Q&A: Lisa VanDeWeert
Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com
Lisa VanDeWeert recently became the VP and chief financial officer at Aquinas College.
Previously, for 24 years of her career, VanDeWeert was a certified public accountant and worked at two public accounting firms.
She specialized in audit and consulting services, primarily for higher education institutions and nonprofits.
Biggest career break?
My career in public accounting began in Syracuse, New York. Our move to Michigan 21 years ago was a significant career change.
My proudest moment is the birth of my children, who are now 16 and 14 years old.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
My grandfather told me when I was young that I should strive to be an accountant, because I had the potential to be more successful than the other career options that I was considering.
How did you make your first dollar?
I picked cherries for a local farmer. I had to ride my bike to and from the orchards every day.
I treasure the photos taken during our various family trips, which include camping, out west and other parts of the U.S.
I currently have my dream job at Aquinas, because I can focus all my efforts in the higher education industry, collaborate with great colleagues and work through challenges, all for the further education of students.
If you were president for a day, you would … ?
If I were president of the U.S. for a day, I would force Congress to listen to a wave of Americans representing every cross-section of its citizenship to illustrate how government officials can truly represent them without bias from money and power.
Last book you read?
“First Family,” by David Baldacci (I was in the mood for a good suspense drama.)
Last search term you googled?
Brookby Estate to read about the history of the Brookby House and Holmdene Manor, both constructed by descendants of the Blodgett family and owned by Aquinas College.
Your worst habit?
At times, my focus on the outcome of a solution can exceed the process to achieve it.
To unwind, you like to … ?
I like to enjoy nature, travel with my family, spend time with friends or read a good book.
A trip to Hawaii spent exploring the islands and relaxing on the beach.
Person you most admire?
There are various people in history whom I admire. However, in the present day, I admire those who stand for what they believe in and work hard to accomplish their goals.