Helping a creative philanthropist consolidate his vision
The challenge of philanthropy comes from the overwhelming number of opportunities. The prioritization process can be painful, but, if bypassed, often makes the impact feel negligible. One creative philanthropist worked with Alderson to use narrative to solve this challenge. Through a process of learning and discussing his story and intentions, Alderson helped him bring his core values and a clear vision into relief. The result of that process not only serves as a guide for his philanthropic choices, but also leadership style and public image.
Helping an entrepreneur define a deeper mission
As entrepreneurs become more successful, accruing more wealth usually becomes a secondary motivation. They want to build companies and products that offer the world something truly new. This requires the gravity of a strong mission and story to hold things together through the trials. Alderson has worked closely with a successful tech entrepreneur to articulate an overarching mission, as well as compelling stories for new ventures that have proven integral to their value.
Helping the Huffington Post establish itself as a premier news source
In 2011, the Huffington Post received capital to transform from a growth brand associated with blogging into an established news source. As part of that effort, Rhoades was hired to focus on attracting more recognition for its original political reporting. He engaged with broadcast news outlets and helped HuffPost reporters and editors become fixtures on cable television, and he established a process for journalism award nominations that helped the newsroom win a Pulitzer Prize. He became the company’s senior communications officer, leading press relations and serving as spokesperson.
Helping a mayor change the image of a city
Rhode Island is a great state that has sometimes been hampered by a legacy of political corruption, and the multi-term Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci became the face of that legacy near the end of his career. Rhoades was hired as communications director by David Cicilline, the young, reform-minded mayor, who replaced Cianci after decades in office. Rhoades managed the mayor’s effort to tell a new story about Providence around its universities, art scene, and worldly diversity. He handled media relations, served as spokesperson, and was the point person for crisis/issues management for police, fire, emergency management and all city departments. Rhoades offered daily counsel to the mayor on message, media, and speeches, managing issues ranging from taxation, union relations, and pension reform to public safety incidents and infrastructure projects.