Welcome to Gio’s Spotlight “Idols of Inspiration” where I interview various members of staff, students, mentors and professors from all over the USF campus. After having the honor of interviewing Michele O’Boyle, we have another very special guest that many of you might know. Whether it’s “what can I get you today honey?” or “Have a nice day sweetie,” this person always knows how to make your day just a bit sweeter. Any guesses?
If you guessed Lisa from the Bistro, then you’re correct! Many know Lisa Walters for her amazing smile and quick-witted advice. She always seems to lift your spirits before and after class.
Another thing Lisa is known for is that she always remembers your order from the Bistro. “Salad today! Pizza, Pizza, Pizza? What kind of chips do you like?” It helps a lot when you’re in a hurry for class or work. Lisa has been working at the Three Oaks Bistro for over 8 years and loves her job. Her mission is “to give people smiles and bring people together.” Let’s learn more about Lisa in my interview below.
Giovanni Alvarado: Are you married, and do you have any kids?
Lisa Walters: I have a son and a daughter. I love them both with all my life. My daughters name is Tyija and she is 30 years old and my son’s name is Chris, he is 33. My husband’s name is Chris Shoemaker.
GA: What made you want to work here and be a part of the USF community?
LW: Well, it all started with meeting Miss Diana that works here with me at the Bistro. She is a long-time family friend. It was all thanks to her that I got the job 8 years ago. I love my job, I love what I do. To me, seeing you young kids come and go is sentimental once in a while because you form friendships easily here. Meeting most of you every day to grab a bite, we get to talk a lot. USF to me is a very loving community with its staff and students. Helping you guys with getting lunch or breakfast to start the day is my inspiration to help you guys succeed. That’s what I love the most.
GA: How have you changed from your experience working here? Did it enhance who you are?
LW: It has, it really has. One thing I noticed it has enhanced was my listening skills. Every hour that goes by seems to go pretty fast, next thing you know I’m done with work. It’s pretty amazing how good I have become with listening and memorizing detailed information, that’s a strength of working here. Over time you will come to notice in just year of experience. When I work here its like meditation, I’m in sync with a tentative speed to get your your orders as quick as possible, so it relieves a lot of stress and helps get a lot off my chest.
GA: What is the best part of working here?
LW: The small sense of community and you guys, the students. You guys are the next generation and if I can help you guys succeed to your destined mission of graduation, by just at least keeping you guys from an empty stomach, my job for the day is satisfyingly done.
GA: What does your job entail and what is your personal mission while working here?
LW: I’m in charge of making sure everything in the kitchen is working properly and efficiently. This can range from making sure every other fellow Bistro staff member is working as quick as possible to give out your orders on time without worry. I also help prepare the food and share the cashier role. My mission is to make people smile and help bring people together no matter the circumstances. Whatever I can do to help make them smile by talking or joking with them, I will make sure that happens. You guys go through a lot as it is with responsibilities, so all I can do is make the day easier if I can by giving you a smile.
GA: What are your hobbies, interest and talents? Anything people should know about you?
LW: I like to spend time with my grandchildren when I’m not working. They are a lively bunch and I am proud to be there grandmother. Many may not know but my favorite hobby is actually bowling. I like to go out and bowl with both friends and family when I have time. I also enjoy cooking; it’s great to cook your own style of food because you can be creative with it.
GA: What’s your favorite song, movie and childhood moment?
LW: My favorite song is “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. As for my favorite movie, I really like “John Q.” It’s about a dedicated father who tries to help his son who is in desperate need of life-saving transplant. When he learns that his insurance can’t cover his son surgery, he takes matters into his own hands by taking hostage an emergency room to get attention for his son’s. My favorite childhood moment was when I was six years old my dad would take me to parks or walks nearby with my dog named “Duke.” I would always get a thin rope and wrap it around Duke. (Laughs) It would be so funny what I would do, I would get on him to try to ride him like if he was a horse! It would be an adventure all the time with Duke.
GA: What do you want to see change in the world?
LW: I just want to see people of all races to get along. Simple as that. Often times we all argue of unnecessary violence and see the differences rather than the strong similarities we all really have. I know we can get there one day. Let’s just all have fun and help each other out.
GA: What is one inspirational quote you would like to share to people reading this?
LW: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” Raising my children, that was the one thing I would always tell them in order to grow up into fine adults. Also, treat people with respect and dignity, even the sourest type of people. Always be the bigger person and you will soon see who has the most grace in the end.
After the interview, Lisa gave me a genuine handshake with the beautiful warm smile. She encourages newcomers and freshman to visit her for any time you need a quick snack or lunch before or after class during Bistro hours. We are indeed very blessed to have Lisa working at the Bistro. She is someone that can never be replaced and is truly one of a kind.