Achieving big goals is nothing new for Stacy Allison.
As the first American woman to climb Mount Everest, Alison has literally reached the top of the world, and she will share her story and the lessons she has learned on Thursday when she visits Chattanooga as the keynote speaker for the seventh annual Leadership Address to the Community hosted by the Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute.
Allison took up climbing in college and quickly progressed in the sport, reaching the top of several of the world's highest peaks before making the more-than-29,000-foot summit of Everest in 1988.
Allison said that the experience of climbing Everest was one she'll never forget, but that she has little desire to return to the mountain that has seen more and more climbers in recent years.
"Everest is a beautiful mountain, but there are so many mountains in the world to climb," she said by phone. "Back when I climbed Everest nobody was guiding the mountain, so there weren't the hoards that are there now. You really had to be a climber to climb Everest back then."
Allison continues to climb, but family considerations keep her from attempting the more dangerous mountains these days. She runs the residential construction company she founded in Portland, Ore., and speaks to groups about the lessons in leadership that she has learned both in climbing and in business.
"I tell stories about what I learned from climbing," she said. "Many of the skills that I needed to climb Everest can be used by anyone to improve their everyday life."
Thursday's event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center with a dinner before remarks by Allison. Some tickets may still be available for $65, and more information can be found online at www.cwli.org or by calling 423-394-8173.