Education and advocacy are in Lisa's lineage. Lisa's great, great, great, grand uncle, Benjamin Tonsler, was a graduate of Hampton Institute and principal of Jefferson School in Charlottesville, Va. In the late 1800s, he prepared hundreds of Black students for college despite it being illegal to educate them past eighth grade. From there, Lisa comes from a long line of educators and administrators so it's not a surprise that she founded Private School Village (PSV) to build a community of support for Black families in privates schools. She is also the co-host of eRaced, a podcast that highlights the experience of being the only one, or one of a few, diminished, unseen, invisible, or marginalized in private school and beyond because of race, sexual preference, religious beliefs or whatever difference.
Prior to PSV and eRaced, Lisa served as an interim senior administrator at an independent school and subsequently co-created a diversity and inclusion fund designed to immediately increase racial diversity in the same school. Shortly after, she taught graduate students about nonprofit public relations as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California for four years.
A seasoned professional with more than 20 years of for- and non-profit experience, Lisa served as senior vice president of communications and marketing for the American Cancer Society (ACS) for six years in New York City. While there she managed a regionally-dispersed staff of 20 and championed award-winning strategies for engaging donors and volunteers, and launched some of the organizations first e-fundraising tools. Lisa co-chaired an executive level team to create the organization’s first multi-year Diversity & Disparity Plan, contributed to the success of a $50 million capital campaign to build an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, and through media advocacy, Lisa helped get clean indoor air laws passed in New York and New Jersey which paved the way for subsequent legislation in other states.
Prior to her stint with ACS, Lisa worked for several organizations including Ketchum Public Relations, Black Entertainment Television, and on behalf of the for-and non-profit organizations and the special interests of Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
A graduate of a K-12 independent school in Atlanta, Ga, The Westminster Schools, Lisa matriculated from the University of Virginia where she earned a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Studies. Lisa now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.