Presidential proclamation designates every March as Women’s History Month, setting aside the month to honor the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. As part of this year’s celebration, GOOD Morning Wilton will run a month-long series highlighting the significant contributions by women of Wilton. While a month isn’t enough time to highlight every woman worthy of acknowledgment, we hope to make this an annual series and revisit our outstanding community of women every March.
For our second installment of the series, we invite you to meet Wilton resident Lisa Williams, founder of Lisa Williams Consulting, LLC.
Lisa Williams knows a thing or two about surviving.
In 2010, Williams was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She spent the rest of the year and a good part of 2011 going through all the requisite treatments–lumpectomy, double mastectomy, four months of chemotherapy and 30 radiation treatments. And when treatment was finally in the rear view mirror, another challenging journey was looming ahead on the horizon.
Williams’ divorce process began in 2013 after 17 years of marriage. It was another 20 months before it was final. As she looks back on that time, she says definitively, “What matters most, is that I am in a great place today. I know that there truly is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Divorce ranks number two on the list of top 10 most stressful life events. Williams agrees. “The divorce process is incredibly overwhelming and intimidating. I liken it to being dropped into a foreign country, where everyone is speaking a different language and you are stressed out to be there.”
It’s especially true for women who have been out of the workforce and have been home for years raising their children. “It can be quite an intimidating process for women who haven’t been the primary breadwinner,” explains Williams. “The expense of it all can be incredibly overwhelming to someone who hasn’t been working outside of the home in recent years. If I were to generalize, it’s often the women who worry most about the cost.”
Williams’ journey, coupled with the fact that friends and friends of friends sought her out for advice, highlighted the need–and value–of a support system for people embarking on this significant and often grueling life change.
So Williams went back to school to get her divorce coaching certification. The American Bar Association describes divorce coaching as “a flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future, based on their particular interests, needs, and concerns.”
In the summer of 2017 Williams incorporated and formed Lisa Williams Consulting, LLC. As a CDC Certified Divorce Coach, Williams is focused on working to give clients the best possible outcome in their divorce while reducing the stress, time, and money typically spent throughout the process.
“So much of the process is actually non-legal. I work with clients to help them identify their priorities, their needs, and their wants so they can go into meetings scheduled with lawyers prepared and with more confidence. I do not give financial advice, but I’m an experienced sounding board and can make recommendations–whether it’s a financial advisor, lawyer, appraiser, or another professional. My goal is to make sure that when my clients meet with lawyers, the time is well-spent and productive. There is no need to waste time talking in circles, and then incur additional charges with follow-up emails.”
For those who know Williams well, this choice of career and its attention on helping others most likely makes a lot of sense. Her volunteer activities reflect a similar concern for others. Since 2005, Williams has been a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, where she has taught church school and served on the Altar Guild, Vestry, and Outreach. She has acted as the liaison for the Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport, CT to match the church’s volunteers with their needs. Her work on bringing the first Annual Day of Service to life matched over 100 volunteers of all ages to seven agencies.
Williams is also a Parent Advocate with the New England PANS/PANDAS Association and was a speaker at the State Hearing on the Act requiring Health Insurance Coverage for PANDAS (SB15).
When Williams isn’t working or volunteering, she makes sure to enjoy the many resources of Wilton. One of her favorites is Ambler Farm. “I didn’t realize what a gem it was when I first moved here in 1997, but my family and I treasure it. The kids used to go to camp there, I still walk there. It’s my favorite place in Wilton,” says Williams.
The Wilton YMCA is another place that’s important to Williams. “I certainly made use of the LiveStrong program after I completed treatment. Garner, my trainer, was so knowledgeable and absolutely fantastic. He gave me the confidence I very much needed to work out and try new machines. I always felt like I was in good hands. Today I spin and do water aerobics at the Y, both of which I love.”
When asked what she loves about Wilton, Williams responds without any hesitation, “The people. I have found so many great people here. The fabric of the community is so friendly and so helpful. When I was sick, people came out of the woodwork to help me. They drove my kids, brought me meals, and drove me to chemo. Some were good friends, and some were barely acquaintances. I think people in Wilton truly care about each other. It’s a good tribe.”
For more information on Lisa Williams Consulting, LLC, please reach out by email or call 203.858.2546.