Lisa Tanzer is the President of Life is Good, an $100 million lifestyle brand dedicated to spreading the power of optimism. Lisa reflects on her time at NHS as positive and where she did a good job of balancing academics, social life and sports – and also made friendships that have endured the test of time. One of those friendships was with former classmate Steven Gross, Founder of Project Joy, which ultimately became the Life is Good Kids Foundation. Lisa was his first board member which taught her a lot at a young age and ultimately helped shape her career.
In her role as President of Life is Good, Lisa leads the day-to-day business operations with a focus on driving continued growth for the brand and its social mission. She was previously Head of Marketing at Life is Good and has served on the Board of Directors of the Life is Good Kids Foundation since 1990.
While at NHS, Lisa was part of the Student Government, worked 20 hours per week, and played soccer all four years including winning the 1984 State Championship. She credits her active lifestyle during high school with “teaching me the ability to prioritize the most important things, achieve balance and most importantly to not stress out. These are very important lessons for succeeding in business.” Lisa graduated in 1985 and went on to earn her BA from Tufts University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Lisa has more than two decades of experience and a distinguished track record of success leading consumer brands and driving business in the education, entertainment, and consumer products industries.
The most important life experience Lisa received at NHS was “To be your own person and to be nice to everyone. My closest friends did not participate in the activities that I did and were not in many of my classes. This gave me a chance to meet a lot of different people, become friends with them and learn from them. It taught me the value of relationships and having people in your life with many different perspectives.” She credits this foundation with encouraging her to be a very good networker. “I’ve been very fortunate to have made many strong personal and business friendships
throughout my life and stay in very close contact with them. This network has served me greatly in my career and I believe have served those in my life well too.”
Prior to Life is Good, Lisa held marketing and strategy positions at Hasbro, Staples, PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Gillette Company. Additionally,
she held executive positions at start-ups and mid-sized companies, such as SmarterKids.com, Cookie Jar Entertainment, and The Princeton Review.
The message Lisa would like to impart to students today is, “don’t be afraid to try new things and to fail. Out of failure will come valuable lessons that lead to your next success.”
Lisa moved back to Needham over 20 years ago. Her family living in Needham includes children, Ben Lewis (20), Jessie Lewis (16), husband Harmon Lewis and parents Margie and Alan Glou. Siblings who also attended Needham High are Karen Joseph, Lori Shone, Brian Glou and Kevin Tanzer.