Meet a USAC Member: Lisa Gracey
What department do you work in and what is your job title?
I work in the Athletic Department for the Women’s Lacrosse Team. I am the Director of Operations, handling all aspects for the team that do not involve a whistle
How long have you been a Vanderbilt employee?
I am entering my 5th year with Vanderbilt.
What is the best perk you have ever had at a job?
Our team got to travel abroad in 2019 to Ireland and England. We played the English and Irish National Lacrosse Teams and toured Kensington Palace, a mud bog in Ireland, and so many other historic and beautiful places. Representing Vanderbilt across the pond was a once in a lifetime adventure and the team bonding that resulted from that trip was truly priceless.
What do you enjoy doing to relieve stress?
Running is my therapy. I don’t run far or fast, but hitting the road is the best stress reliver for me. I also just love actual face to face meetings…I’m on team People over Emails!
Are you more productive at night or in the morning? Do you think it is possible to change and get used to a new schedule?
We practice in the middle of the day so that means I’m on a field helping to run a clock or keep stats or the scoreboard, so it is crucial that I am productive in the morning early and then I usually get some longer term planning or writing done at night when my kids go to bed. Although it makes for a long day, having mid-day practice to be running around outside is perfect for my need for outside time!
What has been your career journey to lead you where you are today?
Career path has been a fun/winding road. For 10 years I worked for Red Bull as a Field Marketing Manager running large events, collegiate marketing, and other consumer facing initiatives. I have also worked in Real Estate and in Brand Consulting/Event Execution for companies like TedX, Nashville Scene, Lightning 100 and more. I have always loved working with athletes and am a huge fan of all college sports. My role now is a great marriage of so many of the things I love athletes, events, building long term relationships with alumni, and helping grow the Commodore family!
What do you enjoy most about Vanderbilt? (i.e. missions, benefits, views of sustainability, community, etc.)?
I love the community and the fact that I am constantly surrounded by really smart and forward-thinking leaders. Our Athletic Director, Candice Lee, is the best of the best and I love working for such an inspiring leader for our department.
What is the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
There is a lot of power in not getting too high or too low. Great advice for the rollercoaster that is a sports season. Also, frame every day with what you ‘get to do’. I wear Commodore’s gear as my uniform every day, pretty cool!
What is one important skill every person should have?
Listening…the most important skill of any business/relationship/family/team.
Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance?
Short answer, Yes! I love to work, so that makes it feel balanced. But I also work with a great staff of coaches who are also parents/spouses and we all really value family and taking breaks when we need it. I am very thankful to have support from my department that allows me to wear a work hat and a family hat, sometimes at the same time!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Meteorologist, that is still a goal somedays (haha) love the weather!
If you could visit any country with no budget, where would you visit?
Austria…the hills are alive with the Sound of Music, definitely top of my list!
What is your favorite type of music?
I listen to everything but love the late 90s (good ole college days!) where every song jolts of ton of memories
What are you most proud of in your life thus far?
My kids are really nice people, that makes me immensely proud.
Name two things you consider yourself to be good at?
Planning a fun event big or small
Being a shoulder/sounding board/listener/encourager when people need it. My nickname is “Pep” and I love to give people Pep Talks!!
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I love to hike, Middle Tennessee has some amazing trails, but any place I go I like to find somewhere cool to hike/walk to see something new in nature.
What is something on your bucket list?
I want to visit as many National Parks as possible before I kick the bucket!