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Spiro·naut Feature: Lisa O'Keefe

Wonder what makes our Spiro•nauts out of this world while thriving in the NEW NOW™? Check out our series featuring behind-the-scenes peeks of what drives their distinctive THERE•ness™!

Meet Spiro·naut Lisa O’Keefe, Director on our Partner Development team, and hear her take on the launch of Spiro, closing deals, seeing the world with “Harry Potter” & “Game of Thrones,” and a powerful thing called gratitude.

Coming to you from the Township of Washington, New Jersey, check out this glimpse into Lisa’s world—both in and outside of work.

What superpower do you bring to work?

I feel the one superpower that I have branches off into multiple subdivisions to create an overall superpower. So here it is: I am an extraordinary read of people, and this read/feeling has guided me to follow my gut throughout my career and my life. I have used this “power” extensively to successfully build relationships on both a personal and professional level.

I pride myself on attention to detail. I thrive with challenges. I am a fierce negotiator and I close! The word NO is not an option as my determination will find a way to turn a NO into a YES (most of the time).

How do you refine and sharpen your skills?

My years of sales experience over decades of changing environments and marketplaces have kept me on my toes, my senses sharp, and my mind open and flexible.

My strong work ethic is unwavering, and my dedication, loyalty, and willingness to learn keep my skills sharp as I continuously strive for success for myself and our team.

What excites you about your work and our industry?

My sales role has morphed over the last few years. A primary focus of my efforts used to be more specific to physical properties like branded touring exhibitions, and now I’m selling the exceptionally broad and diverse services that Spiro™ provides.

I am proud to introduce Spiro to the marketplace, deliver our messaging, show examples of our work, and participate in innovating new and inspiring ways to deliver activations that meet the client’s vision.

Being proud of who I am associated with and who I represent shines through in my sales outreach. I admire our new leadership and the direction of the company and the brand. Our industry is exciting! Events and experiences on all platforms are where it’s at—and we are THERE. 

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or place you’ve visited?

I don’t know how cool they are, but here are a few that are memorable to me:

I had breakfast at the Plaza Hotel in NYC with Astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, and I worked closely with him on an exhibition about SPACE.  

For the first half of my career, I worked as the Director of Olympic Sales and Marketing for the United States Olympic Committee. I attended many Olympic Games, from the ’94 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway to the ’04 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. 

Working for Spiro, I continued to travel the world as the Sales Lead for our touring exhibitions division for projects such as “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” and “Game of Thrones Exhibition.” I traveled to China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

One would say I have seen the world, and I have Spiro to thank for that!

What makes Spiro stand out from other agencies?

Spiro’s dedication and commitment to serving their clients never wavered during the more uncertain times of the world. We asked ourselves the questions, the most important being: “How can we better serve and assist our clients during these difficult times and ensure they come out stronger?”

Spiro delivered on their commitment. We not only expanded our services by bringing on an extraordinary talent of additional in-house designers, producers, strategists, and marketers, but we also added new areas of business which include digital content creation, data and analytics, and integrated marketing campaigns.

We continue to be forward thinkers, delivering innovative and inspiring events and experiences across all mediums, on all levels. At the end of the day, it’s ARL™—All Real Life. Wherever you are, your experience can be, and Spiro will be THERE.   

Even though Spiro now has its own new identity, our “own lane” per se, we are still a part of the GES Collective, which provides us with the deep resources and financial stability of its 95-year history. Many of our partnerships, both B2B and B2C, are long-term relationships with decades of success. We have the proven track record. 

What’s an interesting fact that people may be surprised to learn about you?

In 2010, I almost went blind with an eye disease called Keratoconus. I am thankful for science and technology because I was able to receive corneal transplants in both eyes. I can see again! It was truly a miracle, and I am grateful. I don’t take any of my senses for granted. 

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I love to cook—I find it therapeutic! 😊 My grandparents were from Italy (Milan and Sicily), and I learned from my maternal grandmother’s northern Italy cooking.

Her recipes were a pinch here, a pinch there, so I do a lot of pinches. I could never replicate my grandma’s cooking, but my mom and dad say it’s close. Cooking must skip a generation in my family because my mom, a nurse for over 50 years, does not cook at all!

I love to be with my family. I go to NYC a lot and hang with my maltipoo, Lily!


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