Dr. Lisa Summerour

Coach / Facilitator

Dr. Lisa Summerour is an author, editor, facilitator, speaker, engagement and empowerment coach, and business owner. Her holistic approach to personal and professional development has helped clients lead their best selves forward by aligning their roles, responsibilities, and life goals. Her clients learn to bring their unique talents, skills, and intangible assets to life through personal accountability and self-discipline. As a facilitator, Dr. Lisa helps create courageous spaces for clients to discuss diversity, equity, inclusion, engagement, and more complex issues like race and racism in the United States.


Dr. Lisa has been invited to speak with students and young adults at high schools, universities, and faith-based organizations. She has engaged leaders in various industries on national and international stages, including the Africa Kingdom and Business Leadership Summit in Accra, Ghana. In Ghana, she co-designed the curriculum and presented it to nearly one thousand business leaders from the region. Time and time again, her uncanny ability to engage individuals with her relatable, relevant, and humorous presentation style has brought her high praise from attendees globally.


Dr. Lisa co-authored “The 4-Tions: Your Guide to Developing Successful Job Search Strategies,” which has been distributed to more than 20 countries. She started her own publishing company and self-published her first solo project, the “What Went Well? Journals.” Her What Went Well? Journals are designed to help adults, children, and couples find creative ways to intentionally focus on the good things that happen to them, around them, and because of them – daily. In 2021 Dr. Lisa self-published “The Get Ready to Work Workbook: What You Need to Know Before Your Next Interview.” Within the year, the Prince George’s Chapter of Links had selected the workbook to help women of color navigate the job market in Project L.I.F.T.

Learning & Development

  • National Speakers Association (NSA)
  • (SAG/AFTRA)  30+ years
  • Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
  • Intercultural Conflict Style (ICS) Inventory Assessment
  • Certified WholeBrain Practitioner
  • Certified Equitable Leadership Assessment (ELA)

Dr. Lisa holds a Doctorate in Education with a focus on ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University. She earned a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University and a second master’s in Christian Studies focusing on Christian leadership from Grand Canyon University. Her bachelor’s degree in sociology is from Trenton State University. Dr. Summerour is on the Board of Trustees at Villa Maria College in Buffalo, NY, where she chairs the academic success committee.

Proud Moments

Three of Dr. Lisa’s proudest experiences included: Being in the delivery room when her sister Tami gave birth to her first child; doing missionary work in Rwanda; and receiving the Arthur F. Foreman Memorial Award in fourth grade at South Main Street Elementary School, Pleasantville, NJ. The plaque reads: “Consideration – Effort – Sportsmanship.”


In a span of a few hours, I witnessed the flexibility and fluidity of her presentation style as she prompted active participation from industry leaders, and just hours later, held the attention of several thousand young adults who were engaged to the point of having an impromptu Q & A.

Speaker and Keynote – Leadership and Engagement

Rosa Whitaker

President and CEO, The Whitaker Group - "Advancing Business in Africa"

I would have highly recommended Dr. Summerour even before working this closely with her, but now that I have had the opportunity to plan such an important workshop with a woman who deeply understands mentorship, I feel inclined to reach out and recommend her to those who aren’t even looking for facilitators.

Online Workshops: Race & Racism and Mentorship

Sister Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay

Vocational Services , Felician Sisters of North America

Some interesting things about me. 

I was held up in a bank robbery

Through a work program at my high school, I got a job as a teller at Security Savings and Loan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was seventeen days after my seventeenth birthday, a Saturday, when I noticed a man at the door with what looked like, “A stocking cap on his face!?!?” Before it could fully register, they were in the bank, I had a gun pointed at me and it was happening!

I had scoliosis and wore a brace all through high school

Just before starting high school I was diagnosed with scoliosis. My 32° lower curve had me very close to requiring surgery. Instead, I wore a Milwaukee brace like this one – all through high school.

First Black woman crowned Miss New Jersey USA

I was quite the tomboy growing up, so this was a bit of a detour. I am very proud of my pageant experience(s) and the opportunities I was introduced to as a result of stepping way outside my comfort zone.

FYI for you pageant buffs. Vanessa Williams was the first Black woman crowned Miss New Jersey in the Miss America system.

My most cherished award

My most cherished award is from 4th grade. I was a student South Main St. School in Pleasantville, NJ. The award was the Arthur F. Foreman Memorial Award. It’s my most cherished because I didn’t do anything accept “be me” to earn it. It says for “Consideration – Effort – Sportsmanship” 

I pretended to be married to Denzel Washington

My first role in a film was playing opposite Denzel Washington in the movie “Philadelphia” starring Denzel and Tom Hanks.

That other time I was held up at gun point

Yes, it happened again. This time, I’d been studying at Howard University’s library with a friend. We left the building headed to my dorm and were stopped by a guy with a gun. We were two broke college students – bad planning on his part.

It took me 24 years or so to finish my first degree

Yes, I “dropped out” of college. Why do we use the term “dropped out?” How ’bout I just left to do other things!? So, anyway, I finished my bachelor’s degree about 24 years after I started. Then, in this order, I earned a master’s, a doctorate, and a second master’s degree. 

I am a DIY addict

Anything from sewing, painting, to building bookcases and shelves. I love making things with my hands. I always have. I know it’s one of my superpowers because it’s one of the ways I empower myself. It brings me such joy, sometimes after a lot of frustration, creating useful and beautiful objects.


One of my more challenging projects was this two drawer coffee table. It became a battle of wills. Will I quit or will I finish? 



Your life doesn’t have to be pretty to be fabulous. You don’t have to be perfect to be powerful.

Dr. Lisa Summerour


If you’ve gotten this far, now might be the
time, to make time for you.