A Conversation with Lisa Gable, FARE’s CEO
This week, Lisa Gable joined Food Allergy Research & Education as its new CEO. Lisa comes to FARE with more than 30 years of executive leadership experience and has represented global public-private partnerships and nonprofits, working to build organizations to their maximum potential.
We are thrilled to welcome Lisa and asked her five questions to introduce her to the food allergy community.
First, please tell us a little about your diverse background.
I am honored to have to been selected to lead FARE at this critical time. My background is quite varied! I’ve worked at the highest levels of government as well as in the business and nonprofit worlds, which has provided me with a wide range of experiences. One theme in my work has been common, and that has been to move organizations to their maximum performance potential. I have carried many titles: entrepreneur, Ambassador, nonprofit CEO, board chair, UN Delegate, mentor/coach and mom.
I am excited to have the opportunity to lead FARE and to build on this organization’s great work and build a greater recognition around the critical importance of investing in research and therapies that will save lives.
What brought you to FARE?
When I was President of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, I became familiar with FARE and heard much about the organization’s history, good work and excellent reputation.
I was at a point in my life where I was looking for an opportunity to utilize my unique diverse background and experiences to create positive, forward-thinking and sustainable change. The position of CEO of FARE is the place where I saw myself giving it my all by committing to build on my long-term passion for helping families lead active, healthy lifestyles – and in the case of families managing food allergies, without the concern of risk.
General awareness of food allergy among Americans has improved, but awareness about the life-threatening nature of food allergy is not where it should be. Was food allergy on your radar, and what are your initial thoughts on heightening the level of awareness in the U.S.?
While I was President of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), I was heavily engaged in conversations about consumer trends and improvements in the food supply. I became familiar with FARE in 2012 and heard much about the organization’s history, good work and excellent reputation.
Through my eight years at Healthy Weight, I was concerned about the confusion and chatter around food sensitivities and dietary self-selection, which has become a cultural norm. I worried that as a result, the country has been desensitized to risk. In meetings and conversations, I would address how this confusion might affect those who were food allergic. I understand how challenging it can be when options are limited, when accurate information is not conveyed at a restaurant or in the school setting or when a child whose health depends on what they eat finally heads to college on their own.
Although my own daughter does not have food allergies, I will be relentless on behalf of families and adults affected by the disease. It’s time to break through the noise. We need to elevate the understanding that every American has an active role in meeting the needs of the food allergy community, and together we will drive awareness and understanding of the immediate consequences of inaction.
Broadly, what do you see as some of the immediate priorities and goals for the organization?
We will focus on investing in momentum and doing two things very well: (1) Support research that will accelerate the development of lifesaving therapies (2) Drive a sense of collective responsibility and understanding that every American has the ability to prevent a negative incident resulting from an allergy and help treat a reaction.
What’s one thing you’d like the food allergy community to know about you as the leader of FARE?
I never give up but I am always willing to regroup.
Thanks so much, Lisa! Welcome to FARE!