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lisa peyton caire

Our Females and Finances spotlight for August belongs to Summit’s very own assistant VP of life, learning and events, Lisa Peyton-Caire. After receiving an extensive education and holding a variety of leadership positions, Lisa has developed a proactive approach to securing financial freedom for herself and others. Read on for some of Lisa’s favorite financial tips and resources that can help you Own It!

What does “Owning It” mean to you?

“Owning It” means taking responsibility for your life, your choices and decisions, and declaring your incredible power to shape and direct your life in the ways that matter most to you. It means being conscious and deliberate in determining what you value most, pursuing your deepest passions and purpose and intentionally shaping every action you take to build a life that results in the highest good for you and others.

Tell us how you got to where you are today.

Leaving high school, I knew I wanted to be a change-maker and to empower others to realize their full potential. My studies in sociology and education at Hampton University and UW–Madison and my early career experiences gave me the tools to clarify my passion: leading in ways that build the capacity of others to thrive.

This passion has landed me in many diverse roles and leadership opportunities over the past 20 years, spanning pre-K, K-12 and post-secondary education, community-based non-profit leadership, women’s health and now leadership in the credit union arena. What I’ve learned: Let passion lead the way, refine your strengths and own what you know, and the opportunities will come.

What would you say are your most important lessons learned about finances?

Mastering our understanding and use of money is the most powerful tool at our disposal in building wealth and experiencing true freedom, especially as women. It’s vital that we position ourselves early and work continuously to be financially independent over the course of our life. With financial security, we have choices and options and the ability to weather the inevitable challenges and obstacles that life will bring.

For me, this has meant building up an emergency fund and investing early in my retirement. For those who’ve faced challenges or setbacks in their financial lives, it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to start or start over in cleaning up your finances, no matter how daunting it seems. Confront your money, get solid guidance, take action and reap the benefits—starting with peace of mind. 

What’s your favorite current financial education resource?

I really love the resources Summit provides to our members and the general public in the Money Smarts section of our website. The information and tools there are relevant, practical and tangible, and there is real advice that anyone can apply today to raise their financial IQ.

I’m also a big fan of online self-help blogs like The Budgetnista and The Finance Bar, started by women who are passionate about personal finance. Right now, I’m also in love with a new book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life by first-time author Jason Vitug, founder and CEO of Phroogal. The book reiterates a simple but powerful message that I sincerely believe: “Knowledge is power. Financial knowledge is life-changing.”