JCP Staff Spotlight: Alyson Chensasky

Many readers know the Jewish Community Partners staff through our work. Each Friday, you’ll hear from a different member of the team in our own words, sharing more of the story of who we are.  


Alyson Chensasky

Director, Endowment and Professional Advisor Development


Birthplace: Duncan, Oklahoma.

College/Graduate school: University of Oklahoma – BBA; University of Houston Law Center – JD

Do you belong to a local congregation?: Temple Israel.

How long have you been a member of the Memphis community?: 20 years.

Spouse and children?: My husband Alex, and our kids Noah and Alanna.

What is your job at JCP, and how long have you worked here?: Director of Endowment and Professional Advisor Development; 5 years.

In what initiative or project of your work are/were you most emotionally invested?: Legacy giving, planned giving, and helping donors find their charitable passions.

Alyson’s mother on her wedding day, 1949.

Who do you consider your most influential role model? Why?: My parents. My dad showed me that you never know the impact you will have on someone. So remember to be kind because it doesn’t hurt or cost you anything to do so. But, if you are unkind to someone the cost and hurt to that person could be great, even if you do not see the impact. My mom was very organized and could accomplish so much in one day. I am still trying to do as much as she did.

Favorite foods to cook: Anything not spicy but very tasty, without a lot of heavy sauce.

Favorite restaurants in the area: Elwood’s Shack, Babalu Tacos, Café Society.

Favorite city to visit: In the world, London. In the U.S., New York City or San Francisco.

Favorite or most impactful book: I guess impactful to me would be one that I read when I was younger that influenced my future reading choices and career choices. It was Crime and Punishment. That was the first book I read in high school that I actually wanted to read and would have read even if it weren’t assigned!

Favorite TV show or movie: This is Us (thank you Stephanie Sklar) & Homeland.

First concert: Yes.

What is the craziest or most adventurous thing you have ever done?: Sky Diving.

What is your fondest memory?: Playing hide and seek in the neighborhood with friends after dark (because back then it was safe).

What do you think makes the Mid-South a good place to live?:  It’s an affordable city, and easy to get around. Also, we have great farmers markets.

Do you have any surprising or unknown talents?: I can imitate voices and behaviors.

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? How did it happen?: Depending upon your definition of most famous, either Jane Goodall at a book signing or Sheryl Crowe after a concert. We had a beer and talked.

What’s the earliest global news event you remember being aware of as it happened?: Watergate!

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