Episode 101 – 7 Lessons in 7 Years with Forrest Alton

Patrick catches up with colleague Forrest Alton from 1000 Feathers Consulting, as Forrest celebrates a 7-year business milestone by sharing some key lessons learned about the work of creating social impact.

After spending nearly ten years as the CEO of a highly successful nonprofit organization, Forrest stepped down in 2016 to launch 1000 Feathers and has since focused his energy on transforming the work of the social service sector to be better equipped to handle the ever-expanding needs of communities and the people who live in them: posing the difficult questions needed to prompt innovation and transformation, helping organizations think and act more strategically, and encouraging big, bold, courageous conversations at all levels of communities.

A dynamic and inspirational leader, Forrest has developed a contagious energy for disrupting the status quo. He has become a frequently sought-after speaker for conferences and events and is a respected voice on topics related to adolescent health, nonprofit leadership, and community engagement. During his tenure as the CEO of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (now Fact Forward), the organization experienced unprecedented growth and success and became widely recognized as a national leader. That doesn’t happen via random chance – especially on such a contentious issue in a conservative, southern state. It happens because of strong vision, strategic thinking, bold leadership, and certainly a little luck.

The State newspaper has previously recognized him as one of South Carolina’s “20-under-40 emerging leaders” and by the Free Times as one of the “50 Most Influential People in Columbia.” Although he is no longer under 40 nor a resident of Columbia, Forrest is still a Riley Institute Leadership Fellow, a Liberty Fellow, and a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network—a worldwide community of high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector representing more than 50 countries.

Forrest currently serves in leadership roles on the boards of Power to Decide and Mainsail, a nonprofit formed to support the charitable mission of the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a past board chair of Together SC—South Carolina’s nonprofit membership organization, and also previously served on the board of the University of South Carolina’s Alumni Association.

He earned his Master of Public Health from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, where he has been recognized with a Young Alumnus of the Year award (2011), and received his Bachelor of Science from Coastal Carolina University, where he has also been named a Distinguished Alumnus (2009).

Forrest and his wife, Dr. Heather Brandt, have recently relocated to Memphis, TN, and have added a puppy to the family, appropriately named Elvis.

The Leadership Window
The Leadership Window
Episode 101 - 7 Lessons in 7 Years with Forrest Alton