Staff Snapshots | Lisa Fenton
Sept. 15, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print
Hometown: Olympia, Wash.
Role: Chief of Staff, Republican Caucus, Washington House of Representatives
Years of legislative service: 35
The best advice she’s ever received: “Treat everyone with the same level of respect and professionalism, regardless of where they fit in the organization chart.”
Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?
The Legislature is one of the most fascinating places to work. The excitement of working with passionate people from all corners of the state who share a desire to improve the lives of Washingtonians was the appeal when I started my career and will never get old for me. It’s gratifying to have a supporting role in assisting decision-makers guide their bills through the legislative process.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
I’m proud of building and leading a strong staff team to serve our members. Legislative staff are important partners in maintaining the integrity of the institution now and into the future. Members are most successful when the staff team supporting them is strong, committed and knows they are valued for the important work they do. I’ve worked to cultivate a team that respects the institution and is committed to member success, while also encouraging and facilitating individual professional development. I’m extremely proud of the professional staff I’m honored to work alongside.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired when I learn more about what motivates a member to serve in the Legislature. Running for elective office is a courageous thing to do. It’s enlightening when legislators share the life experiences that formed their viewpoints and motivated them to run for office. Everyone has a different story, and sharing those stories is a powerful way to bring people with different viewpoints together. Listening to learn about another perspective is more important now than ever before.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
The natural beauty. We are blessed to have such geographic diversity. From the coast to the mountains, to central and eastern Washington. There is something to appreciate about every region of the state.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
I’m reading “The Laws of Human Nature,” by Robert Greene. My guilty pleasure is watching “Only Murders in the Building” on Netflix.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.