April Member Spotlight: Lisa Van Ackeren


Congratulations to Lisa Van Ackeren–EOSA’s Member Spotlight for April!

President/CEO of Personalized Prevention

  • What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

One of the major benefits for me about being an entrepreneur, is the ability to pick and choose who I do business with. Life is too short to be stressed out by people that drive you nuts, don’t deliver, or that you don’t get along with. Teaming up with the right people and surrounding yourself with like-minded people is key to a happy working relationship for me, and I love being able to call those shots.

  • What is/are your favorite movie(s) of all time?

That’s hard for me because I absolutely love movies (well everything but satanic horror films—I can’t do those).  There are a movies that when I’m flipping channels I can’t pass up: When Harry Met Sally and Blackhawk Down—they never get old to me (oh, and I love A Fish Called Wanda)

  • What has been your most fulfilling business decision you’ve made thus far?

Honestly, there hasn’t been just one.  What is most fulfilling to me is knowing that every decision I do make has its consequences or rewards so I take decision making very seriously (even though I am known for making very quick decisions—there’s always thought behind ‘em).

  • What is your dream vacation spot?

I’ve always wanted to go to Sutherland Scotland, I want to stay in the Sutherland castle.

  • What is your favorite part about being an EO member?

Hands down it’s my Forum retreats.  I’ve had some of my most embarrassing moments as well as some of my most enjoyable moments with my forum mates on our retreats. I love to laugh and together these people are so funny!!! Oh, I learn a lot too :0)

  • What are you most looking forward to in your future?

When every person who has had involvement in my company (my partners, employees, family, vendors, etc.) feel like their decision to be involved (and stick with me) was the best decision they’ve ever made.

  • Who are some leaders or fellow entrepreneurs you look up to?

That’s easy…my mom and my dad.  I often hear people talk about my dad, Bill Sutherland and I can’t help to think that I hope people talk about me that way some day. He leaves a lasting impression on every person that has met him, I often hear about how he positively impacted their life in some way or another. He always seems to do what’s right and just and good, and he never asks for anything in return…I want that legacy!

My mom’s entrepreneurial career on the other hand has flown very much under the radar (very typical of Mimi), I’ve been fortunate enough to watch her business grow over the years and I’m so impressed by her business model…super low overhead, provide a great service, get great residual income and her clients seek her out…It’s brilliant!  She has an unparalleled work ethic and is so giving of her time and expertise that watching her gives me energy and motivation to work harder.

  • What moment in your life made you want to be an entrepreneur?

I’m not sure that I ever “wanted” to be an entrepreneur but a light bulb did go off in terms of feeling like I could be successful at making a difference for people when I was living in Michigan building Captive Insurance companies.

  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in the entrepreneurial lifestyle?

Understanding that it can all change very quickly and unexpectedly!

  • Why should a ‘trep join EO?

The saying “it’s lonely at the top” is so stinkin true…in fact, I didn’t realize just how “lonely” I was (or in need of a sounding board) until I found my forum.  You will always have to learn how to handle the haters and naysayers and trust me, there are more people sayin you can’t than there people who say you can.  My EO forum is a group of like-minded individuals who always make me feel like “I can”.



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