From Waldo to ‘Why’: Lupita Rasheed’s Journey of Purpose and Impact
By Viktoria Capek
Lupita Rasheed was born and raised in the small town of Waldo, Arkansas. Not Little Rock, not Magnolia; Waldo.
“People ask me all the time when I’m traveling, ‘where are you from?’” Rasheed said. “I always say Waldo because it’s a town that is truly near and dear to my heart.”
Growing up in a small, rural community and a household of beauticians, cosmetologists, and ministers, Rasheed’s childhood was a mosaic of diverse influences. This community, with a population of less than 2000, became the crucible shaping Rasheed’s character—highlighting the challenges and deep connections found in tight-knit surroundings.
Rasheed was driven by curiosity and a passion for education. She pursued her undergraduate studies in public relations and communications, delving into the realms of marketing. Her thirst for knowledge led her to Webster University for a master’s degree and eventually to Capella University, where she earned a Ph.D. in business administration with a focus on organizational management. Education, instilled in her since childhood, became the guiding force for her professional journey.
Rasheed’s career took an unexpected turn when she found herself working at Bank of America, navigating the world of private banking.
“I started to understand the power of relationships,” she said, reflecting on her interactions with millionaires and billionaires. It was during this time that she learned a valuable lesson—genuine connections carry more weight than mere influence.
However, it was Rasheed’s tenure at Philander Smith College that became the cornerstone of her professional and personal growth.
“At Philander, I started to understand that what I was doing was more than me getting up every day and going to work,” she reflected. “I started to realize that this is a ministry.”
This realization marked a significant shift, aligning her work with her deep-rooted passion and purpose.
In 2006, Rasheed took a bold step and launched Effective Organization Management Consultant (EOMC). Her mission was clear—to provide comprehensive support to grassroots nonprofits, especially those with limited resources.
“I really have built my company around trying to be that institutional advancement team for small nonprofits,” she stated. Her focus on individual giving, annual giving, and major gifts underscores her commitment to helping these organizations grow and sustain their impactful missions.
Rasheed pursued this work part-time until 2020, gaining more fundraising and grant writing experience in leadership roles at ACE Scholarships, UAMS and Dillard University, among other places.
Rasheed’s connection to The Venture Center’s Veteran Owned Small Business Accelerator is driven by her husband, Alassad Rasheed, a service-disabled veteran. Inspired by his dedication to assisting fellow veterans at the VA, Rasheed saw an opportunity to elevate EOMC through certification.
“I’m not as focused on the service-disabled veteran certification,” she explained, emphasizing how the VOSBA program has broadened her horizons. “I’m more focused on how I can grow my organization holistically.”
Rasheed’s journey is not just about work; it’s a personal quest driven by her “why.” Discovered during her time at Philander, this “why” is her motivation, helping her face challenges and turn her work into a meaningful mission beyond herself.
“There are moments that things become very difficult for me,” Rasheed said. “I have challenges, I have barriers… But what I learned at Philander is when you’re starting and leading with, ‘why,’ that ‘why’ is what motivates you. That ‘why’ is what makes you get up. That ‘why’ is what keeps you going.“
Learn more about Lupita Rasheed and Effective Organization Management Consultant, here.