Lisa Karlisch

Lisa Karlisch runs her own strategic consulting firm, Sparkfire Strategy, focused on serving foundations and non-profit institutions in the social services, and health care markets. Lisa’s professional interests focus around helping organizations develop sustainable business models, organizational structures and infrastructure that support the delivery of its core mission. She also works extensively with senior management teams to develop leadership skills and effective teams. In this capacity, she has served as executive coach and conducted a number of workshops and training sessions for senior non-profit executives.

Prior to starting her firm, Lisa served from 2005 to 2007 as the Chief Administrative Officer for Buchanan & Edwards, a government IT consulting firm that provides technology solutions to clients such as State Department, FBI, and other law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies. She was responsible for overseeing and managing process improvement for all of the support functions including Business Development, Contracting, Finance, HR, Security and Recruiting.

From 2003-2005, she served as the Director of Operations for the Center for Multicultural Human Services, a community mental health organization dedicated to serving the needs of immigrants and refugees from over 75 countries, where she oversaw a $4M annual budget and a staff of 80 psychologists, counselors and social workers.

Lisa started her career in 1999 at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that serves as an advisors for the world’s leading businesses, organizations, and governments to solve their most difficult issues. She focused in the health care and non-profit sectors to develop strategies to launch new products, improve competitive positioning, and grow their organizations.

Lisa received her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from Duke University. She also has a B.S. from Virginia Tech in Psychology and Sociology. She played volleyball at Virginia Tech where she was the second female athlete to have her jersey retired. She was also named NCAA Academic American of the Year for all sports and was recognized as one of the top 10 NCAA Women of the Year.