Getting Real with Lisa Williams, President of Evolve & Co

By June 7, 2019Evolve
DTSP, St. Pete, Lisa Williams

We sat down with President Lisa Williams and asked her the questions we’ve always wanted to know. Lisa founded Evolve & Co in 2016 and has represented hundreds of clients over the years. From Fortune 500 to start-ups, she is at the forefront of brand strategy. With serious passion, a genuine love for her work, and years of expertise in the industry, her leadership drives success.

Who outside of our industry inspires you? -Amy Alexander, Graphic Designer 

Activists. Philanthropists. Diplomats. Politicians. Architects. City Developers. Chefs. Artists. Mother Nature.

When and how did you figure out working at an ad agency was your dream? – Alison Salama, Brand Management Intern 

It was years in the advertising industry and some general personality traits that led me here – which is exactly where I want to be. I can trace it back to my childhood when I religiously journaled, have always had an insatiable curiosity, the need to create, and a natural ability to understand people.

There was a defining moment when I was working for a major news conglomerate, being incentivized to sell ineffective advertising packages to clients. I knew then that I wanted to be on the agency side (the client’s side) so that I had the power to truly enact forward movement in campaigns; to build a comprehensive approach to their goals.

What keeps your creative juices flowing? -Amber Batten, Brand Manager 

I draw inspiration from virtually anywhere and everywhere. I’m in awe of mother nature and have a deep appreciation for earth’s beauty. I love traveling, cultural experiences, and just getting out of my comfort zone. I’m rarely idle (usually just to catch my breath) because I’m so inherently curious. As for work-specific creativity, I subscribe to the best industry rags, and keep a close eye on the trends of leading markets like NY, LA, London, etc.

What was another profession you wanted to pursue before entering the advertising industry? – Lizzie Desrosiers, Senior Brand Manager 

I thought maybe I would get into broadcast journalism, but then I realized that if I don’t even like the sound of my own voice, the gen pop wouldn’t either. I’m also kind of shy, which most people don’t know about me. On a serious note, I have considered public service, politics, interior design, and even comedy writing as alternative professions.

Are there challenges of being a female CEO? If so, what are they? Victoria Arama, Brand Management Intern 

I’ve never really given much consideration to my gender as it relates to my merit or ability to do my job. Thanks to women like Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, and all who led the Women’s Right’s Movement, as it paved the way for women like myself to equal rights. I empathize with the suffrage of our foremothers, and I have great appreciation for their fight, but as a woman in the twentieth century, it’s my position that continuing the dialogue of oppression literally perpetuates it.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?-Peter Nilsson, Brand Management Intern 

I’ll choose facebook for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost, it is the most comprehensive platform focused more on story telling (news/ information) versus a purely image-driven platform. I also appreciate that it has the most diverse membership demographically (all ages) which allows me to connect with many friends and family. It’s also the most useful of the platforms with birthday reminders, events, groups, contests, etc. not to mention its robust ad platform.

What has been your biggest career failure moment, what did you learn from it and how has it made you and your company better in the long run? Allyson Johnson, Graphic Designer 

Without failure, there is no success. I have picked myself up and dusted myself off a hundred times over. There is not one specific instance that stands out as an epic fail, but more of an overall theme which I learned about myself as I grew into my current role. In prior positions, I was easily bored, and when the project didn’t inspire or engage, I simply gave it less than what was expected. There were several uncomfortable conversations with my superiors about my interest or commitment to the position. The beauty of my role now is that I have the opportunity to work on a vast variety of brands, all with different voices and end games, so it’s incredibly fulfilling, and at times, when I’m super pumped about a project, all-consuming.

What makes you trust a brand? Or distrust a brand?  Cecilia Medina, Brand Management Intern 

There are many subconscious factors at play — the brand colors and slogans, for instance, that many people don’t consciously acknowledge as determining factors in how they feel about a brand. Personally, I trust very straight-forward/ transparent brands, and those with a customer-forward focus. I distrust brands that confuse or over-promise, and those that prioritize padding shareholders pockets over providing a quality service or product to their customer-base.