Get to Know Us – Lisa Gresco-White
1. How did you become involved with the OAC?
I found out about the OAC after finding a job post listed on Craigslist. In August 2007, I interviewed with James Zervios and Kristy Kuna, got the job and the rest is history.
2. Have you personally dealt with obesity, and if so, how has it impacted your life?
I haven’t personally been affected by obesity, but I have friends and family members that are so that has made it personal for me. It has also made me more empathetic of what those who are affected go through.
3. What is your favorite part about being a staff member of the OAC?
Being able to meet our members and those we serve through a phone call, email or face-to-face at Convention is my favorite part. I have met some of the most inspiring, kind and beautiful people that have made this job so rewarding. My job is very much behind the scenes, so it’s always a pleasure to have that personal interaction, and it truly is the best part of my job.
4. Why is the OAC valuable in advocating for obesity awareness?
Every day, people affected by obesity “wear their disease,” and are stigmatized or discriminated against because of it. These people are our friends, family members, neighbors etc., and obesity is what they have, not who they are. They are intelligent, loving people and they deserve respect just like anyone else. The OAC is their voice, and we’re only getting louder.
5. What is one major goal that you want to accomplish as a staff member?
To always work from my heart. There’s a quote that says “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express and not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.” This is me to a tee.
6. What is your favorite film?
The Thorn Birds. It’s more of a TV mini-series, but I love it. When I was younger, it used to come on during the week for three or four nights and I would wait patiently and sit through the commercials just to tune in. DVRs would have been a great luxury back then. I think I’m due for a long movie night, or maybe a “sick” day. Cough, cough.
7. What is your fondest memory from this past year?
Moving to Atlanta with my husband Sean. He used to travel quite a bit so it’s nice that we are able to have dinner with each other every night. So simple, but something many people take for granted. We both have family and friends here as well, so that has been an added bonus. I love the change of seasons, and being able to spend time with our nieces and nephews has been so much fun. I also had the opportunity to meet the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, when he signed a bill restoring bariatric surgery coverage to State employees. That was a great experience, and talk about a warm welcome to Georgia!
8. If you could’ve had any career other than your current one, what would it have been?
Anything creative and crafty! I am a very creative person and I love to make things. I also love people of all ages, but kids and the elderly or Seniors I should say, are my favorite, so I would work with them as well. I recently volunteered to teach crafts to seniors affected by Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia at an assisted living center. What an exciting opportunity for me to give back while still being creative and crafty.
9. What is your favorite place to vacation?
I love camping! It’s more like “glamping” because of the AC and running water, but it’s nice to settle down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life like reading a book, taking a walk with our dog, Zoe or seeing wildlife.
10. What is your most prized possession?
My Grandfather’s handkerchief and a rosary that Sean gave me. I carry them with me everywhere I go. Recently, I went to a dedication ceremony for a house that Sean along with other volunteers had built through Habitat for Humanity. It was very emotional, and there was not a dry-eye in the house when this very deserving woman and her daughter were handed the keys. Needless to say Grandpa’s hankie came in really handy that day.
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Join us next time as we feature Jaime Fivecoat, OAC Board Member!