10 to Watch: Alisha Byrd

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 2, 2017

Alisha Byrd is the newest member of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education after she beat out incumbent Chuck Hughes in November’s elections.

Byrd, 40, now sits in the board’s fifth seat, representing schools that she herself attended as a student. Seat 5 covers Salisbury High School, Knox Middle School and Overton and Isenberg elementaries.

After working as a human resources director for Livingstone College and as an analyst for the city of Salisbury, Byrd started her own company, Byrd Staffing. She is also the founder of Gemstones Academy, an after-school tutoring program in Salisbury.

During election season, Byrd said she stood for diversity, inclusion and learning for all students, and took stances against consolidation and the one-to-one initiative.

Byrd attended her first Board of Education meeting Dec. 12, but many are looking forward to seeing her serve on the board for the next four years.

Byrd received her bachelor of arts in history and political science from Winston-Salem State University and a masters of business administration in human resource management from Strayer University.

— Rebecca Rider




Job title: CEO of Byrd Staffing and founder of Gemstones.

From: Salisbury.

Favorite book: “Gemstones: Embrace her, become her, love her” by Alisha Byrd and the Bible.

Who would play you in a movie: My daughter Chastity.

What would you want for your last meal: Pizza.

Biggest challenge for year ahead: “In 2017, I believe there will be challenges and opportunities. I will be wearing two additional hats, one being a new member on the Rowan-Salisbury School Board and the other as a board member with the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. I know both positions will require a lot of my time; however, I am eager and willing to learn the roles, duties and responsibilities while serving and making a difference in our community.”

Biggest hope for 2017: “My hope is to help other people elevate. As an entrepreneur I hope that I will be able to assist more men and women with starting their own business. Salisbury/Rowan County has a lot of young people in particular who have not unwrapped their hidden gifts, talents and abilities, and I believe that by engaging in the right conversation, I will be able to provide the assistance they need.

In addition, my hope is to expand Gemstones Academy and C.O.M.P.A.S.S. by getting more youth involved in our program and continue providing a safe haven for our youth as well as empower and uplift our community”

Who you’ll be watching in 2017: Her daughter. She’ll be a senior in college, and “she has some goals that she’s set before her…I’ll be closely watching the young lady and the young woman she will become.”

If you won $10 million: “I would pay my tithes first” and distribute 10 percent to local churches. “Of course I’m gonna splurge,” but she would also set up a Byrd Foundation to continue to reach out into the community and would set up funding for a program like a Boys and Girl’s Club in Salisbury to provide an additional safe haven to children.

Reaction to being named to the 10 to Watch list: “I must admit that I was shocked.” It’s been a pretty successful year as a business owner and entrepreneur. But she’s also grateful to be considered and that she’s able to have a positive influence and effect on community.