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lisa gilbert williams

Executive Director

Lisa Gilbert Williams is Executive Director at the University of Kentucky Institute for Workplace Innovation (iwin). iwin serves as Kentucky’s premier learning community for employers throughout the state and is currently Partnering with 40 businesses who each have a mission to make Kentucky a state-of-choice for employers and employees.

A strategic-thinker and an opportunity-seeker, Lisa is positioning iwin to become the go-to organization for all things workplace related. With a solution-focused mentality, Lisa has a zest for improving processes and systems, maneuvering around pitfalls, and thinking outside the box. As a non-stop idea generator, Lisa often comes up with ‘kite’ ideas, those that are lofty but can be grounded. She believes that the best, most innovative ideas come from thinking big and thinking ‘what if’. Passionate about helping employers provide innovative benefits that aid in the life-balance of their employees, Lisa has strong interests in innovative flex-work arrangements, working parents, happiness and meaningful work, design thinking, and women in leadership.

Lisa is a budget whiz and has been recognized by university leadership for her exemplary work building a streamlined, efficient budget. In addition, Lisa is helping strengthen relationships between the university and community by developing a consulting portal that will link businesses with UK faculty who hold expertise on particular workplace related topics. She also serves as an engaged member of the UK Corporate Partners Committee.

Lisa joined iwin in 2009 after working for over 15 years in non-profit settings helping organizations with program coordination, organizational development and change, and nonprofit leadership and management. She has worked for a variety of large non-profit organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri where she acted as Director of Community-Based Programs and served on the leadership team. Lisa spent the beginning of her career as a medical social worker in Trauma and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. In addition to her experience with helping non-profits succeed, Lisa also has experience with starting and running a for-profit business with her husband. Lisa also serves as an adjunct professor and teaches graduate courses on nonprofit management and leadership.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Social Science Administration from Case Western Reserve University. This degree, similar to an MBA specializing in non-profit organizations, has provided Lisa with the framework to incorporate streamlined approaches to organizational effectiveness and sustainability.