By Tim Priebe
July 11, 2023

Professional Q&A: Alisha Allen-Gardner

Alisha Allen Gardner, CEO of Easy Time Clock and LilyPad, shares her experiences and tips for success.
Alisha Allen-Gardner, owner of Easy Time Clock and LilyPad, relaxes in her office (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Meet Alisha Allen Gardner, an accomplished CEO, co-owner of Easy Time Clock and LilyPad, and a friend of mine for several years now. With her remarkable career trajectory and a genuine passion for helping others, Alisha has made waves in the business landscape. Join us as we uncover Alisha’s insights, her impact on the Edmond community, and her advice for professionals in this captivating Q&A session.

Q: Do you live in Edmond, work in Edmond, or both?

A: I live in Edmond and have lived in Edmond or close to Edmond since my family moved here in 8th grade, so 23 years! I spent a few years in Piedmont. Our office is in NW OKC near 122nd and MacArthur, so not technically Edmond but less than 10 minutes to my house.

My dad and sister are also in Edmond, and my son and nephew are on the same Mitch Park YMCA team in Edmond for baseball right now. So lots of time in the various sides of Edmond. 

Q: Where did you grow up and go to school? 

A: When we moved here in my 8th-grade year, I went to Summit Middle School in Edmond. Then Santa Fe HS. I did one semester at UCO and many semesters at Oklahoma Christian University but ultimately graduated from the University of Phoenix with my bachelor’s in Environmental Science.

Before moving to Oklahoma, we lived north of Kansas City, Missouri, for five years of my childhood. Before that, we did live in Moore, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Cleveland, Tennessee. I don’t remember anything about Tennessee, I have one or two memories from living in Moore, but I definitely remember the beautiful snow days in New Hampshire. 

Q: What did you do before getting involved with your current companies?

A: I like to do things and tend to accidentally have multiple jobs at the same time. I have been with Easy Time Clock for ten years this July. I was a Realtor or assistant in the real estate world for about 15 years, some at the same time as my time at Easy Time Clock.

I have also been passionately involved with Vizavance, formally Prevent Blindness Oklahoma, since 2010. I started as a Vision Screener with Vizavance, then worked as a Programs administrator, left but helped as a volunteer for a while, and returned as a vision screener when COVID hit.

Over the years, I’ve worked at a bank, been a server, cleaned houses, retail, and wherever life has taken me. I always, always, always ended up as the tech support person in some way. 

Q: How did you get involved with your current organizations?

A: My husband’s parents started Easy Time Clock—a cloud-based time clock software company—in 2004. Before Chuck was my husband, and I did a lot of random jobs, his parents asked if I could cover the phones one night a week so they could have a night off. I was their first employee. I guess I did a good job because they kept offering me more time to work.

Eventually, they brought Chuck on full-time and then offered me full-time. They sold Chuck the company in 2016, and here we are!

Around that time, we started discussing the idea of LilyPad—all-in-one cloud-based daycare and childcare management software—and began development. We turned it into its own entity in July 2021. 

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I like that there are many opportunities to succeed or fail. If I “fail,” it’s not to a big boss, it’s just me, and it’s not like I can fire myself. I always learn something from my failures and eventually find a way to either kill an idea and walk away or find a path to success.

I do feel pride in being a female in technology. I get to do many different things and can decide what sort of person I want to be today. If I want to be a computer-thinking introvert, I can test things. Or, if I need to be around people, I can participate in networking or chamber functions.

I get to work with my husband, Chuck, and everyone will tell you that I am his boss! I like my husband, and I enjoy working as a team. I also get to work with my dad, my stepmom, my sister, and some lifelong friends. So the whole combination of work I do works for me.

And, of course, I love that every now and then, we can work remotely at Universal Studios Florida while drinking a butterbeer in Diagon Alley. That is pretty epic. 

Q: What’s something you’re passionate about in your personal life? (hobbies, nonprofits, etc.)

A: I am on the Northwest Oklahoma City Chamber board and have led several committees over the seven years our organization has been active. I like meeting other business owners and sharing in those moments that you don’t initially talk about, like how you all know deep down how much it sucks to fire someone.

I have a strong passion for Vizance for several reasons, including that my nephew was on the path to going blind had it not been for the vision screening camera catching not just lazy eye, but a series of other issues his pediatrician didn’t catch. I’m passionate about education and reading. And if you can’t see, you can’t excel in reading or school. I’ve been screening the Edmond area schools on and off since 2010 and feel very honored to get to help our children in this community. 

We go to Orlando a few times a year, and I own way too many Legos, and I have an unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter. While I own a Star Trek and Star Wars costume, I enjoy Star Trek more. I love sharing my nerdiness through comic cons, board games, and movies with my kiddo and nieces and nephews. 

Q: What do you like about Edmond?

A: I love how much Edmond is growing. Every time I go somewhere, there’s something completely new happening. Ice cream is everywhere, which is very necessary in my life. I like that they have built enough ways to get around the train tracks. I love the parks. If you want to do some Pokemon Go, head to Hafer Park.

We make plans to participate in several events in Edmond as part of our family’s traditions. I love how the neighborhoods include so many trees in the older parts. It just gives great character to this little flat area we live in. 

Q: What is your number one tip for other professionals, either for work or life in general?

A: Most of the opportunities in my life happen because I show up and do what I said I would do. If I can’t make it, I do my best to communicate so people who depend on me know what to do. So, show up and communicate.

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About Tim Priebe

Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of Backslash Creative. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.