Domina Coleman Alford
CPA, Distributor Analyst at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Undergrad and MBA from UTC
What is your favorite aspect of being a leader?
The ability to help other people. With a different vantage point you gain a different perspective and a level of influence that can truly help others.
What advice do you have for women aspiring to be leaders in their field?
The only time you should look down on someone is when you’re looking back to pick them up. With that philosophy, you can attain the levels of your career you want to attain.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
John Hoskins, SVP, Chief Risk Officer at TVA. I worked with him for 18 months and he’s since transitioned into a mentor role. Even though he’s achieved such a high level inside of TVA, he’s so genuine and down to earth. You can’t help but respect who he is. He takes a genuine interest in people. He’ll ask how you are doing and will stick around to hear the answer. He’s proven you can have integrity and still be humble and achieve success. Truly an example of a nice guy finishing first.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing female leaders today?
So many of us see things hindering our path to success. We don’t need to do that to ourselves. Just get out there and try, don’t second-guess yourself. Don’t wait until things are perfect. Step out on faith.
Approximately how many years have you been involved with CWLI?
This is my 8th year with CWLI.
On which committees have you participated?
This is my second year as Treasurer for CWLI, which means I’m also on the board. I am also on the Finance Committee and the Women Know: Financial Empowerment series.
With what other community organizations/activities are you involved?
I’m on the board for the Public Education Foundation, a member of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, and involved with my public-service sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
June Member Spotlight: Domina Alford Gives Back to the Community
By Erin Wooddell
If you’re a Southeastern Tennessee resident who uses TVA power, chances are your bill has been touched by CWLI member, Domina Alford. As a distributor analyst at TVA, Domina travels around to different local power companies and assures the financial and regulatory health of the institution. Combing through financial records, she makes sure the electric customers of the Tennessee Valley are being fairly treated and not bearing any unnecessary costs.
With a deep love of public service, Domina feels this position allows her to see and learn more about the big picture behind TVA. She sees the impact financial savings and protection has on valley residents and electric consumers.
“When you give, you’ll be blessed by that,” she says. “You do your job with other people in mind and you’ll see benefits.”
Working first in public accounting and then with Hamilton County Government before joining the ranks at TVA, Domina has noticed that change is a constant. While drawn to the mission of service surrounding government institutions, she’s learned how important it is to be flexible amidst the changes.
“At TVA, we reorganize a lot. But if you stay focused on the product and don’t get distracted by the outliers, you can keep proving your value through all changes—and survive,” she says.
In recent years, Domina has had a hand in recruitment efforts for Financial Services at TVA and is part of the institution’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. Serving on this council, she’s able to ensure that everyone is treated the same way—fairly and consistently. This drive and passion has made her a resource to others.
“People trust me because of my service and beliefs, and I appreciate that they can trust me,” she says.
As a past participant in CWLI’s Women Mentoring Women program, Domina has helped mentor students who were interested in careers as CPAs. She also returns to her alma mater, UTC, to participate in resume reviews for students in the College of Business. She believes that volunteering helps leaders grow, by providing exposure to circumstances and experiences apart from everyday life.
As a mom of two teenagers, Domina finds herself often “preaching” about leadership at home—and about giving.
“Serving identifies needs and helps you explore interests. There are so many opportunities to give in Chattanooga. We all need to remember to be part of the community.”