Aliy and Allen were in Huntington Beach, southern California this past week for a Verizon Wireless Conference. The WOW ~ Women of Wireless ~ gathering was a two day event that brought together 350 of the best, brightest and most enthusiast women Verizon employees from California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska. (Photo on left: Allen, Pepsi LaMar, Aliy and Irwin Siongco.)

The conference was headlined by Tami Erwin, the Executive Vice President for Verizon Operations and one incredible person. Tami had the stage just before Aliy. She centered her talk on the concept that women must often break the mold that we are cast into, yet simultaneously retain our personal strengths and beliefs. There is no position a woman can not reach – but expect to work hard, stumble and get right back up again!

Aliy sharing who exactly she is.

Aliy got on the stage next. First and foremost she explained WHY she was there? A Dog Musher? In California? At a business conference? Seriously? So, after a few “icebreaker” minutes, Aliy opened up and told her very authentic story of how she became one of the most talented, successful women in the state of Alaska. “…work hard, a few stumbles but get right back up again!” Sound familiar?

The topic of Aliy’s talk was: Personal Branding ~ What’s makes your Brand?
Aliy first needed 45 minutes to share WHO exactly she is before sharing her thoughts about maintaining her brand. The final 10 minutes of Aliy’s presentation focused on what she considered most important in maintaining her image and brand.
So… if you don’t know WHO ALIY IS … here you go.
This is directly from Aliy’s presentation:

Authentic, Strong and Honorable: The concept of ‘being true to yourself’ should go hand and hand with being true to your community and fans. I am truthful about who I am. I can imagine nothing worse than living a lie. I know that not everyone will appreciate me or my dog mushing lifestyle. But – take me or leave me – I am incredibly proud of who I am.

Positive and Inspirational: I try to be positive. Absolutely everyone has problems and hurdles in their life. There is no reason I need to add to the negative when a positive view can be so much more helpful. In my life (as with all of us), I have many challenges. I find that I can more easily overcome these obstacles when I smile. So, when in doubt… smile!

Stay relevant and current. Yet always be ready to evolve: This is the most challenging concept for me. Our society expects instant gratification and constant communication. The fact that I try to retain my personal touch in my brand makes it nearly impossible for me to to correspond with everyone. The SPK Dog Log is a helpful tool but it even has its challenges.

I am personally responsible to maintain my image and brand: This statement is by far the most important part of who I am. I determine my future by my actions today. I take this seriously. I am fortunate that I believe in who I am. I enjoy upholding my values, my brand and thus, my self.
But, I also need to remember that EVERYTHING MATTERS! Whenever I forget this concept, some small force will remind me. Just prior to leaving for California I received this letter (below) from a young fan who ironically, lives in California. Once again, EVERYTHING MATTERS.

This is the letter:

20 Responses

  • The note from Jasmine is a lesson to us all That is really the SPK way, isn't it–to be authentic. Thank you for sharing and for continuing to set such wonderful examples. I have said from the time I met Mickey and Doug, and then you and Allen that you are full of class. You have never deterred from that. These are the things that matter in life! Proud to be a fan. Proud of you!

  • Awwww, great letter from Jasmine. And so true. If the little ones can be inspired by women like you (instead of some other unmentionable Kard-something or others) they too can grow up to be inspiring.
    Keep smiling Aliy, keep inspiring and best of all, keep being YOU. We love you.

  • Lisa and Charlene said it first and I totally agree…..PROUD TO BE A FAN. PROUD OF YOU! The other Ruth

  • Thank you for sharing this. I was interviewed about the people who have had the most influence in my life. In addition to the strong women in my family, I mentioned women mushers. I grew up in Alaska and followed my favorite women mushers year after year, and still do.
    Aliy, you are one of those women who inspire me and one of the main reasons you do is that you are authentic and real. You are no one else but who you are, and I appreciate you just like that. It's important to encourage each other to live with that mindset.

  • So proud to be a follower of SP Kennel. Authenticity is one word that describes SP Kennel and Red Team Leader Aliy!!

    Chena agrees – "WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!"

    Best always,


  • What a lovely letter from Jasmine. lst Class as is SPK. Thanks for
    sharing Aliy–it is who you are!

  • I particularly admire how Jasmine told why Aliy inspired her. I have thought these same thoughts and tried to explain things as clearly as Jasmine. Thank you Jasmine and thank you all the time Aliy.

  • Young Jasmine is very perceptive. I appreciate Aily for the very same reasons as Jasmine. Thank you for this heartfelt post and being a role model for many people, from young to not-so-young.


  • Ditto to all the comments above! Jasmine's letter was heartfelt indeed…what a great life lesson…"never give up and to be loving and kind"…she certainly sums up Aliy's inspirational brand that is true and genuine! Another awesome post….thank you for being you!!!

  • Yes, as others have astutely noted, and upon rereading her letter, Jasmine nailed it!!!


    GO RED!!! GO BLACK!!! GO R&B!!!

    Woof, woof, woof!!! And an extra "WOOF" to Black Team Leader, too!!!

  • That must have been an amazing conference – hope you come to Nor Cal sometime as well! That is an event that I wouldn't want to miss! Thanks for sharing it here as well 🙂

  • Yeppers!
    Ditto to all above- without getting all MUSHY (get it?)
    You are the Woman so many of us want to grow up and be like.. No matter what age group we happen to be. From having been a fan to a friend, there is no better word than "Authentic" for you. Thank you for the examples and inside look at the life of a Musher and living in AK.
    Padee Fairbanks AK

  • What a beautiful heartfelt letter from Jasmine! This is an old soul.
    How gratifying to have her validate what the walk has been for you Aliy and Allen.

    Your message to Verizon is clear and on point.

    We are so glad to be part of the SP family.


  • Jasmine's letter was so sweet and touching. This is exemplary of why I am trying to write a book about the female mushers– of which Aliy is Primo!–to show the examples they set for girls and young women in our confused and challenged world. They have so many negative examples flashed before them all the time that they need to see another side of things. Thank you Aliy for your realism and authenticity! Stay strong and Zirkle on!!

  • I was one of lucky chosen ones to attend WOW, and let me tell you. You are truly one inspiring woman!!! Your determination and dedication to not give up is amazing. I came home and made sure to share ur story and website. When you set your mind on something anything is possible was long as we believe in ourselves.

    I was in the right room at the right time.. thank you for sharing your story.

    Alicia M.

    Oxnard, California

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