Alaska Small Business Development Center

Meet Frances Wesley!

February 4, 2021

Our team has been able to run smoothly over the last turbulent year due to support from temps from across the state! For this Thankful Thursday, we are excited to introduce you to Frances!

If you have called the Alaska SBDC in the last six months, you’ve talked to the friendly and knowledgeable Frances Wesley! Frances served several years in the Administrative field reporting to high-level management including her Director and Vice President. She also committed to 10 years in the HR employment field and worked for a few years in IT project management.

Frances currently resides in Anchorage but has lived in Alaska since 1973. Outside of the office, her hobbies include knitting and crocheting, repairing whatever needs repairing in the home (including planning to re-upholster her own dining chairs), and learning new things such as new technology and Spanish on Duolingo. She enjoys going for walks and working out, two pastimes that have been stifled a bit since COVID-19, but she is currently helping fill her time by making necklaces to share as Christmas gifts. She also volunteers on the board of a nonprofit organization that helps with housing and teaching life skills to young adults ages 18 to 23 that have “aged out of the system.”

Frances says one thing folks might be surprised to learn about her is that she is an introvert and a self-motivator. She’s had two favorite jobs but says if she had to pick one, it would be as a Human Resource Analyst, where she reported to four HR Generalists that were located in Anchorage and Fairbanks. She had input into the hiring process and helped a few people get jobs for which they were very grateful.  She was named the “logistics guru” during an oil spill drill, for which she traveled to Fairbanks to help out. She had to move people and equipment around to different locations within the company and on the pipeline, which she found to be exciting and fun. She also got a chance to travel to different locations throughout the pipeline to check on employees her employer hired and serviced. Some field employees on their time off from work would visit her, which she found to be gratifying.

In her work at the Alaska SBDC, Frances enjoys the service the organization provides to the small business community and the expertise the staff possesses. Frances feels that “helping others when they are in need is the most satisfying feeling, especially when they ask for it.”

As to how Alaska’s small business community has impacted her, she says that when years ago her husband started a real estate company where she maintained the office and he was the broker, they had to figure things out for themselves. That experience has made her tip her hat since then to all small business owners that are truly making a living on their means and staying in business. Love for the business runs in her family; her daughter opened her hair salon a few years after high school and sold it after about 10-12 years in operation, and years ago her husband started a nonprofit to write grants to help fund other small businesses. When her family hears of a small business starting up, they visit to give support and encouragement and try to spread the word for others to support as well. Since COVID-19, her family has made an effort to boost their buying from small businesses.

Small businesses she says, “are at the top of our list,” especially since they have walked in those shoes.

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