Lisa Cannell (MBA ’17), Managing Director of Client Solutions for Executive Education & Lifelong Learning (EELL), works closely with organizations and their learning and development teams to address their talent and organizational needs through diagnoses of the leadership development and capability building requirements needed to retain top talent, grow to the next level and successfully manage change. She’s been with Darden for eight years, serving as Darden’s Chief HR Officer for four years before moving into her current role with EELL. Prior to Darden, Lisa spent 20 years in HR leadership roles in banking, information services and insurance.

In her current role as a client relationship manager, she enjoys connecting clients and their leaders with Darden’s top-ranked faculty and world-renowned thought leadership by developing custom solutions and programming to meet their talent development needs. Learn more about Lisa’s background and how she works with clients.

What drew you to higher education and Darden?

I was originally asked to consult on an organizational change project in HR at Darden. While working through the project, I was offered a full-time position as CHRO. In addition to continuing my career in HR, I had the opportunity to earn my Darden MBA while I was serving as CHRO. Ultimately, I was able to leverage my background and new insights to evolve in my career and take on a new role within EELL. I believe that lifelong learning is key to long-term success in your career, as change is constant and I always want to remain valuable to my organization and the organizations we serve.

How is Darden’s approach to organizational partnership unique?

Our EELL team and faculty are truly focused on the individual client and customizing solutions to their needs — we’re very flexible! Due to my HR background and experience in organizational development, I’m interested in the broad organizational outcomes of any group development experiences, so I take a holistic approach to my work. I get to know our clients inside and out — their leaders, organizational structure, challenges and opportunities, the learners, etc. so that we can design content and programs that address each specific need and goal. We’re always developing new experiences to extend learning for our clients, keep their learners engaged and motivated, and help them measure their results.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I really enjoy introducing our clients to our faculty and seeing those relationships develop over time. We strive to build long-term relationships, so that our clients feel comfortable reaching out for advice or just to check-in.

Sometimes, I get unique opportunities with clients outside of our work together. I was just invited by my client at NASA to come to the Kennedy Space Center for the historic Artemis launch. It’s so exciting to see our clients at work and keep up with how they continue to evolve and grow.