POI: Ali W. – Leader of CoA, Kickball and an Army of Dinosaurs

kickballWhen first approached about being this month’s Global Connections, Inc. Person of Interest, Ali W. said there was nothing interesting about her, which is never true. Everyone in this office has something that everyone would want to read about, they just don’t realize it.

But this month’s Person of Interest feature is, in fact, interesting because it gracefully mixes kickball, dinosaurs and a local radio station. Is that even possible? Sure, why not?

You may know Ali from Member Services or as the President of the Committee of Awesomeness, which Ali says is, in fact, awesome. But she is also the manager of kickball team, playing third base and scouting opposing teams. She takes it quite seriously.

Having been a soccer goalie in the past, she’s perfect for playing third base since that’s where most right-footed people kick the ball. She was once told by a chiropractor that she had the most aligned hips he’d ever seen, which is an odd fact, but it could explain all her success defending the base paths. It wouldn’t be a surprise if that’s also where her funny bones were located.

“I actually gave (Royals third baseman) Mike Moustakas tips during the World Series,” she said. “You know that catch when he was diving into the dugout? He actually got that from me at one of our kickball games.”

Last year was the first year of their kickball team and with their second season starting in May, Ali is thinking of team names. One suggestion is #ListenLonger, the slogan of local alternative radio station 96.5 The Buzz. Ali says they are trying to get the station to sponsor them.

This isn’t normal fandom as Ali, along with Member Services coworker Liz S., is in The Buzz DJ’s outer circle (for perspective, Leslie C. in Human Resources is in the inner circle). The DJ’s like Ail’s Instagram photos, they follow her on Twitter and they genuinely appreciate her passion for music.

The Buzz has a contest called Tradio, where listeners offer to trade a personal belonging for concert tickets. In Ali’s case, it was one of her inflatable dinosaurs, Truman (named after Missouri-native Harry S. Truman), whom she traded away for tickets. They DJs actually had Ali and Liz on their morning show, so they were minor local celebrities even before this newsletter went out.

Ali with Buzz DJ Afentra.

Ali with Buzz’s morning D.J., Afentra.

“The Buzz’s ratings went up not long after Liz’s and my interview,” Ali said, maybe joking. “They told us we can come back anytime and visit Truman. They’re probably going to want to make us regulars.”

By the way, dinosaurs are not some passing interest to Ali. Walk by her desk. It looks like a prehistoric zoo, with figurines, pens, inflatables and any other item you can think of all given the dinosaur treatment.

It was an innocent appeal at first. At a previous job, Ali’s boss baked cakes. When her friend’s birthday came up, they simultaneously told their boss to bake a dinosaur cake. The fascination just grew from there.

“I don’t actually know anything about dinosaurs,” she clarified. “I just collect them.”

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Ali is actively accepting dinosaur paraphernalia, so feel free to drop any by her desk. Ask her about her kickball team, ask about her favorite bands and take a gander at the prehistoric zoo she has going. The star is a purple and orange stegosaurus named Eleanor (as in Roosevelt), which is Ali’s favorite type of dinosaur.

“I feel like if somebody asks you about your favorite dinosaur – which is obviously a great question – if you say T-Rex, you’re not trying,” she said.

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