Lisa Gauthier is a determined and compassionate leader whose life experiences shaped her into who she is today.
As Mayor, Vice President of Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and a mom, Lisa has been at the forefront of positive change in her community.
Growing up in East Palo Alto, Lisa was raised by a single mother. Her father served in the army and then worked as a union cement mason in our community, building much of the infrastructure we rely on today.
Lisa’s mother worked hard to provide stability and was eventually able to purchase their home in East Palo Alto for $18,000. Today, Lisa still resides in that same house with her daughter and grandson.
Lisa never gives up, even when she has faced really tough challenges.
Education played a crucial role in Lisa's life. She faced challenges during high school, including racial tensions and riots, which made her realize the importance of advocating for equal opportunities. She found community and purpose through sports and leadership roles in the Black Students Union.
When Lisa reached the age of 25, she was the mother to three children – Brittnee, Ashley, and Huey. Unfortunately, her husband, who was in the military, was abusive, prompting Lisa to escape and return to her hometown of East Palo Alto. Despite lacking a college degree and being separated from her children, Lisa secured employment and steadily climbed the career ladder. After a two-year struggle, she successfully regained custody of her beloved kids.
"If you aren't at the table making decisions, someone else is making decisions for you."
Public service, not politics, has always been a significant part of Lisa's life. Encouraged by her daughter, she ran for city council in 2012 and won against all odds. On the City Council, Lisa has been a strong advocate for affordable housing and equal representation for everyone in East Palo Alto.
Lisa’s pursuit of higher education began in her adulthood – opening up doors and propelling her professional growth. She earned her degree in Business Administration and Marketing Management while working full-time and serving as the mayor. Her remarkable journey led to her current role as the Senior Vice President of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Lisa Gauthier's journey is a testament to resilience, determination, and the power of community support. From overcoming adversity to serving her community, she is a shining example of strength, leadership, and unwavering dedication.