Written by Cristina Salinas.
Having a 20 year career as a communicator has presented a multitude of rewards for longtime WCA member Lisa Maxwell. She has devoted decades volunteering with WCA and most recently on the Board of Directors as Past President.
“They say the way to career happiness is to find a way to get paid for something you’d be doing anyway. I’m fortunate enough to have had this twice, originally with my arts and crafts business and now with APA,” shares Maxwell.
An animal advocate, Lisa has been a passionate volunteer for Austin Pets Alive! since 2008. Dedicated to her mission, Maxwell states, “I am a Poodle Pusher. Hang around me long enough and you might wind up with one – as WCA members Pam Baggett and Laura Bond Williams can attest!”
Maxwell has been recognized for her many talents as a recipient of the Women Communicators of Austin Leadership Award, Outstanding Member, President’s Award and Creative Initiative Award.
Her career has evolved from the high tech industry, where she worked with really smart people and had a great big budget, to local crafting entrepreneur. As a business owner, Maxwell enjoyed the freedom of making big decisions. However, it’s her passion for helping others discover their creativity that truly fueled her own happiness as owner of The Work*shop. She adds, “I may re-start it some day because I believe we added value to the community in many ways.” Maxwell’s career also includes helping Texas destinations market themselves while serving the Texas Travel Industry Association. “It was so much fun – I traveled all over the state headed to tourism destinations and festivals,” Maxwell commented.
In her current role, as Director of Development- Community Engagement for Austin Pets Alive!, Lisa is focusing on exploring all she can learn about fundraising. “I’m getting paid to help save lives. Not only is our mission close to my heart, but I’m also proud of what APA and the city of Austin have done in such a short period of time by proving No-Kill is possible and sustainable.”
Maxwell reflects that her days at work can involve being a test subject for a dog in training to determine if they will interact with a friendly stranger, hosting an office dog who needs a break from the shelter, or even heading over into the cattery to pet some kittens. She also has the opportunity to share her love for the APA mission with the community.
Maxwell states, “The best part of working at APA is seeing the direct impact of the work which is saving the animals and keeping Austin as leader of the nation as a No-Kill city.”
Lisa emphatically shares that she already has her dream job. Although she is new to APA, she has a hard time deciding what the best day there has been and the decision is a tough one! From having represented the four time “Best Nonprofit” award winner at the Chronicle’s 2015 Best of Austin awards celebration versus bottle feeding newborn kittens – and both are pretty cool experiences for Maxwell.
Having been in her role for only three months, many big things are in store for the future. “We are lucky to have a city that loves us. More often than not I hear from someone they have an APA pet when I introduce myself. My goal is to continue to build upon that awareness.”