Lisa Ann Gierszal
Program Hospitality Manager and Executive Assistant to the Chief Program Officer
Additional Contact Information
P.O. Box 28 | One Ames Avenue
Chautauqua, N.Y. 14722
Lisa is the executive assistant to the senior vice president and chief program officer. She is also the program hospitality manager. Chautauqua Institution’s Program office establishes and leads programmatic vision, building programs, relationships and partnerships that align with the Institution’s mission and strategic plan. Toward this, the Program office collaborates by overseeing connection points between Education, Arts, Religion and Recreation, advocates toward achieving strategic goals, and enables its staff by continually exploring how we can more efficiently and successfully share and use processes and systems. Her role currently focuses primarily on artist contract management and coordination for the Popular Entertainment Series. A favorite moment was managing the Young Playwrights Project for six years and seeing the joy the students have in exploring their creative voice.
Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Mercyhurst University, with a minor in marketing. She also has an intensified culinary certificate from École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. She worked at Mercyhurst University as the associate food service director, participated in Leadership Erie, and worked summers at the Athenaeum Hotel’s front desk. Her first work experience at the Institution was the 1987 summer assembly season. That year, Chautauqua hosted the 3rd General Chautauqua Conference on U.S. – Soviet Relations and there was the very memorable John Denver concert. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Chautauqua after a summer like that! In 1999, she became a homeowner and resident on the grounds. Lisa has attended the summer assembly for the last 35 years. “My proudest moments have been raising my three children, Maximillian, Shannon, and Alexandra. We have a wonderful intergenerational life here at Chautauqua with my parents Robert and Paula Gierszal.”
Why did you choose to work at Chautauqua? What do you like about working at Chautauqua?
I chose to work at Chautauqua because deep in my heart I believe in our mission and the dedication to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life.
All the little details that go into an evening performance in the Amphitheater are what I love about my job. From preparing a contract, logistics and advancing the show, to the tour bus rolling in at the Amphitheater and greeting our guest artists, to that moment when the music begins and seeing the audience’s reaction. Most importantly, as the artists are leaving and say, “This is the friendliest, most organized venue we have been to” and their last words before the tour bus rolls out “Chautauqua is truly a treasure. We cannot wait to come back.” That is a job well done.
Current and Former Volunteer or Board Roles
Volunteer work includes the United Way Committee, Giving Tuesday, Chautauqua Winter Village Festivals, Chautauqua Opera Guild Board, Young Playwrights Project..
Leadership Erie; Kennedy Center Partners in Education
Reading, rowing, baking, art history, being a mom and spectator for my children’s musical and sports endeavors.