Elicia Azali headhsot wearing white suit jacket

Receiving the 2021 Pace Setters Executive Award gave Elicia Azali (BSBA ’05) an opportunity to reflect on the way Ohio State and Fisher impacted the story of her personal and professional growth. 

How has Ohio State prepared you or made a difference in your career?

The Glenna R. Joyce Scholarship from The Ohio State University was transformative for me. It enabled me to focus exclusively on academics and making an impact in the Ohio State community during my time there. Post-graduation, I didn't bear the weight of student loans or debt. I am forever indebted to Ohio State and the impact it left on my life as it was a catalyst to my success.

What is your favorite business school-related memory from Fisher?

Mr. David Harrison created vision and enabled dreams in students every single day. He opened doors and made connections to accelerate the development for Buckeyes of color. One of my favorite memories was accompanying the MBA students to the National Black MBA conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Mr. Harrison. I remember being in awe of the abundance of Black excellence at the event, and it made me realize that anything was possible.

What service did you participate in at Fisher?

I was heavily involved in the Council of Black Students in Administration (CBSA). This group is dedicated to promoting the professional, academic and social development of undergraduate students with a passion for business. As president of CBSA, I helped facilitate mock interviews, company visits, networking and volunteer events for our members. Since graduating, I have stayed involved and had the pleasure of speaking to CBSA members.

What advice would you give to a current student or recent Fisher graduate?

Have courage. Push to truly get to know yourself. Know what you stand for and use your voice to make an impact. Have fun. Seriously. Have as much fun as possible.

I was recently awarded the Pace Setters Executive Award during the 60th anniversary recognition event. In my acceptance speech, I shared one of the important lessons I’ve learned, and that is to not let where you’ve been get in the way of where you’re going. 

Elicia Azali's children "boo" and jeer their Grammy who is wearing a University of Michigan football jersey
On gameday, Elicia's children 'boo' their Grammy for her fandom. 

What does being a Buckeye mean to you?

It means being part of a dynamic, international community — nearly every city I've been in I have connected with other Buckeyes. Being a Buckeye means having friendships that were formed on the day I walked on campus. It means everything.

We love the Buckeyes so much that my husband and I allow our four children, Nathaniel Jr., 11, Anthony, 9, Donovan, 7, and Cameron, 4, to 'boo' their Grammy when they play That Team Up North.

2021 Pace Setters Awards

For our 60th anniversary, we transcended the limitations of the pandemic with a special livestream event on WOSU. 

Watch the recorded event