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Outlook 2020: 'Life throws curve balls, so grit is required,' Lisa Synar says

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Outlook 2020 - The Way We Live: Read the full section here

Lisa B. Synar
Lisa B. Synar

Name: Lisa B. Synar, 64, executive director of OKC Beautiful, who has doubled programming at the only nonprofit dedicated to the beautification of Oklahoma City.

Career highlights: "I have had three careers in my adult life. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, I went to work for Southwestern Bell. For 16 years, I had amazing mentors that taught me to lead with kindness and grace. The next 16 years, I spent in the retail business owing a small gift store in Edmond. Here I learned to wear many hats, worked too many hours, but the joy was the impact we made in the community. I now have my dream job. ... I am blessed to have a job where I get to be involved in making Oklahoma City even stronger."

Community impact: "Over the 42 years of working in the Oklahoma City metro area, I have served my community by volunteering with many organizations including Leadership OKC, Downtown Rotary, Arts Council, Parent Teacher Association, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Edmond Chamber, Delta Delta Delta Foundation, Lyric Theatre and more.

"I have never been more passionate about the work I am currently doing with the Lynn Institute Healthy Community Collaborative. This group is working to improve the lifestyle quality of the residents of northeast Oklahoma City. Working together with the members of the community has made me a better person. I know together we will make an impact."

Life's philosophy: "My favorite quote is from the 2007 movie 'August Rush,' about an 11-year-old musical prodigy living in an orphanage who runs away to find his parents: 'The music is all around you — all you have to do is listen.' This has become my philosophy. Step back, be patient and listen because the good things are all around you."

Advice to young women: "Find a career that you have a passion for. Do the work because you believe you can make a difference, not for the recognition. If you do the work, respect and success will come. Surround yourself with other bright, talented people for support. Lead with honesty, integrity and virtue and inspire others to do the same.

"Life throws curve balls, so grit is required. Successful women have balance in their life. You must make time for yourself, family, friends and your spiritual well-being. And most of all love!"

— Richard Mize, real estate editor

Richard Mize

Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked... Read more ›

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