Lisa grew up in the Arkansas Mississippi Delta on the banks of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. Her parents were both graduates of Tillar High School. Lisa was the first person in her family to graduate from college in 1992 as a UAM Bollweevil. She moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1994 and went to work at the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund.
In 1997, Lisa entered the University of Arkansas Law School as a single mother of three children. Her youngest child started kindergarten the same day she began law school. Lisa knows what it means to work hard to support a family on her own – to work or go to school full time just to make ends meet, to get kids back and forth to school, to make sure homework was done, to get to sporting and band events, to stay up all night with sick children, and to get up at 4:00 a.m. to prepare for her own grueling law school schedule.
After graduating from law school, Lisa went to work as a public defender representing indigent people in the criminal justice system. Oftentimes folks would ask her how she defended “bad” people. Her response was that the “bad ones were the easy ones” – it was the innocent, the poor, the ones there because of something that happened on the worst day of their life – those were the hard ones.
She did that work for over seventeen years, the last few of those as the public defender for Drug Court and Veteran’s Treatment Court. Lisa then became a child welfare attorney advocating for the best interests of children who had been abused or neglected and ended up in the foster care system. Advocacy is her life’s work and Lisa intends to be an advocate for the children and families of Arkansas State Senate District 31.
Lisa is active in her community and has served on local non-profit boards of directors including One Community, Books for Kids, Project Right Choice and Ozark Literacy Council and was on the ArkanSalsa Fest planning committee. She served on the boards of directors for the Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Arkansas Drug Court Professionals Association. Lisa was awarded the Arkansas Drug Court Professionals Attorney of the Year award in 2016 and received the 2015 Community Hero award from the NWA Black Caucus. She has fought over the years to protect voting rights, particularly for marginalized communities.
Lisa and her husband Scott have lived in Tontitown for 18 years and have four children and two grandchildren. They enjoy gardening, Razorback sports, and are avid concert goers.