Lisa Johnson has volunteered with WomenVenture for almost 10 years.
Did you know WomenVenture has many volunteers who work tirelessly to offer consulting services, advice, support and facilitation for our clients? As part of National Volunteer Month, we caught up with Lisa Johnson, a WomenVenture volunteer for the best part of a decade to hear about her experience volunteering.
“I spent my entire career initially at United Health Group in HR and strategy etc. I was a late-start mom and wanted to stay home for a little bit with my then two-year-old daughter. I stayed home for a couple of years and then really fell into consulting. That’s where I spend roughly half my time and the rest is devoted in part to a small business my husband and I own called Citizen Kanine—a group dog walking business. When I left the corporate world 15 or 16 years ago, I thought I’d be helpful in getting him incorporated, do the books and that sort of stuff. I quickly realized I didn’t know anything about small businesses, and I reached out to WomenVenture!”
Since becoming involved, Lisa has worked to help shape some of our curriculum, facilitated classes and been a mentor for many women getting into business. Her service to WomenVenture is ineffably impactful and has pivoted as needs have changed, including making herself available for free consultations during the pandemic. “Four of us convened to provide one-on-one consulting for any female business who was experiencing issues around strategy, finance or operations because of Covid. They could sign up for a free 30-minute consulting session with one of us.”
Lisa says she feels as though she gets as much out of the experience volunteering with our clients as she puts in. “So much of what we’re doing is offering time to support somebody along the way. There are many times I don’t know the answer, but I throw it out to the group. It’s really just about being willing to hold space with people, to share your stories and read through the content. The content is all there, you’re just bringing it to life. Half of the time people know 90% of the solution, it’s just encouraging, affirming, playing devil’s advocate. It’s about brainstorming and problem solving, which most people do in their jobs anyway.”
If Lisa’s story made you excited to offer your time to volunteer, register for our volunteer information session on April 26th or reach out to Volunteer Manager Dolores Karan, firstname.lastname@example.org.