Women of Impact Speaker Says People Need to Find It in Their Work

‘Passion and Purpose’

Lisa Tanzer says it took her a while to find work she was truly passionate about. But it was well worth the wait and the effort.

“It took me a long while to get here, but I learned along the way that I need to be working every day on something I’m excited about and passionate about,” she said. “You need to do what you love every day and find a way to put passion into what you do.”

This, in a nutshell, is the message Tanzer, president of Life Is Good — a lifestyle brand that now generates more than $100 million in annual revenue and also operates the Life Is Good Kids Foundation — intends to leave with attendees at BusinessWest’s second annual Women of Impact luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Springfield.

In a phone interview, Tanzer told BusinessWest that Life Is Good provides her passion and purpose not merely because of what it sells or how much it sells, but because of how it spreads the “power of optimism,” as she put it.

Elaborating, she said ‘Life Is Good,’ the slogan placed on a T-shirt along with a smiling face by brothers Bert and John Jacobs as a last-ditch effort to stay in business, has received a great reaction from the public.

“People from all sorts of demographics started resonating with the brand,” she explained. “In the early days, they started to get letters from people who were wearing ‘Life Is Good’ who were facing terrible adversity — illness or loss of a loved one.

“They connected with the positive message of Life Is Good and realized there was more depth to the brand than ‘hey, life is good, enjoy the beach, enjoy the outdoors,’” she went on. “People really needed optimism in their lives and started to understand the power of optimism. So the company became more mission-driven.”

Tanzer’s keynote address will be one of many highlights at the second annual Women of Impact Luncheon, which will honor eight women who are making an impact in different ways. They are:

• Tricia Canavan, president, United Personnel Services;

• Carol Moore Cutting, president, CEO, and general manager, Cutting Edge Broadcasting;

• Jean Deliso, principal, Deliso Financial Services;

• Ellen Freyman, partner, Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin;

• Mary Hurley, Massachusetts Governor’s Councilor;

• Lydia Martinez-Alvarez, assistant superintendent, Springfield Public Schools;

• Suzanne Parker, executive director, Girls Inc. of the Valley; and

• Katherine Putnam, managing director, Golden Seeds.

Tanzer, who speaks to a wide variety of audiences on many topics each year, will bring a broad range of corporate experience to the podium at the Women of Impact event. Indeed, she has more than 25 years of consumer brand experience, working for powerhouse brands such as Hasbro, Staples, Gillette, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Fast Facts

What: The Second Annual Women of Impact Gala
When: Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Where: Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place
Keynote Speaker: Lisa Tanzer, president of Life Is Good
Tickets: $65 (tables of 10 available)
For More Information: Visit HERE or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Starting very early in her career, though, she started working with nonprofits, especially one founded by a high-school classmate called Project Joy, which helped homeless children find purpose and connection through play.

The talk Tanzer will give at the Women of Impact Luncheon concerns how she determined long ago that she wanted to blend work in the corporate world with “making people happy and providing joy in people’s lives.” And while it was a rather circuitous route and there was a good deal of serendipity along the way, she found all of what she was looking for at Life Is Good.

To hear the full story, you’ll need to be at the Sheraton on Dec. 5. And you should be there to salute the eight outstanding honorees who make up the Women of Impact class of 2019.

The Women of Impact program is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors), Comcast Business and Granite State Developing (supporting sponsors), New Valley Bank & Trust (speaker sponsor), and WWLP 22 News/CW Springfield (media sponsor).

For more information, or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600, or go HERE.