Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and
Raymond town employee profiles.
Lisa Fisher serves as the Administrative Assistant for the
Windham Planning Department and for the Executive
Director of the Windham Economic Development
Corporation. She also coordinates and staffs the
Windham Farmers' Market. SUBMITTED PHOTO
By Ed Pierce
The work performed for the Town of Windham by Lisa Fisher may sometimes be behind the scenes, but it certainly doesn’t always go unnoticed.
Fisher splits her time between serving as the Administrative Assistant for the Windham Planning Department and to the Executive Director of the Windham Economic Development Corporation. As part of her work for the WEDC, she’s also coordinated and staffs the Windham Farmers’ Market.
“There are several different facets to my job. I provide staff support to Amanda Lessard, the Planning Director; Steve Puleo, the Town Planner; and Tom Bartell, the WEDC Executive Director,” Fisher said. “In addition to my daily office responsibilities, I work on the logistics of special meetings and public outreach events for WEDC. Four years ago, WEDC started the Windham Farmers’ Market. I have been actively involved in the market since then and it represents much of what I do during the summer months.”
As the initial point of contact for the Windham Planning Department, Fisher is typically the first person the public sees for a planning issue. She also helps produce the Planning Board's packets prior to meetings, conducts research, and prepares meeting minutes for approval by board members.
She’s worked for the town for 19 years as of this November and she loves what she does and interacting with the public at the Windham Farmers’ Market.“The most rewarding thing I do is probably the Windham Farmers’ Market,” Fisher said. “I have a lot of help in that and would like to credit all the hard work of our wonderful volunteers, Jen Kenneally, Celeste Kennedy, and Kelsey LeDoux. We have developed a market of great vendors and customers who are so very supportive. Additionally, I need to acknowledge the invaluable sponsorship of WEDC and Baker Brook Farm Creamery. Together this group has created something valuable and good for the community. I feel fortunate to be involved.”
According to Fisher, the most challenging aspect of what she does is work that comes with a deadline or an expiration date.
“My work can also rely on what someone else is doing before it gets to me, so I need to keep track of a lot of dates, times and projects,” she said.
Originally from New Jersey, Fisher grew up near the coast and later earned a degree at Andover College in Portland after she moved to Maine.
Her most memorable moment working for the town is easy.
“Probably it was when we realized that the Windham Farmers’ Market would continue beyond one season,” she said. “That was gratifying. One of our hopes, when we were organizing that first year, was to have a space that was relaxing and welcoming to be in. We weren’t sure how much interest there would be, but we decided to step into the void and see what happened. Support from our vendors and customers has been overwhelming. They are amazing and the market is really about them. It is so satisfying to be a part of something that is having a positive effect.”
Not everyone is properly suited for working for a town or a city, but it comes with duties and responsibilities that Fisher doesn’t take lightly or for granted. It’s a job she said that she enjoys and remains interesting for her.
“Municipal work is a thing unto itself,” Fisher said. “I was working for a different town, thought it was time for a change and Windham was hiring.”
As someone who works significant time behind the scenes preparing for meetings, Fisher says the public may not have many misconceptions about what she does for the town.
“I’m not sure anyone thinks about my job in those terms,” she said. “I have been here a long time and so I think probably it just is there, and people accept it.”
But her family is supportive of her work and listens as she explains what’s going on at the Windham Town Hall.
“My husband wonders why I talk about stormwater and septic systems as dinner conversation,” she said. <