Meet Lisa Parks, Senior Planner

Author: Kathy J. Lombardi, PE Published: February 5, 2020

Lisa Parks, Senior Planner at Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc.

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and spent most of my grade school years in the Midwest, primarily in northwest Illinois, about 120 miles west of Chicago. In January 1983, halfway through my junior year of high school, I moved to a small community in southeast Spokane County, Washington. After graduating from Eastern Washington University in June 1990, I moved to the Wenatchee Valley for my first professional position with Douglas County Planning and Building. In October of this year, I moved to Olympia for a new start in a new place!

What do you do at MFA?

I am a senior planner, working primarily out of the Seattle office. My focus is on community development, working primarily with port districts and other local governments. I enjoy working on all types of projects, such as strategic plans, master site plans, subarea plans, development proposals, and land use permitting and environmental review processes.

What’s rewarding about your job?

I very much enjoy working for communities, from both a public and a private perspective, to foster a high quality of life in the places where we live, work, and play.

Why is what you do important?

As society becomes more complex, it is ever more important to be intentional about how our communities grow and develop. Being intentional about the choices our communities make about the future is key to maintaining sustainability. I appreciate being in a role that supports their intentional decision making.

What skills do you bring to your work?

I enjoy being a team player, collaborating and working with people from a variety of disciplines. Participating in a group that includes people with different skills and core competencies makes me feel as if I am always learning something new. As a land use planner, I use my communication skills to help communities understand what are often technical and complicated issues.

What do you like to do off the clock?

I’ve always enjoyed opportunities to be outside and active, so walking and hiking are favorite pastimes, along with camping, boating, bicycling, and the like. Additionally, over the past couple of years, I’ve decided to make my life “bigger” and more diverse (a trend to go along with the big move and the new job!), so I’ve taken up several new hobbies: fly-fishing, electric-guitar, and a motorcycle endorsement are at the top of the “new things” list!

If you were not a senior planner, what would you be?

I thoroughly enjoy what I do, working with communities and, I hope, making a difference. Maybe the only thing I would change is to be in a financial position where I could do what I do without having to be paid for it!

What’s on your bucket list?

I would really like to make the time to travel more, and someday, I’d like to live on the water, somewhere with a view of both the sunrise and the sunset!


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