Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Lisa Carpenter

lisa-carpenterLisa Carpenter has a plaque hanging in her office that drives the work she does for the community. “Treat others as you’d like to be treated,” it says. The “Golden Rule.” Carpenter made it in second grade and has used the quote a source of inspiration ever since.

“I try to set a positive example for my daughter and be a leader in the community,” she says. Looking at her philanthropic experience, it’s clear to see that Carpenter is just that.

Lisa Carpenter grew up on the South Side of Chicago and moved away from home to study Elementary Education at the University of Iowa. While there, she was elected president of her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. The sorority focused their philanthropic work at local shelters by helping families affected by domestic violence.

“I became more and more passionate about serving the community and thought about how I could become a leader,” she says, reflecting on her earlier experiences with philanthropy.

After college, Carpenter moved to the region to be closer to her family. She then began volunteering with Lake Area United Way as part of their Allocation Committee, a group of volunteers that decides how to allocate funding. Carpenter was also invited to be a part of Leadership Northwest Indiana, an association which offers the opportunity for professionals to gather together and discuss issues affecting the region. While she volunteered at United Way, Carpenter had several meaningful opportunities to work with youth, which is one of her passions.

“They do a lot of work with children, the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA… it was right up my alley,” says Carpenter.

Carpenter is now part of the staff at United Way; and is now Senior Relationship Manager.

Lisa is still thrilled to be helping those in need in her new position.

“We are trying to engage the local businesses and local companies to volunteer or donate their time or donate financial aid to the improvement of our region,” says Carpenter. “In the end, it always comes back to the community and that’s what I love.”

United Way recently completed a Pack-a-thon with local business leaders which ended up putting together over 60,000 meals in one day. “It was an awesome day because we got to invite all of our corporate partners and their staff,” says Carpenter. “We put on a hair-net and we learned how to build a meal for the food bank.”

In 2014, Carpenter was nominated as an up and coming Influential Woman in Non-Profit work for Northwest Indiana which she called “humbling”. Carpenter also currently sits on the Schererville Chamber of Commerce. Outside of her work with United Way, Carpenter enjoys spending time with her daughter and focusing on health and fitness.

She attributes much of her success to her those she loves.

“I couldn’t do anything without the support of my family,” she says.

Lisa looks forward to more event planning and fundraising on behalf of those in need. Her dream of giving back to the community is something she gets to live everyday.

“It’s the responsibility of everyone to give back to make a positive difference in our little world, in whatever way you can,” she says. “And it’s important as a parent to be a positive role model to your child. As cliché as it sounds, we have to do it for them; they’re our future.”