500K.”
She also has been Alumna of the Year at UT Dallas from the School of Management and Nonprofit, and Minority Women Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She was featured on "The Word Network," the largest African-American religious network for giving back to the community as well as podcasts.
She She has volunteered her time in the community and global missionary outreaches to countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Mexico and Swaziland to advance her faith and give back to those in need.
What do you do for your day job? In my day job, I ensure the business of the business is operating smoothly and focus on strategic business planning plus being an advocate for GXA which includes TV appearances, podcast interviews, etc.
Tell us about your company. GXA provides IT support for small-to-medium size businesses. We provide businesses managed technology solutions and support. We deliver peace of mind with our IT solutions. We have 21 employees in Richardson. GXA was founded by my business partner/spouse George Makaye and myself more than 14 years ago on an American Airlines plane on an American Airlines napkin. “G” stands for George and “A” stands for Alicia creating the business name of GXA. The inspiration to start GXA was to give back to the community, and we have given to more than 38 non-profits.
What is your professional background? I am a United States veteran and served in the Air Force. When I completed the Air Force, I focused my entire career around human resource management, until I founded GXA Network Solutions. My past professional and personal background came in handy when I became an entrepreneur.
Why should a business join and volunteer at the chamber? I would encourage other people to join the Richardson Chamber because it’s a local resource at a minimum cost that can offer great benefits. And like anything else, you get out what you put into an organization.
I’ve received much more than I have given back to the Chamber, including solid business relationships, as well as access to information and knowledge to help grow my business.
I believe that partnerships propel and elevate each other when operating effectively, and that is how I would describe my relationship with RCC. RCC is a partnership for me personally, as well as GXA.
How have you served the chamber? I have participated on the HR Committee since it was founded 8-9 years ago. When the appropriate time came around, I stepped up to lead the committee. On another note, I participated in Tech Titans as an IT judge in 2018.
I am a big fan of slow and steady wins the race. People come and go, not really understanding the essence of commitment or staying the course. When my time expires in leadership roles in RCC, then I will intentionally find another area to serve inside of the chamber. There is still much more that will keep me busy.
Why you think the Richardson Chamber is awesome? That is a no brainer: It is five-star chamber. People would not believe the amount of advocacy for business that goes on behind the scenes to ensure Richardson is a thriving business community. Not only is Richardson the IT hub for businesses such as mine, they are constantly advocating for economic development which impacts schools, businesses and our community. A lot of people care about the Richardson business community, and the chamber is at the top of the list. Richardson’s business community is thriving, and I believe RCC plays a vital role in the success of Richardson.
Tell us about a fun accomplishment. I am from Sherman. Married 17 years to my business partner, George. I am proud mother of two children. I am a Hockey Mom!!! And I flew an F16 fighter jet (under the supervision of a pilot) for five seconds when I was in the Air Force stationed at Eglin AFB, Hooah!!!
Why do you volunteer for the chamber? Volunteering comes to easy for me, and it is in my DNA. Why not volunteer? It is my civic responsibility as well as my own deeply rooted Christian values that drives my volunteerism.
As a business owner, my concerns are totally different. I must understand legislative issues coming that may impact my business, and the RCC understands the complexities of businesses. Every business in Richardson benefits from the efforts of the chamber, regardless if they are aware of them or not.
My repayment of volunteerism is the least I could do to show how grateful I am for the chamber’s advocacy and supporting my business by giving me access to resources. RCC offers solutions to lighten my load as a business owner. My personal benefit is I get an opportunity to networking (which is vital to business) social events (help build office culture) such as bowling leagues (let’s go GXA!) and obtain support in working-on-my business. We were first-time newcomers to the 2019 bowling event, but we had a great time.