Allison Francis Barksdale, MBA

Allison Francis Barksdale, MBA

Trainer/Coach/Consultant - Motivational Speaker!


Allison Francis Barksdale is the CEO of Rise Leadership, LLC. She has more than 20 years of professional experience in service management, strategic business planning, training and leadership development. Allison started her career in convention center management, later venturing into entrepreneurship. She is a motivational speaker, trainer, coach and consultant. Through her company, Rise Leadership, LLC, she empowers educators and leaders to RISE: Reach, Inspire, Serve and Elevate others!

Her diverse experience includes running small businesses, government entities, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to starting RISE, Allison served as the Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Minority Business Strategic Alliance. As a contractor for the US DOT, Allison was instrumental in helping women and minority business owners grow and expand economic opportunity overall by focusing on core strengths. “You have to find the good and build from there, always holding the vision of what you want. I believe this simple truth applies to everything in life.” 

Allison first entered the classroom as a substitute teacher five years ago. At that time, her only expectation was to earn additional income while having the flexibility to develop a new business. “From Day 1 at Rainbow Elementary, I learned how vastly different the classroom is today from when I was a student. In my search for support, I found Time to Teach™. Classroom management has become the focus of my business, giving me a greater WHY for what I do. Simply put, I help teachers teach, students learn, and schools succeed so we can all have a brighter future.”

Allison earned a BA in Communications and French from DePaul University and an Executive MBA from Temple University. She has certifications in teaching, human resources, and nonprofit board leadership. She currently volunteers as a director-at-large on the Temple University Alumni Association Board.

Allison is also known as the “Speak Up Guru,” because of her willingness to speak up, live, and lead authentically; while encouraging others to do the same.


Favorite Quotes

“Find the good and praise it.”  – Alvin Ailey

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
– Winston Churchill

“L’enseignement ne se limite pas à l’école. Toute la vie, notre milieu est notre éducation.”
– Paul Valéry

Translation: “Learning is not limited to the classroom. Throughout our lives, we learn from the world around us.”



– School Success Strategist

– Former Executive Director & Director of Strategic Development

– Certified Life Coach

– Certified Happiness Coach

– Motivational Speaker on Leadership, Authenticity & Joy

– National Trainer, Classroom Management

– National Trainer, Differentiated Instruction

– Temple University, Executive MBA

– DePaul University, BA in Communications & French