Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Gates.
Hi Lisa, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
As a little girl, I watched my dad run his publishing and writing business. It was very interesting to me. My dad used to tell me, “always have a business on the side. And if you are blessed, your side business will become your main source of income.” An entrepreneurial spirit blossomed in me, and the creative wheels started turning.
I managed a paper route at 12 years of age. Pitched a potential business idea to Circle K when I was 13. Held my first corporate job at 15. As an adult, I owned a children’s entertainment business for 20+ years and a fresh floral business for 6 years. Business is certainly in my blood!
In the corporate world, I moved from file clerk positions to the receptionist, administrative assistant, and office manager to executive assistant roles in various corporations. These opportunities led me to personally assist executives with multi-million dollar businesses. At one point in my career, I was creating social media content, writing press releases, and handbooks, handling global communications, payroll, human resources, marketing, and managing trade show logistics in the US, Europe, and Asia.
I currently own a concierge business called East Valley Concierge (aka EV Concierge) and co-founded a nonprofit called Golden Roller Skates, that helps seniors preserve their stories and fulfill their bucket list adventures. My business partner, Jackie Mercier, is also the co-founder of the nonprofit. With every position and business, I added more skills to my career “toolbelt.” I have worked diligently in every career path and had to prove my work ethic in competitive environments.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The path has not been a smooth road. In one job, I literally pushed up my sleeves, rolled up my pant legs, and dug ditches outside a 10k square foot property after an unexpected flood washed through and damaged hundreds of thousands of dollars in fine wood flooring. and furnishings. The business owners were out of town, and the flood happened over a weekend.
I arrived Monday morning to find dried-up sludge and debris inside the building! Damage control crews and the builders were called, but when the landscaping company wasn’t able to arrive before another storm was about to hit, I grabbed a shovel and started digging ditches to divert water down another path, instead of rushing inside the building again.
A storm drain that was packed with debris was unclogged. And digging a few ditches was the next best plan of action given the immediate circumstances. At the same company, bees created a hive in part of the roof, and a woodpecker damaged a section of the roof in another area. It was an adventure for sure!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
East Valley Concierge helps busy people focus on what matters most with our streamlined business services.
We help business owners, CEOs, and executives with:
* Placement Services – finding qualified talent for their organizations.
* Event Planning – sourcing and curating special events from start to finish.
* Human Resources – background checking, drug testing, onboarding, training, payroll, and employee recognition programs.
* Executive Assistance – virtually or onsite with our clients.
* Concierge Memberships – we provide ongoing support with customized solutions.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to remain teachable, respectful, and honest. This mindset has kept me humble and allowed me wonderful opportunities in my career path so far.