Staff Profile #3: Lisa Backer

Have you ever wanted to put a face to the name for the SpEd Forms team members you interact with so often over emails? We’re profiling the staff who work diligently “behind the scenes” to make sure your SpEd Forms experience is smooth and enjoyable.

This week, we’re profiling Lisa Backer, our Assistant Director of Services.

I was born and raised in New Ulm, MN and have never moved beyond the borders of the North Star state. I have owned nine homes and love home improvement projects! Darren Kermes and I have promised each other, however, that our current house is our last. We live in Lakeville on the north shore of Lake Marion and love all that lake life has to offer. We share our home with a cat and two dachshunds. We are a blended family of four adult children who occasionally ask for advice and actually want to hear my opinion. I am “mom” to Megan, Kim and Paul and “step mom” to Angela. And I am “Grammy” to Bennett (7), Soren (5), Ellie (4) and Hayden (10 months).

Lisa with three of her grandchildren.

Lisa kindly answered these questions about herself:

What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is, of course, my family. It is wonderful to watch each follow the family mantra: Make good choices! I am also proud of the work I was privileged to do over 20 years as part of a wonderful team at the MN Department of Education.

What is your favorite way to start the day?
The start of each day involves a 7 AM walk. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I walk with wonderful neighbors. The rest of the week it is me, my headphones and Audible! And hot black coffee immediately upon return home.

What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Musical theater! I have seen Hamilton live 4 times including once on Broadway and… I confess…Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Anything cooked by my gifted son. He is an amazing chef. Check out Toma Mojo Grill opening soon!

Do you have any hidden talents?
I refinish furniture—preferably antique and black walnut, I sew and I can make Excel sing and dance.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Get started and get better.” Given by OSEP! Who knew?

What’s your quarantine hobby?
My quarantine hobby has changed with the seasons. During the spring and summer. I garden, golf, kayak and work on furniture projects. In the winter I sew and curl. Yes…curl…with brooms and stones.

Lisa practicing curling.