Paying it Forward: Lisa Gibert

Volunteer of the Weekgibert-and-mexican-childName: Lisa Gibert

Current employer or place of business: President/CEO Clark College Foundation 

Organization(s) I volunteer with: Council for the Advancement in Support of Education (CASE), Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), Vancouver Rotary, Vancouver Rotary Foundation & Vancouver School District.

How I got involved: First and foremost, I was asked and it fit with my own personal beliefs and ambitions. It is an honor to help when I feel like I can make a difference. Secondly, it’s rewarding, not in the sense of recognition, but in the sense that you can make an impact in a life, an organization and/or a community.

Why I give back: I am a firm believer that if you have the ability to help and the skill to bring it to fruition, then you owe it to our community to give back. Besides, it’s fun!

Proudest moment as a volunteer: There are so many to choose from, but I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of a Rotary program that supports an orphanage in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Our involvement as a club is financial, but for me, it is personal. I visited the orphanage 2014 and 2015. Meeting the girls, hearing about their school and seeing how close they are as a family was truly a heartwarming experience. As a group, we have saved these girls from living on the streets, given them a home, love, safety and an education from which they can build a productive and fulfilling life. This is life-changing for them and me.

What local challenge or issue are you most passionate about? Giving people the tools they need to lead a happy and fulfilling life. People need food on the table, a roof over their heads and an education to obtain gainful employment. It’s shocking to recognize how much poverty there is in our community. How can we break this cycle and give people the assistance they need to get back on their feet? I am passionate about engaging with my community partners to upend these cycles and help people live rewarding lives and provide for their families.

Just for fun: What are your hidden talents? I’m a former world-class equestrian champion and a jigsaw puzzle queen!

“Paying it Forward: Volunteer Businessperson of the Week” is sponsored by Pacific Continental Bank.