Each year, community leaders wear their dancing shoes for the coveted winning title that is earned at the Dancing with Our Stars Gala. All this fun and friendly competition benefits the Children’s Tumor Foundation and supports the Arkansas chapter’s research and mission: to end and find a cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in the nervous system, causing tumors to form on nerve tissue.
CTF also provides support for children and families affected by NF. A portion of gala proceeds is donated for grants to send Arkansas teens to the International NF Camp.
We’re putting each star in the spotlight and introducing them on our blog. They will compete at the Sept. 5 gala, in addition to soliciting contributions + votes prior to the event.
Alisha Curtis – Chief Communications & Legislative Director, Arkansas Department of Commerce
Alisha and her instructor, Brian Earles, are dancing they are doing a hip hop routine.
Q: Why did you agree to be a Dancing with Our Stars contestant?
I love to dance and I have a passion for giving back to my community so to be a part of Dancing with Our Stars and the Children’s Tumor Foundation is a win-win for me! Former “star” and current board member Sarah Wengel nominated me this year and I’m thrilled to be chosen and to take on this great challenge!
IA: What is something that has surprised during preparation for the big event?
Surprise #1- I thought I was an okay dancer until I met my dance partner, Brian Earles. WOW! He totally “schools” me. His energy is high and his technique is flawless. He certainly pushes me beyond my comfort zone. It is fascinating to learn from him as he trains me to think in a certain way that helps the memorization and flow of dance combinations.
Surprise #2- The organization has such a small operation yet they are highly efficient and run their organization effortlessly. The Children’s Tumor Foundation team is professional but most of all have big hearts. They make me proud to be a part of this organization.
My favorite part has been meeting my NF Ambassador, Hannah Elliott. Hannah is full of life and tells it like it is! Throughout this journey, the job of a “star” is to raise awareness, raise funds, and dance. Meeting and spending a little time with Hannah really solidifies and brings to reality the reason I’m here. On September 5th, I’m dancing for Hannah!
Alisha Curtis works to enrich the lives of Arkansans every day through her role in the Arkansas Department of Commerce. She’s the Chief Communications and Legislative Director for the department. She most recently served as the Executive Assistant to the Governor, Director of Special Projects and Economic Development Liaison. Governor Asa Hutchinson selected Alisha to join his team when he took office in January of 2015.
Alisha organized Governor Hutchinson’s 2015 inaugural celebration and served on the planning committee for “A New Day in Arkansas” Inaugural Ball. For his second term, she served as the 2019 Inaugural Events Coordinator for the “Together For Success” Inauguration.
Prior to working in Governor Hutchinson’s administration, Alisha began her career in banking where she worked in marketing and training for Summit Bank. She then worked four years at the Arkansas Republican Party serving as the Finance Director. While there, she oversaw fundraising for the non-profit and managed their annual budget. She also contributed to the Party’s major event planning and worked to bring high-profile political leaders to the state. Alisha also helped coordinate the Arkansas delegation as they headed to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
During her tenure with Governor Hutchinson, Alisha has served as Director of Operations and Office Manager where she oversaw the operational budget for the Governor’s office. She also served as Director of Special Projects and coordinated cabinet-level meetings and events, town halls, and special events for the Governor. She is a graduate of the 2018 Leadership Arkansas Class XII through the Arkansas State Chamber.
Alisha’s work in government isn’t the only way she’s engaged in helping Arkansas residents. She was named the 2019 Woman Of The Year in Philanthropy for the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. She was the Co-Chair of the 2017 Woman of Inspiration event benefitting the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. In 2015 and 2016 she served as the Corporate Co-Chair of Woman of Inspiration and raised funds for the organization. Alisha also serves on the Children Advocacy Center’s Advisory Council. In August of 2018, she was honored at the Taste Of The Finest event benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Arkansas and won the Todd Miles Award by raising over $33,000 for the charity. She most recently judged Youth Of The Year for the Boys and Girls Club of Arkansas.
An Arkansas native, Alisha is proud to have attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She is a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Arkansas Little Rock.
VOTE FOR ALISHA: https://join.ctf.org/alishacurtis