Spokane Journal of Business

2021 Rising Stars: Associated Industries’ Allison Cubberley

‘Servant leader’ enjoys helping local employers

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Since joining the Associated Industries two years ago, Allison Cubberley, 34, has completely revamped the employer-support organization’s training program, her colleagues say.

“Everything she does is really high quality,” Stephanie Howe, director of marketing and sales enablement for Associated Industries, says of Cubberley. “She instantly stood out.”

As the organization’s member account executive and training program manager, Cubberley’s duties require relationship building with the association’s members and understanding and implementing the training topics most beneficial to them.

“It’s an unprecedented time for employers of all sizes,” Cubberley says.

Associated Industries contracts with local consulting firms to provide human resources training for its members.

Working with Associated Industries’ contracted training consultants on soft skills training and emotional intelligence has been rewarding, Cubberley says. “They get to do what they love and … I just basically get to manage their sparkle.”

Tara Wear, president and founder of Powerful Connections LLC, who works with Cubberley as a certified contracted trainer, says of Cubberley, “She had this beautiful process of just taking it in and really getting a handle on what the needs of her members were.”

Rochelle Crollard, owner of Crollard Consulting LLC who’s also a certified contracted trainer, says Cubberley elevated the classes to a higher level by placing a priority on the clients and listening to them.

“She’s strategic in listening to our clients and also creative and innovative, not just doing it the same way they did it before,” Crollard explains.

Cubberley’s first job, after graduating from Western Washington University in 2009 with a degree in community health education, was at the restaurant she had been working in throughout college. She continued in the hospitality industry for years, opening and managing restaurants.

She never entered a field directly related to her degree.

“It was probably the universe’s best play on me because working in a restaurant, and the service industry specifically, has taught me so much about relating to business owners now,” Cubberley says.

Cubberley knows first-hand of the pressures owners face while managing employees from her own experience as an entrepreneur opening a boutique fitness studio, Barre, in Spokane, which she operated for two years before joining Associated Industries.

“Everything you decide within the course of a day as a business owner, at the end of the day, affects your bottom line. And it’s terrifying,” she says.

Although Cubberley describes the various jobs on her resume as “random,” she says the desire to help people has remained a constant.

She credits her parents for instilling in her a sense of integrity at work. Her mother is a retired emergency room nurse. “I would spend some Christmases and holidays in the ER with her, where I partially learned my work ethic,” Cubberley says.

Her father worked for Boise Cascade, in Kettle Falls, Washington, for 30 years at a job he did well, but one that he didn’t care much about, Cubberley says.

It was fun to have two parents with different outlooks regarding their jobs, she says. “One was career driven and the other was like job-schmob.”

Cubberley stays busy with a 1-year-old at home and plans to attend Eastern Washington University this year to get a master’s degree in business administration. She and her husband, Cameron, a financial adviser who operates his own company in Coeur d’Alene, will make time to collaborate on creative ways to help small business owners.

Wear and Howe both describe Cubberley as a servant leader and a major advocate for small businesses.

“Now that I think back to why I got that degree, it’s because you could help people, which seems to be a common theme into what I’ve randomly ended up doing throughout my life,” Cubberley says.

For businesses without time or energy to invest in training, Associated Industries’ programs can be customized to whatever the client needs, be it condensed or spread out over a number of days, and the content is specific to each business, she says.

Associated Industries was founded in 1910 and currently has 21 employees. The organization provides its members with employment law guidance from attorneys on staff as well as human resources services and a training program.


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Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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