Lisa Z. Lindahl, has had a multi-faceted career.
While a not-quite-starving artist, secretary and graduate student, she invented the sports bra, became a marketing and product development expert and entrepreneur and now has more than 35 years of experience creating highly successful concept strategies for businesses and nonprofit organizations. Throughout it all, she was painting, sculpting, doodling and writing in the small and infrequent margins of that busy life. Now Lisa’s time allotment is reversed: visual art and writing fill up her days, and the margins are crammed with any business of public speaking or consulting work.
Her entrepreneurial experience includes a highly successful partnership that transformed the small start-up, Jogbra, into a major multinational corporation (the products are now Champion Sportswear), from 1977 to 1990. The Jogbra and the story of its origins is in the Smithsonian Museum where it is credited, along with Title IX, for the rise of young women in sports. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Collection also houses an early Jogbra, where it is touted as a “revolutionary piece of women’s undergarments.”
Later, as founding partner of another endeavor Ms. Lindahl helped design and introduce a patented compression garment for breast cancer patients, the Compressure Comfort® Bra, then developed manufacturing relationships and marketed this medical device to health care providers, medical suppliers, insurance companies, and end-users. In addition to creating business systems to support the new business, she developed educational materials to raise awareness about lymphedema, at the time an under-diagnosed problem affecting a significant percentage of breast cancer survivors.
As someone with epilepsy, she has devoted herself to raising awareness about the condition. She served as the senior vice president of the board of directors for the Epilepsy Foundation of America from 1992 to 2001. Her external work included outreach through conferences, advocacy groups, networking with other foundations, and media (radio, print, and TV). Her internal work included chairing the Task Force on Women and Epilepsy (fundraising, mission statement, recruitment, program development and research frameworks). She was featured in a Discovery Channel program on “The Brain,” in its segment on epilepsy.
From encouraging and teaching young woman entrepreneurs, to speaking to epilepsy organizations around the country, to teaching art to underprivileged women in a foreign country, Lisa has found service, notably to women, a consistent and rewarding thread throughout her life.
She has served on numerous boards and community organizations and received multiple awards for her work, including a Congressional Commendation from the 106th US Congress (Sen. James Jeffords, Nov. 2000).
Her publications include: Minding Your Business, with Carminati and Angolano. A companion text for The Women’s Small Business Program at Trinity College this is a comprehensive ‘how-to’ text for aspiring entrepreneurs needing to craft a complete, professional business plan; and “On Being a Woman with Epilepsy,” opening chapter in the collective work Women with Epilepsy: A Handbook of Health and Treatment Issues, edited by Martha Morrell, MD. Published by Cambridge Press, 2003. She is currently working on a new book with a target date of Fall 2016.
Ms. Lindahl holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of Vermont and a Master of Arts in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names University in Oakland, CA.
She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.