Lisa J. Pino
- Gender: Female
- University: Arizona State University
- Hometown: New York City
- Organization: rosefare
- Position Title: Founder
- HSF Leadership Role: Member, HSF Advisory Council, Washington DC
Lisa’s parents taught her early on that “values ultimately shape how you choose to live your life,” and they also “instilled a deep love for this country.” Her father had come to the States from Galicia, Spain; her mother, from Cuba. He worked as a tailor for Ralph Lauren for nearly three decades; she began as a manicurist and then spent a number of years in the fashion and advertising industries. They raised their children in New York City where, despite having limited means, they made the most of the city’s cultural opportunities and taught Lisa and her younger brother that “education was paramount.”
Lisa took their guidance to heart, becoming the first in her family to “navigate the college experience,” compounding her step into the unknown by crossing the country to attend Arizona State University (ASU). The transition proved to be more challenging than she had expected. “It took time to adjust to college life,” she explains. But she says she found her footing when she learned to balance school life with other activities, such as hiking, visiting parks, volunteering, or cooking with friends. She went on to graduate from ASU cum laude with a BA in Spanish and Literature, then an MA in Humanities followed by a JD degree.
An HSF Scholarship provided support for her graduate studies and law school. She recalls the joy she felt on learning of her award. “Financial aid had run out, and I didn’t have enough for rent. I forgot I had applied for the scholarship, saw the envelope, and thought I was dreaming…. It literally saved me,” she says.
Armed with her education and the values she learned from her parents, plus years of work as a senior executive and attorney practicing in the areas of government affairs, public policy, immigration, national security, civil rights, and poverty, Lisa recently founded rosefare, a management consulting group dedicated to food, agricultural, health, and environmental systems. Headquartered in Crystal City, Virginia, the firm specializes in serving the needs of women, girls, youth, farmers, and those of Latinx descent, including “…change-makers from marginalized communities ready to be heard.”
Her prior work also includes having served as counsel in matters having to do with global mobility and migration, as well as employment and benefits, for the law firm Mayer Brown in Washington, DC. She also worked with multiple government agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture, where she helped develop national policies.
A member of the HSF Advisory Council in Washington, DC, Lisa says she enjoys mentoring—particularly high school and college students, who can learn from her experience. “I remember when I was younger how even a word of advice made such an impression upon me. If I can spare others from experiencing what I had to learn the hard way, it makes me happy,” she said.
In 2017, Lisa received the “Gold ‘n Gavel” Star Award from Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law from ASU, where she studied immigration law. She has also completed Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Public Leadership Program for Public Service as a National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow. In 2010, she received the Brillante award, when she was inducted into HSF’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Her additional honors and distinctions include the CLEO (Council on Legal Education Opportunity), Thurgood Marshall College Scholars Program, and ASU’s Los Diablos Horquilla Award.
Reflecting on the lessons she learned while overcoming her own challenges, she encourages students to, “Take it one day at a time, slow and steady. Take care of yourself. Sleep, exercise, get involved, and live a balanced, healthy life. Make the most of every day. When you have a bad day, remember that a better day is around the corner…progress and change aren't always linear.”