Interview with an ALFA: Lindsay Fowler

We've lovingly dubbed our volunteers ALFAs, short for Ambassadors of Local First Arizona. They've likely chatted you up at our table for various Farmer's Markets, maybe you've seen them showing their local love on social media--or perhaps you've witnessed them working hard alongside the LFA Team at our special events like the Certified Local Fall Festival & Devoured Food + Wine Classic. They're a fun, energetic group and most of all they know their local. Read below for a fun feature on one of our ever-so amazing ALFAs! Click here for more information on how you can become part of the ALFA crew!

lfowlerLocal First Arizona prides itself in having a statewide reach, spreading localist awareness to all corners of our great state. Our volunteers, or ALFAs as we've explained above, are a major force that helps us meet that goal.

Meet Lindsay, an ALFA who began volunteering with us just over a year ago. Since she's started, she has stepped up into lead volunteer roles & has become a happily welcome and familiar face around LFA headquarters. Her positively energetic attitude and love for the local movement is infectious and has been integral in helping train new volunteers, making events run smoothly and refreshing both staff and supporter's excitement for all of the work and initiatives we have going on at LFA.

[Tweet "This year, @LocalFirstAZ ALFAs have served 477.5 hours, a value of $10,753.30 for LFA."]

LFA: So Lindsay, what are you up to when you're not being an amazing ALFA? 

ALFA Lindsay: I am passionate about mentoring youth and have done it for about 10 years now. I love to do art nights with my students and go on adventures as well! I am also a mixed media artist and love creating things. I try to do art as often as possible and love to introduce people to art. I would love to be an art therapist one day! I spend a lot of time going to concerts, reading, playing with my pets and going out with my friends. We love to check out new local spots and go on day trips all over AZ. We just went to Superior for the Prickly Pear Festival and had a great time checking out the local businesses there.

LFA: What does the local movement mean to you and why do you feel it is important?

ALFA Lindsay: The local movement is important to me because I have so much pride for the state I was born and raised in and have seen the amazing things AZ has to offer. Local First AZ educates the community not only on the amazing businesses and opportunities that AZ has to offer but also helps us understand why it is so important to make Phoenix a walkable city. The more we invest in our local businesses and helping them thrive, the more we thrive together as a community.

Local businesses pour more money and jobs and support back into AZ and when we support them we continue to build a city and state that we are proud of. AZ has so much culture and life and Local First helps showcase that. I love being able to walk into a business and know that my money is being spent well on unique products that are supporting our economy and also helping build relationships in my own state.

LFA: What has been your favorite event or experience volunteering with LFA?

ALFA Lindsay: Devoured is one of my favorite events overall, but I actually really loved working Fall Fest last year. It was the first time we debuted the Localist program and I was at the booth the explained what it was to people. We got to have so many amazing conversations with community members about why it was important to support local and the impact they could make if they shifted even 10 percent of their shopping. So many people were excited to start the program and support their community. The best part of our events is when you get to see a light bulb go on in someone once they realize they can make a big impact on their community and economy.  

LFA: You're an awesome Localist, but we know no one's perfect. :) What's one item or area for you that is a challenge to find or source locally?

ALFA Lindsay: I would have to say typical household products. If I run out of cleaner or paper towels I find myself running to whatever the closest store is. I would like to be more proactive in choosing to buy those things from a local store, such as Bashas.

LFA: Name your top 5 favorite local businesses of the moment, ready...go! 

ALFA Lindsay:

  • Melt -- perfect for a cool treat in this summer weather!
  • Crescent Ballroom- A great venue to catch a concert or grab a drink and food with friends.
  • Shine Coffee- The salted caramel latte is delicious and their living room area is the perfect place to catch up with friends.
  • Frances- Carries so many rad local products such as Hello apparel and has the perfect unique gifts for my family and friends!
  • Pizza People Pub- so many options for mac n cheese and their food overall is so delicious! Every time I go in the staff is super friendly and I always see them out supporting the community at events!
  • I had to add a 6th- I could eat at any of the Upward Projects concepts all day, every day. Its one huge family of awesome employees, the food is to die for and the environment cant be beat!

On behalf of the entire team at LFA, we want to thank Lindsay for fully embracing her ALFA awesome-ness and stepping up on countless occasions for our organization. Be sure to say hi to Lindsay at Fall Fest! For more information on how to volunteer and become an ALFA click here or send any questions to [email protected].