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Getting it done
When something needs doing, Lisa doesn't hesitate.
The band stopped playing—a sure sign that the evening was wrapping up. Wendy and I stood by the door thanking people for coming and hugging them goodbye. What a day! Over 150 guests from all around the country joined us to celebrate our wedding. It started at the church and continued with a reception at the Gay Community Center of Richmond (now Diversity Richmond).
In lieu of wedding gifts, we had asked people to donate to Equality Virginia and the Gay Community Center in support of marriage equality—in 2010, only a distant pipe dream. We also held a silent auction and a raffle to raise funds for these organizations.
Planning and setting up for the multi-faceted reception took some work. Now that it was over, the remaining tasks, like packing up the leftover food and wine, and cleaning up from the silent auction, seemed overwhelming at the end of a very long day. As most of the guests filtered out, all I could think about was all the work we had left to do before we could collapse at home.
As I turned from the door, I saw Lisa and her partner Amy packing things up. When I approached them, Lisa said, “We’re almost done here, and I think we have everything else cleaned up, but you might want to check to see if there’s anything more you need us to do.”
I was flabbergasted. Together, with the help of a few other friends, they had taken care everything I had imagined was left for Wendy and me to do.
That’s who Lisa is. She assesses a situation and then, without hesitation, does whatever needs doing. Not surprisingly, this skill applies in her professional life, too.
In mid-January 2023, a devastating tornado ripped through the historic town of Selma, Alabama, the epicenter of the 1960s Voting Rights Movement. When I investigated ways to raise funds to support the people of Selma in this trying time, I learned that Lisa had a leadership role with a potential funding source. No sooner had I called her than Lisa put things in motion. “Leave it to me,” she said.
Within a week, she had secured a substantial donation to help organizations in this struggling city.
Lisa gets things done faster and more thoroughly than anyone I know. She’s the person everyone loves having in meetings because she keeps track of what’s been said and who’s committed to what. She follows-up, follows-through, and checks in to make sure everyone has what they need.
When I think about what I’ve learned from Lisa over the years, it’s her reliability and generous spirit that most come to mind. They go hand-in-hand for her. When Lisa thinks about other people, she thinks about how she can make their life better and does that thing. Lisa’s taught me to be more observant of people’s needs and how I can make a difference in their lives. And most importantly, she’s taught me not to wait to act on my observations.
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