APPLETON — Someone associated with Pamco Executive Office Suites once lightheartedly referred to Lisa Eash as the “director of first impressions.”
“That always sticks in my head. I am representing all of the companies that rent here,” said Eash, who has served as office manager at Pamco since 2001. “Currently, there are 33 companies in the building and then we have another 10 or so that have mailboxes. They don’t actually have an office suite. People make a decision when they first meet you. If I can be friendly and helpful, and find out what they need, that will be a nice impression for them.”
Pamco has 40 office suites in the building. Eash said that the suites are “perfect for a branch office or someone just getting started in a business.” A benefit of renting office space from the company is to have a shared receptionist and administrative support.
“That happens to be me,” said Eash. “It’s such a wonderful fit for me. All of the tenants I interact with on a daily basis are just wonderful people. I enjoy learning a bit about them and their businesses. I can be as involved in their businesses as they wish me to be. I answer their telephones, book conference rooms, help out with mail.”
She also enjoys being the first point of contact for the renters’ clients.
“There are some people that walk in the door and they have this puzzled look on their face,” she said. “I just find it very helpful to be friendly and ask questions.”
Eash is a longtime member of St. Bernard Parish, Appleton, where her husband, Deacon Mike Eash, serves as pastoral leader. Her faith journey started in Glendale, Wis., where she grew up. She attended St. Eugene School in Fox Point.
“I completed all eight years there. That really gave me a foundation of my faith,” she said. “There was a time in my life that I was away from the church, as a young adult. I kept remembering things that happened in grade school and I knew there was something missing in my life. I did return. I was confirmed as a young adult. I think I was 28. People have their faith journey. Each person’s journey is unique.”
Eash moved to the Fox Valley as a young adult and was living in Oshkosh when she returned to the faith. She connected with the Newman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
“I decided to go through confirmation classes. Right around that time I met my now husband,” she said. “Mike has been a godsend to me. He came into my life at a very lonely time. I prayed that someone would come into my life and I consider him a total answer.”
Eash began volunteering at St. Bernard soon after the couple was married in 2000. She said it took some time to find her niche in ministry.
“I started volunteering in the nursery. I felt like a fish out of water,” she said with a laugh. “It wasn’t exactly my spot to be, but I tried it. It was a place to get my foot in the door.
“Trying things is what’s important. That’s how you learn,” she said. “I usually pray on what direction God wants me to take. I’m just plugging along trying to do what he desires of me. It was Mother Teresa (St. Teresa of Kolkata) who said, ‘We don’t have to be perfect vessels, we just have to be open for whatever God has for us.’”
Eash finds value in completing the “Living Your Strengths” assessment.
“Before that, I think I was really struggling to find out what I was good at,” she said. “Surprisingly enough, the top five strengths were spot on. I’ve been able to go from there. I’m able to pray about what I’m asked of and then decide from there if this is something that would fit.”
Ministries at St. Bernard for Eash have included lector, sacristan, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, usher and greeter.
“I just enjoy the liturgy so much and enjoy helping out in that way,” she said.
Eash has also served as secretary of the St. Bernard Chapter of St. Vincent de Paul.
“We have a very active chapter, one of the few that sees clients at the church a few days a week,” she said. “Clients can come in and explain their situations. It’s part of the Care Ministry.”
Her participation in the parish card ministry provided Eash an opportunity to display her creative skills. Volunteers meet twice a month to make cards that are sent to parish members through Care Ministry. Some cards are sold in packs at Holiday on Pine Street, an Advent/Christmas craft fair and major fundraiser for the parish.
“I actually enjoyed it so much that I bought all of that kind of stuff and I make (cards) at home for my family,” said Eash.
She hopes that a prayer partner program at the parish grows. Parishioners are invited to stay after Mass to either pray with a partner or to receive prayers. Eash is also part of a women’s book group that meets at the church and has served meals at the Salvation Army with a St. Bernard group. Outside the church, she has volunteered at the Fox Valley Humane Association.
Deacon Eash was ordained to the diaconate in 2010. Together, they have helped with retreats for deacon candidates and their wives.
“We would come and answer questions to make them more comfortable,” she said. “There are a lot of questions. A lot of times, the wives are not so sure. ‘Is this going to change my husband’s personality? What can I expect?’ I try to assure them that God is good. He’s going to provide for what you need.”
Welcoming people through ministry overlaps with the duties of her job, said Eash. She spends time each morning in prayer, reading the daily Scriptures and the Magnificat.
“I close by asking God to show me the face of Jesus in the people that I meet today. If I can be of assistance, show me how to do it,” she said.
“Everyone has a story. As humans, we tend to be judgmental upon sight,” said Eash. “We don’t know what has happened to that person today to be in the mood that they are in, so I’m a good listener. I find that people seek me out in the lobby area. They come down for a break and will talk. If they feel better after talking about it, then that’s awesome.”
2022 Faith That Works Award Recipients
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