Julie Smith

A native of Minnesota, Julie came to West Virginia to earn a doctoral degree in West Virginia University’s internationally renowned Behavior Analysis program. While still a student, Julie had the good fortune of working with a team of faculty, students, and consultants at the University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development (CESD) to pioneer one of the most powerful and practical behavior-centric business management systems available today.

That success led her to co-found in 1993 the Continuous Learning Group (CLG), which has become one of the world’s première consultancies for behavior-based strategy execution. The firm, now known as ALULA, helps clients around the world successfully address some of today’s toughest business challenges. The proven tools developed by Julie and her colleagues have been identified as best-in-class by multiple independent benchmark studies and are widely used in global businesses and industries today.

Julie personally led dozens of CLG’s largest and most challenging engagements. Her effect on leaders and organizations is transformative. In an interview with The New York Times, the CEO of a global pharmaceutical company attributed a great deal of his personal and company success to leadership lessons he learned from Julie while he shaped a new culture of innovation, customer focus, and patient centricity.

After experiencing back-to-back family health crises that were caused by preventable medical errors, Julie co-founded Performance Ally. She has brought together a world-class team focused on combining state-of-the art behavior science with mobile technologies to ensure patients and staff work together to execute critical Vital Behaviors that lead to better outcomes—every time, at scale. Providers have said this platform will transform healthcare by reliably improving safety, quality, and patient experience every care visit.

Dr. Smith is a successful entrepreneur who was inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. She is a Trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and has served on several not-for-profit boards including the West Virginia University (WVU) Medicine healthcare system. She also served as an Expert Faculty Member of the National Research Corporation (NRC) Picker Institute, where she had the honor of being the only behavioral scientist serving alongside 22 other healthcare professionals selected nationally to provide thought leadership. Julie was honored to receive the Outstanding Contributor Award for lifetime achievement by the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Julie resides in Fairmont, WV where she and her husband, Mickey Heston, founded Heston Farm. When they retreat to the farm with their children, grandchildren, friends and guests, Julie and Mickey truly understand why George Washington said, “I’d rather be on my farm than emperor of the world.”

Julie Smith