Schoolhouse Supplies has worked hard to find our newest staff member. We wanted someone that we knew had the passion to carry us forward into the next iteration of Schoolhouse Supplies. And we couldn’t be more pleased to have found our new Development Director, Lisa Palermo. You can read her short bio here, but we hope that you’ll take the time to get to know her just a little bit better…
Having grown up in the New Jersey/New York area, I never really thought that I’d leave the East coast. There’s just something whimsically magical about a city that never sleeps, the bright lights, and the tall buildings. But that quickly changed when I came out to Portland for the first time 20 years ago. I just fell in love with the youthful creative culture, and the sort of “anything goes” mentality that is found here. Its incredibly palpable environmental conscious. And its embrace of everything new, different and, well, weird. That to me is what’s truly magical. Oh, and the rain isn’t that bad.
Perhaps more than anything, I love meeting new people, making friends, and building lasting relationships…which is probably why I enjoy my job so much as the Development Director here at Schoolhouse Supplies. I get to travel around and meet with different businesses and organizations, working to establish lasting partnerships.
Helping people connect needs to resources is a passion of mine. In fact, my dream vacation would be fixing up a small Airstream, making the inside all nice cozy so I could then travel around America meeting people and giving them money to help solve their problems.
Of course, having a suite case full of disposable cash is a little hard to come by. So when I’m not meeting or reconnecting with folks during work hours, I love going on random road trips and stopping at tiny, out of the way places. Striking up conversations with locals and sharing stories with fellow travelers. In other words, even when I’m not working, I’m usually building new friendships. It should then come as no real surprise that I also really enjoy fixing and building things. From knitting to arts & crafts, replacing a sink to cooking, I guess you can say that I’m all about creating.
As far as a favorite school supply, I actually have two. The first is art supplies. That’s a no-brainer. The second, however, is a little more unique. I really enjoy, and find a peculiar sense of comfort in the binders and organizers. I often head back to their corner of the Free Store to work, reflect, and just find some solace. I think it’s their ability to bind and make things closer, as if creating a new friendship, that I enjoy most about this section of the Free Store. But more than anything, I really love the people I get to interact with at Schoolhouse Supplies. The staff is incredibly welcoming and supportive. And being able to work in an environment where I can actually speak with those we’re serving—the teachers and students—and hear their stories, is simply inspiring.