Chief Operating Officer, WTW
M.B.A., Columbia University - B.A. in Economics, Williams College
A M.O.S.T. board member since 2016, Alexis Faber assumed the Chair position vacated by founder Bob Solmson in 2022. As an executive for a global services firm, Alexis is always on the move, but the Cambridge, Massachusetts native has grown rooted to Memphis through her activism and philanthropy, both tied to a commitment to opening opportunities in education to families across the Mid-South.
“The M.O.S.T. mission is all about offering choices for families,” said Alexis. “Our communities are filled with schools designed to meet very specific needs for students, but too many Memphis families are left out of choosing the right one because of their economic reality. M.O.S.T. isn’t just about providing private school scholarships, it’s about offering parents an opportunity to make the right choice for their kids.”
Both she and her husband Michael are products of private schools, and their two boys currently attend a Mid-South private school. She considers private school education part of the family culture they have created as parents, and in M.O.S.T., she found a way to open similar opportunities for others.
“I didn't grow up here, but quickly after becoming a Memphian, I understood and appreciated this city’s diversity,” she said. “It’s important to me that I collaborate with others to collectively work toward closing gaps, and I think helping expand education choices for kids is a good place to start.”
In Memphis today, many families find that doors to wide-ranging opportunities are closed to them. M.O.S.T.’s Needs-Based and McDonnell Merit-Based Scholarships are designed to unlock these doors, but only when a family commits to helping turn the key.
“I work in the corporate world, so it's often easier for me to compare education concepts to business ideas,” said Alexis. “Many companies offer employee stock purchase programs. Employees buy company stock, which the company may match by also buying some stock for the employee. I see a similar dynamic in the M.O.S.T. model where we offer a scholarship, but the family invests too. There’s skin in the game which I think creates a sense of ownership, but also accountability.”
By putting more families in positions to make careful choices about schools and invest in their children’s education, M.O.S.T. creates opportunities for Memphis to evolve in a more inclusive way.
Alexis and her husband Michael live in Memphis with their two kids. While her work and leadership roles keep her constantly on the move, she still manages to eke out a little free time.
What are you reading? I’m currently reading The Personal Librarian by Heather Terrell, who was J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian and art collector. But another book recently made an impact on me; The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life. Matheny is a former Major League Baseball player and manager. His manifesto is all about his journey in building a youth baseball program and the kids/coaches/parent dynamic, which is a topic that's interesting to me. It has me thinking about how being an active, involved parent for our kids is great but we also need to let go and trust other experts to be our kids’ teachers and mentors in certain scenarios.
Where are you going for dinner in Memphis? I really love Dory, but it's a whole experience with a fixed menu and a number of courses. You don't choose anything but trust the chef and staff to create this one-of-a-kind culinary journey. On more of a casual level, I'd say our favorite weekly go-to do is Sakura for sushi. I also really love the local fare at City Silo.
What would you do with a day off? I would take a yoga class and go for a run at Shelby Farms Park.
When you aren’t in Memphis, where are you? Our family loves to travel. We enjoy exploring new states, cities, and countries. It is important to us as parents that our kids have the opportunity to see different places and learn about different cultures. The world is much bigger than our wonderful city and exploring the world is a gift!