As a woman of color in the IT industry, an Air Force Veteran with a PhD and a passion for philanthropy, Dr. Alicia Makaye doesn’t quite fit into any mold—and she’s fine with that.
The Vice President of Richardson-based GXA Network Solutions, Dr. Makaye co-founded her company with husband George Makaye more than 14 years ago. The entrepreneurial couple was confident that they had something valuable to offer the Dallas-Fort Worth business community. They were right. Technology has become an integral part of almost every business and the need for IT solutions is even greater today than it was when the Makayes founded GXA in 2004.
GXA serves a diverse client base from almost every industry and provides a myriad of business IT solutions such as managed IT services, IT consulting, computer network services, cloud computing services, network security and disaster recovery services. A Certified Microsoft Partner and a recipient of the Inc. 5000 award, GXA helps businesses take command and control of their IT, providing peace of mind.
“What we do is vital to businesses across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,” Dr. Makaye explains, adding that GXA has built its reputation and its business with the help of its multi-cultural team of IT experts. It is a team comprised of talent from across the United States and around the globe. Dr. Makaye notes that GXA professionals are African American, African, Arab, European, Caucasian and—of course, Texan!
“Our workforce is as diverse as our clients, and it truly is our people that make us different from any other company out there,” says Dr. Makaye. “We enjoy a direct competitive advantage as a result of our team collectively creating value and building lasting relationships with our clients. As a result, our clients are able to take advantage of the combined talents, passions, commitment, diversity, and experience that make us who we are.”
GXA appreciates the differences within its team. Dr. Makaye notes that while it is human nature to gravitate to the familiar, toward people who look, speak and think like ourselves, she has built a more diverse team because she has found that some of the most innovative solutions tend to come from people of different backgrounds brainstorming and challenging each other’s assumptions.
“Sometimes, it’s not enough to be brilliant,” Dr. Makaye said. “Sometimes you just need someone who will take a step back, tilt their head and look at the problem from a different perspective. That’s what diversity can offer—a different point of view.”
As a business leader, Dr. Makaye, herself, is an oddity in the IT field. Why? Because, although she runs GXA with her husband George, IT is actually not within her wheelhouse. In fact, she sometimes jokes that she doesn’t know a circuit board from a circuit breaker. She does of course, but her real talents are people and business. Alicia Makaye has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Affairs and both her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees are in Human Resources Management. She provides the company structure, ensuring GXA runs smoothly, overseeing all aspects of HR—recruiting, hiring, managing employees—plus accounting, organizational development and other business objectives for the company.
“For years I stayed in the background because my expertise was not IT,” Dr. Makaye says. “But now I realize that my face—that of an African American woman business owner—is something young girls need to see. They need to know that there are women leaders in the tech world. It is only recently that I have stepped into the limelight, doing televised interviews, podcasts and talking with the media. ”
Dr. Makaye says she and George Makaye have been discussing how to take an active role in attracting more young women into technology and IT. The couple has always made a conscious effort to get involved and give back.
The Makayes have always focused on the world around them, locally and globally. For years, they have been giving back through regular donations and work across Texas and through humanitarian missions in South Africa, Kenya, Swaziland and Mexico. Their efforts have helped feed the hungry, build water wells, support children’s homes, establish computer centers in slum schools, and organize free medical camps.
“George and I share a passion for serving and helping others,” Dr. Makaye says. “When we founded GXA, one of the motivating factors was that we wanted to have the financial freedom to make a difference in the world. We have both done extensive missionary work and have seen firsthand abject poverty and despair. We knew if we could make a success of our business, we could help.”
Just this year, Dr. Makaye was recognized by Dallas Business Journal as a Minority Business Leader for her leadership and contributions to the community.
Alicia Makaye, Ph.D.
800 E. Campbell Rd., Ste 355
Richardson, TX 75081
Main: (469) 453-6985
Sales: (469) 453-000
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