I had the pleasure recently of sitting down with Liz Agboola, CEO of Moses Behavioral Health and Senior Placement Services to talk about how she’s making a difference in the COVID-19 era. Although she and her family come from Nigeria originally, they have managed to build an incredible presence in the Phoenix community.

Q: Hi Liz, please give us an overview of what you do. 

A: We assist to locate housing for the homeless, operate a placement agency focused on serving the underserved and work to secure services for those living with mental health and addiction concerns. We manage several community-based mental health facilities in the Phoenix area and are working to provide care and housing for the mentally ill population, which includes a lot of veterans. We are building programs to engage the community with a focus on healthcare advocacy and literacy.

Q: How did you get into this field?  

A: Very much by accident.  My parents saw a problem and they asked me to figure out a solution.  I quit my job and went on this unexpected journey – it’s been amazing! 

Q: What is your background?  

A: My career began in corporate learning and development. I was responsible for coaching executives and leaders how to build synergy, expand lines of business, develop talent, succession planning and so on.  

Q: What about your work is particularly meaningful?  

A:Seeing significant changes in the lives of those we serve.  Often, we see members come to us at their worst or at least in stages of their lives not filled with great pride and joy.  It’s remarkable to witness their evolution as they transition back to their communities.  That is worth getting out of bed in the morning

Q: You’re involved in your local community – what advice would you give to a woman wanting to plug into her community?  

A: Patience. Not everyone can see your vision but passion and pride eventually seeps through when your purpose is revealed; sometimes it takes longer than expected. 

Q: If you could start any kind of movement, what would it be?  

A: Compassion and Caring.  Very often we dismiss and discard those who look and behave differently from our social norms.  But the wealth of knowledge gained from those people and their experiences cannot be bottled or felt second hand. 

Q: What’s a book or movie you would recommend to our readers? It can be business related or not.

A: Nonfiction – Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Movie – Amazing Grace starring Ioan Gruffudd – it’s the story of William Wilberforce 

Q: What advice do you have for women trying to strike out on their own with a new business?  

A: Choosing whether to have children should not be the determining factor in starting a business. It will be tough no matter the route, unless you have boats of money – I say have at it!  

Q: What’s something you wish the “younger you” would have known?  

A: Friends are not everything; quality serves you better than quantity.  

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