Hi, I’m Lisa Williams
Hi, I’m Lisa Williams and I’m the new public relations coordinator for City Leadership supporting Choose901, Teach901 and Serve901.
I’m a native Memphian who grew up in Whitehaven. I attended Overton High with some phenomenally talented people. I headed to Mizzou for undergrad and checked in as pre-journalism with plans to go into broadcasting. After a TV station internship and a change of heart, I left with a theatre performance degree. I worked briefly for a theatre in Minnesota, and briefly for a theatre in New Jersey. When that contract ended, I weighed the pros and cons of making a leap to New York and just figuring it out versus coming home. In favor of personal space (there were other factors), I returned to Memphis. I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t wonder sometimes what my life would be like if I’d tried New York.
But I came home and here’s what happened…
I decided to get that journalism degree after all, but the emphasis was public relations. While I was in grad school at U of M, Playhouse on the Square opened its new state-of-the art facility at the corner of Cooper and Union, kicking off the revitalization of Overton Square. I thought that if an arts organization could achieve that kind of growth rolling out of a recession, then there must have been major support from the community. There were people interested and investing in improving Memphis. I wanted to be part of that momentum. I went to work at Playhouse on the Square as director of marketing and public relations. My time there was awesome and wild and I love my theatre family.
After a few years I went to work with the brilliant women at Hemline | Tailored Brand Strategies. My account experience there toughened me up and revealed skills I didn’t know I had.
Somewhere in there, I met and married my favorite person and we adopted two ridiculous puppies.
Occasionally, I get to be in a commercial or a play.
All of those experiences have brought me here to City Leadership where I can funnel my enthusiasm for arts, culture and all things authentically Memphis into stories that help recruit and retain driven young people. I’m proud of the life I’m building here and in awe of the energy. The underdog sentiment has evolved into people actively building the Memphis we want to live in. And I think that’s pretty cool.
And now a 1st grader-style list of my likes: dogs & cats and their videos, nachos, cardigans, dresses with pockets, live theatre, live music, wine, all of the cheese, reading biographies/essays by women in entertainment, that game where you pick an actor and try to name all of their movies until you can no longer think of any without IMDB