Our Executive VP and General Manager Judy Nee was recently featured in the business section of The Palm Beach Post to share her experience as one of the top professionals in the afterschool field. This article was originally published at http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com.
She’s all business about after-school education
Judy Nee is the vice president and general manager for education company AlphaBEST Education. The company provides after-school programs for school districts around the country.
She was recently recognized by the National After School Association as one of the Top 25 People in After School.
AlphaBEST operates after-school programs at three Palm Beach County middle schools: Conniston, Osceola Creek and Lake Shore. Those programs are funded with a grant from the Florida Department of Education. The programs are a partnership with the Palm Beach County School District’s Safe Schools Department.
Nee is based in Palm Beach County, and the firm’s corporate headquarters are in North Carolina.
Name: Judy Nee
Hometown: Ledyard, Conn.
Town you call home now: Palm Beach Gardens (22 years!)
Family: Husband Joe is a teacher; daughter Megan, 11.
About your company: AlphaBEST Education has $17 million in revenue, serving 8,000 students in 150 schools in 10 states. We have 900 employees. AlphaBEST provides an after-school educational program that expands and enriches student experiences through a unique modular curriculum and teaching approaches that can be a catalyst for student and school improvement.
First paying job and what you learned from it: New accounts clerk at a local bank. I learned about the importance of relationships in business and how to treat customers to earn their loyalty.
First break in business: As the first director of the Palm Beach County After School Consortium, I was charged with learning everything I could about the after-school field nationally, and bringing it back to Palm Beach County. In this role, I established a connection with leading individuals and organizations from around the country.
How did you make the transition from the nonprofit world? What was the takeaway? It was easier than I expected. I was concerned that the business focus would outweigh the educational – but that wasn’t the case. Just as in my experience in nonprofit work, I found that if you build the best programs available, the business – and funding – will follow. That’s been my experience at AlphaBEST Education. We’ve grown over 60 percent in the last three years.
Best business book you ever read: “Good to Great,” Jim Collins.
Best piece of business advice you ever received: “Not everyone thinks like you do – figure out how to share your vision.”
Many successful people learn from failure. Do you have a failure you can share and what you learned from it? When I first moved to Palm Beach County, I accepted a job that wasn’t the right fit for me – but I thought I could make it work. I couldn’t. Once I starting doing what I was really passionate about – my career began to grow and expand naturally.
What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? Palm Beach County is one of the most desirable places in the country to live. If we can compete educationally – the future is bright. We need to continue to focus on innovation in our schools and stay current with student needs and interests.
Power lunch spot: Café Centro.
Where we’d find you when you’re not at the office: Traveling and spending time with my daughter.
Favorite smartphone app: My Fitness Pal
What is the most important trait you look for when hiring? Strong relational skills and a willingness to learn.