Degree: Master of Business Administration
College/School: College of Business
Lisa Gray’s entrepreneurial spirit is unstoppable. Twenty years after earning her associate degree, Lisa was managing a condo building in South Florida when she decided she wanted to become the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. On her 45th birthday, Lisa started classes at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management with the goal of opening her own company and hiring people she’d worked with over the years.
Sure enough, in a year’s time, Lisa had launched her first business, a real estate and brokerage firm. Before long, she employed six real estate agents and several independent contractors – and was pulling in significant profits. She graduated summa cum laude.
Lisa didn’t stop there. Wanting to see what else she could accomplish, Lisa headed for her MBA at the Chapman Graduate School. She started a second company, a property management firm. While managing three condo and town home communities, Lisa offers customized approaches and small business assistance to the community associations. Among those on her payroll: her brother-in-law, who battles multiple sclerosis and requires a flexible work schedule. It feels great, she says, to offer her employees work options that meet their needs and lifestyle.
As Lisa, 47, continues to develop her business and recruit new clients, she is basking in the recent slew of referrals she’s received. Lisa is grateful to FIU for connecting her to local leaders and giving her the tools to keep building.
By Lauren Comander
College of Business