Women in Business: Elise Alexander

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 841 views 

Class of 2023 Women in Business Elise Alexander Vice President and General Counsel AcreTrader; Fayetteville

Residence: Dallas and Fayetteville

Education: B.S., political science, Texas A&M University; J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law

Professional background: Alexander joined farmland investment company AcreTrader shortly after it launched in 2019. She’s guided the company through three fundraising phases, including the most recent round totaling more than $60 million. She’s also grown the legal team to comprise five people and secured AcreTrader a broker-dealer license from FINRA.

What do you think of the opportunities that exist for women in business compared with when you started? Opportunities for women in business have improved significantly, but we aren’t where we need to be yet. I was raised to work really hard, and I think that overcomes some but not all gender biases.

There has been a renewed push in the legislature to reduce or alter affirmative action programs. Do you believe they are still necessary to provide opportunities for women and minorities? I do think they are still helpful in assisting groups like women and minorities who have experienced decades of discrimination and a lack of exposure to education and job opportunities. I don’t think we realize what the long-term effects of that are yet.

Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top? Women are very good at solving problems, empathetically and learning to do more with less. We are collaborative and focused.

What is the most fulfilling part of your work? Solving hard legal problems in a manner that’s compliant and business-forward. A close second is learning from all of the really smart people at AcreTrader every day.

What is something distinctive that people would be surprised to know about you? I’ve been to the Oscars.

What’s the most recent book you’ve read? I read a lot for entertainment instead of watching TV. It helps my brain unwind after a long workday. The most recent book I read was “The Donut Legion” by Joe Lansdale.

Who was a big mentor to you in the early part of your career? My father, Jack Alexander, has been a role model in so many ways. He taught me to work hard and never give up.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? Work hard, conquer your fears and don’t be afraid to use the skills you have as a woman, such as empathy, nurturing and an ability to multitask to excel at your job.

What habits or traits do you feel are most important for leaders to have? Creativity, dedication, compassion and work ethic.

What do you do to relax when not working? Running, reading and cooking.