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The Bottom Line

    Meet Allovue: Jessica Garrett, Vice President of People

    "District employees of all stripes should have some idea of what’s going on with their budgets. It shouldn’t be a mystery."

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    Get an insider's view of a day in the life of Allovue's people person.


    What makes Allovue special?


    Allovue is unique in that it has a non-profit heart with for-profit capabilities, which is an incredible mix for me. I've worked for homeless shelters, theater companies, and as a theater and sex-ed teacher for years, and had I given all that up for a regular office gig I would have missed the vibrant heartbeat that exists within education and non-profits. Luckily for me, Allovue is the perfect mix of both.


    Describe a day in the life of Allovue’s VP of People.


    Each day is pretty different, which is what makes my job great. On any given day I’m: going over copy, booking travel, providing tours of our space, planning an event, coordinating quarterly retreats, sending flowers to a partner who’s just had a baby, searching for a notary—the list goes on and on. My tasks largely depend on the time of year and day of the week (pro tip: never book travel on a Friday!).


    So with such an extensive background in the theater, what drew you to Allovue and, more broadly, education?


    I met our CEO Jess through the theater world initially. She’s always been such a proponent of bringing people together with all different skill sets and firmly believes that your best assets may actually uniquely suit you to other fields and teams despite what’s on your degree or makes up the bulk of your experience. When she started Allovue, I was but a bystander, but I recall thinking “Man, that’s the way to do it— just find a bunch of smart people from all kinds of places who bring all kinds of things to the table.”


    Theater is of course inherently like this as well. I got into teaching through theater as it was the perfect way to supplement income, have fun, and reach the next generation of thespians. When the opportunity arose at Allovue, it was kismet. I was able to draw on my experiences with theater and teaching to support a burgeoning company dedicated to taking center stage within the education finance industry and show districts how to use their monies to better support their students.


    How do you think Allovue can impact students and schools and why is this an important issue for you?


    District employees of all stripes should have some idea of what’s going on with their budgets. It shouldn’t be a mystery. Adding transparency can and will help achieve funding equity in districts and individual schools. Jess has often said that this is the next great civil rights issue and I agree. It all comes down to giving teachers, principals, superintendents, and more the proper tools for what's ultimately best for students.


    You mentioned your position at Allovue draws on the strengths you acquired in theater and teaching. Which would you say is your greatest strength?


    I am simultaneously hopelessly scattered and hyper-efficient which matches up nicely with my role at Allovue. I also tell a good joke.


    If you could play any role in any play, which play would you choose and what role would you pick?


    What a super question! Emilia in Othello is damaged and sharp-tongued and a bit dangerous and there should be more characters like her. Call me! I’ll audition!


    Pop quiz: a friend is visiting Baltimore for the first time. Where is the first place you'd recommend they go to eat and why?


    This question is excellent because Baltimore is such an underrated food town. There are so many standouts, but lately, I’ve been craving Mi Comalito the most. Central American food and a pool table? Yes, please. But if you just need a snack with good people, cornbread at Station North Arts Cafe is the "Cheers" of Baltimore. Say "hi" to Kevin and Bill for me.


    Allovue works with districts and state departments of education across the country to allocate, budget, and manage spending. Allovue's software suite integrates seamlessly with existing accounting systems to make sure every dollar works for every student. Allovue also provides additional services such as chart of accounts and funding formula revisions.