Lisa Quam, Middleton Chamber of Commerce
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Lisa Quam, membership development manager, Middleton Chamber of Commerce.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most challenging aspect of working with a chamber of commerce is seeing businesses close, especially during COVID. The most rewarding aspect is definitely getting to know our members. Helping them make connections, find resources, and shift and change and succeed — it’s a high point to be a small part of that. I love getting to know our members and am happy to call several of them friends.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
There are so many. I really admire business professionals who have faced adversity and grown from it, but the person I admire the most is Carol Burnett. I grew up watching her on TV each week, and then recreating the skits in my room — complete with costumes — and wishing she was my mom. She grew up with nothing, stood up for herself, knew her value, and made her own path by being true to herself.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
I’ve been really lucky throughout my career. I’d have to say making President’s Club when I was a realtor at First Weber was a great highlight. Another highlight has been working at the Middleton Chamber of Commerce. It’s been the most challenging, yet professionally rewarding, experience of my life.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
I’d tell her to stop trying to make everyone happy and make herself happy first, to start believing in her own abilities, and to keep working hard and setting goals — eventually it’s going to pay off!
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
All of the opportunities available to us, from the different types of food, to the biking and hiking trails, to the opportunities to be creative and experience culture. I’ve lived here for 28 years now and I never get tired of the view driving down John Nolen toward Monona Terrace and the Capitol — gives me chills every time.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
I like to think I’m really funny (I always have a joke ready). I’ve taken some improv classes at the Monkey Business Institute and enjoyed performing. Unfortunately, my last class was canceled due to COVID, but I can’t wait to get back into it once it’s safe again.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Having song and dance parties with my dogs at home. They don’t know that I’m a terrible singer and dancer and are always ready to party and howl along with me, no matter what. It makes me feel free and happy.
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