Goizueta Alumna Helps Fund Scholarships for Sister Business Executives
Lisa Fey 01MBA bootstrapped her way from her rural town to an executive position at The Coca-Cola Company. But when she started her executive MBA at Goizueta Business School, she needed scholarship help. The generosity of Goizueta's community remains so meaningful that she has created a planned gift to help other women seeking the same degree.
"I started my MBA at Goizueta two weeks after having had brain surgery and graduated with honors while working full time. The Goizueta ‘village' made this possible," she says. "I believe the more women educate themselves, the more they will change the world—and I know they face barriers not only in business school, but also as CEOs and board members. My planned gift for a scholarship is my way to enable women to gain the knowledge, education, skill set, and network that comes with an MBA from Goizueta."
The owner of Lisa Fey Presents LLC, she is an Atlanta-based keynote speaker, business consultant, sales trainer, and improvisational workshop leader. Her path began in a small town of Lucama, N.C. (population 800), and she worked three jobs while attending the University of North Carolina.
Her strong college friendships taught her to see herself as a member of a generous community that helps drive individual success.
"I wouldn't be where I am without their contributions," she says. "In tough times, they talked me into sanity. They took care of me."
Coca-Cola recruited Fey for a sales position, and in her 30-year career there, she held leadership roles in customer management, marketing, and capability building.
"I wanted an MBA to be prepared to go toe-to-toe in tough business discussions, and for the resources and network where I needed to dive deeper in my career."
Two weeks before Goizueta orientation, she experienced a brain aneurysm and underwent surgery. She turned down a deferment to move forward with her first semester.
"The first day, I couldn't carry my books because they were over the 5-pound limit set by my doctor," she recalls. "There was no single person who influenced my education. Everyone who touched my life, from the professors to the office people, no role was too big or small to matter. It was all integral to my MBA."
In her career, as she traveled across the world introducing key sales technologies, she studied people who had found a niche for their unique talents. Their job satisfaction and performance were stellar. She took what she learned and began coaching others to do the same. Supporting the dreams of others also inspired her planned gift to the Executive Women of Goizueta Scholarship Fund.
"I would love if that scholarship makes the difference for a woman to change her trajectory somehow. I hope it will give women executives the confidence, competence, and network to realize their dreams—or to create a new dream bigger than any before—and know they can get there."