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 (Timothy C. Meyers, President/Savannah State College, John S. Winstead, Principal/Roanoke Elementary School, Carolyn W. Meyers, President/Jackson State University and Norfolk State University) so it's not a surprise that she founded Private School Village (PSV) to build a community of support for Black and brown families in private schools in 2018.
An independent school alumna, current parent and private school board member, Lisa leads PSV to empower parent engagement, instill student well-being, normalize inclusive and equitable communities, and encourage lasting systemic and institutional policy and process change that will impact a student's healthy development. In partnership with more than 55 California private schools and countless families, PSV provides a range of programs and services including a Board support, training, and leadership program, grade-level social pods, a parent ambassador program, racial literacy skill building sessions, a new elementary scholarships for low-income Black and brown students, and more. PSV is a first-of-its-kind, parent-led nonprofit organization.
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. Lisa co-chaired an executive level team to create the organization’s first multi-year Diversity & Disparity Plan, led communications and marketing for 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.
Following this, 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. Throughout her career, Lisa has also worked for 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.