Board of Trustees Profile: Lisa Edwards

Board of Trustees Profile: Lisa Edwards

Where did you grow up? Go to school?

As a native Washingtonian who was born in the District of Columbia and raised in the nearby Maryland suburbs, I am a bit of a rarity. I simply adore having such deep roots in my community. Even after attending the University of Delaware (UD) to study Chemical Engineering, which was sparked by my love of solving puzzles, creating, and dismantling complex objects, and unlocking the mysteries of science, I returned to this area and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Though Chemical Engineering may not be the typical path for someone in my current role as a Financial Advisor, it equipped me with an analytical and problem-solving foundation, as well as a passion for process and management that prepared me for the intellectual rigors of my current role.

What do you do in your “day job?”

In my current role as a Financial Advisor, investing, insurance, and estate planning are a few of the comprehensive services I provide to ensure that our clients preserve and grow their wealth in a manner that fits their goals and lifestyle. During my past life as a Chemical Engineer, I provided process engineering expertise to support the operation and continuous improvement of multiple chemical manufacturing processes.

Why did you want to be on the CFHoCo Board of Trustees?

Community is important to me. I grew up in a large community that included not only my close-knit family, but also my church and neighborhood. As a result of these bonds, I understand the importance of connecting and serving the community to make it a better place for everyone. I became a member of the Board of Trustees because it allows me to invest time into making my community stronger. Although Howard County is one of the most affluent communities in the country, there are also residents with unmet needs. As a Board Trustee and member of the Investment Committee, I strive to support the Foundation’s mission of improving the quality of life in the county by providing adequate resources for everyone in the community.  

When did you start giving to issues that are important to you?

Giving started from a very early age because my parents modeled community engagement. As a family, we tithed to our church to support missionary efforts such as inner-city clothing drives, feeding ministries, and scholarship funds for students in the church. These early lessons nurtured my belief that it is each person’s duty to contribute to the success of our communities. 

What are two or three areas of interest or non-profits that you give to?

I am a happy contributor to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, the Resources to Inspire Successful Engineers (RISE) Program at the University of Delaware, and the Kingdom Cares Ministry at Kingdom Fellowship AME Church. The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is an organization that provides emotional and financial support to women who are battling cancer and those who are survivors, as well as financial support for research aimed at finding a cure for various forms of cancer. As someone who has felt the devastating sting of losing someone dear to me because of cancer, this cause is truly near and dear to my heart. I also contribute to the Resources to Inspire Successful Engineers (RISE) program at the University of Delaware, an organization that I was a part of when I was an engineering student at UD. The program provides support to academically talented minority students pursuing an engineering degree and was instrumental in my success as an engineering major at UD. During the program, we were lifted, cautioned, and supported. I feel fortunate being able to contribute to a program that supported me and ensures that minority students entering the engineering profession will one day cure cancer, reverse climate change, and manage carbon emissions. Finally, I continue my parents’ tradition of contributing to my house of worship. I regularly contribute to the Kingdom Cares Ministry at Kingdom Fellowship AME Church that provides food to residents from Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland. The program began during the pandemic but continues today because of the overwhelming need in the community. I am thrilled that I can be a part of such a worthwhile program.

What advice do you have for those interested in giving back?

Start today. What do I mean by that? We often wait because we decide that our contributions are simply too small and insignificant to matter. We are stronger together and every contribution helps to change our community and world for the better. The need in the community is greater than we could possibly imagine, so it requires everyone’s assistance. We should all bring our knowledge, experiences, and the fruits of our labor back to the groups that need it the most.