Staff Spotlight: Lisa Grewe

Our Geneva Global team members have different backgrounds, life experiences, interests, and expertise – but we share a dedication to collaboration, innovation, equity, and integrity – all in the name of delivering excellent client service and furthering our goal to change the way we think about philanthropy. To top it off, our team is made up of genuinely nice humans who are a joy to work with – both in the office and over Zoom. We’re excited to share the next installment of our staff spotlight feature: Lisa Grewe, Operations Manager.

How did your career journey lead you to Geneva Global?

My career has taken a circuitous track. Graduating with a degree in Interior Design from Drexel University, I worked in my chosen field for two years. While I enjoyed aspects of design work, I found my young, idealistic self yearning for ways to have a direct, positive impact in my Philadelphia neighborhood. I decided to resign and spent a year working for Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. At the end of the year, needing to find meaningful work (and pay rent), I learned about an organization working as a bridge between donors and community based organizations doing good work around the world from a good friend (who later became my husband). The rest, as they say, is history.

How has your role at Geneva Global evolved?

My work at Geneva Global has flexed and grown along with the organization itself. My first, entry-level position at Geneva Global was working on the team that received grant requests from our network of trusted advisors—I both facilitated the relationships with our network and triaged grant requests to be assigned to the research team. Over time, as the organization evolved, I have had the opportunity to hold a number of different roles and responsibilities: team operations, interim team leader, client services, accounting, IT, and general operations. While I’ve been with Geneva Global for the majority of my career, I have been lucky enough to hold a number of different “jobs.”

What fulfills you most about your role?

I love working with smart, committed and engaged colleagues who, similar to myself, want to be involved in making a positive impact in our world. Thankfully, my role as operations manager allows me to work directly and indirectly across the entire company. Additionally, I love to learn and to create: I am continually learning how to use technology in order to create tools and processes to help individuals, teams, and the organization work efficiently.

How does your role support/engage with the goals of philanthropists and philanthropic organizations?

Philanthropists give with both their head and their heart. Some of the work that I do, while mostly in the background, helps to provide the support and scaffolding for keeping the details and the data straight so that the head can allow the heart to give.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your sector?

Honestly, it is difficult to define my “sector.” I am truly a generalist with many interests, diverse skills, and a desire for new challenges. My advice would be to be open to learning, trying new things, and applying your skills within a sector/industry/organization that you care about and allows for growth.

What are you reading right now?

Along with the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) team, I am reading Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson. I can’t say that it’s a fun read: I find myself slamming the book down and sharing newly learned history with my family in exasperation, but it has been a meaningful and important read. I’m thankful for the opportunity to engage with the difficult content of this book and share appropriate parts with my kids as we grapple together with our past, present, and future.

Where do you get your news?

My Apple News feed typically includes The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and the BBC. Although I’m not commuting as much (or at all) because of the pandemic, I try to catch up on some podcasts while walking the dog: NPR’s Up First, Code Switch, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and This American Life. I keep up on local Philadelphia news via WHYY and the Inquirer.

How has your work-from-home journey been? Any tips or tricks?

When life changed in March 2020, I had already been working mostly from home. The biggest change for me was no longer having the house (my office) to myself for most of the day, but now sharing it with my husband and two school-aged kids. We started with all four of us around the dining room table, which was cozy, but quickly realized we needed to figure out some additional work spaces. Our second order of business: upgrading our internet service, since we now had four people joining video calls simultaneously. We have tried to remain flexible as we move around the house depending on who has meetings, music lessons, gym class, etc. Needless to say, the house feels much bigger now that the kids have returned to in-person school.

For more information about Lisa, and to meet the rest of our team, please click here.