Allyson Tuckness admits she does not sit still.
“My eye is always forward and upward, looking to see what is next – not in the context of moving on, but rather in the context of what more can I do?” says Tuckness, chief operating officer for Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. “How can I make more of a difference? I want to see how the organization I work for can better serve the community. How can we reach more people? How can I grow as well, building my skills to become a stronger part of the organization?”
Tuckness started in a part-time, temporary position with BCFO in 2015, but it wasn’t long before she went to full time. She served as the public relations coordinator and director of community engagement before assuming the COO role in 2019.
“I used my leadership skills to showcase my skill set instead of sitting idly by and waiting for my turn,” she says. “Rather than wait to be asked to help on a project, I asked to be included. I made myself available for all committee meetings I could, made sure to get to know our volunteers and donors. … If a void was left by an employee leaving or a structure change, I quickly stepped in and filled it.”
When Tuckness was promoted, BCFO was going through some staff changes, and she was the only person with institutional knowledge as the nonprofit faced its biggest fundraiser of the year, Hooked on Dance. She says she helped staff learn the ropes of planning the crucial event while keeping on schedule and finalizing details, raising almost $700,000.
Prior to joining BCFO, Tuckness was the first executive director for Champions Committed to Kids, which provides opportunities for local athletes and children with medical conditions or disabilities to learn from each other. She created the now-annual fundraiser Tour de Crawdad bike ride, reaching her goal of funding all expenses by sponsors so money from registered riders was all profit.
Tuckness has volunteered for Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lost & Found Grief Center, Harmony House and the Price Cutter Charity Championship. Last year, she joined the Christian County Library’s board of directors.
Two years ago, Tuckness formed a young professional board for BCFO, aiming to grow future leaders and potential donors.
“Whether they end up joining our board, become a part of other organization’s boards, or maybe even help create a new nonprofit down the road, it has been incredible to watch this group go from ‘what do you want us to do’ to ‘here’s what we can do,’” she says.
BCFO board member Carlye Wannenmacher views Tuckness as a go-to person. “Allyson is very passionate about the BCFO mission, and she is always seeking new and creative opportunities,” Wannenmacher says. “Allyson manages her enormous responsibilities with absolute professionalism, reliability, humor and a little bit of sass. She is extremely well liked by everyone she encounters. … I cannot think of a better person to represent our organization.”
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