Mom makes family time, others' needs her top priorities
Last updated 4/8/2020 at 4:29pm | View PDF
This week the Rombergers were expecting to be sharing stories about their spring trip to Rome with friends, coworkers and Hinsdale neighbors.
The trip, of course, didn't happen, thanks to COVID-19. And there hasn't been much sharing of anything with anyone due to shelter in place restrictions.
But Lisa Romberger said her passion for promoting community mindedness has not been confined. Last week, she and her family created and displayed more than 100 luminaria on their block as a show of support for health care workers. And this past weekend she hosted a video conference cocktail party for the neighborhood.
"It's such a tough situation right now, and I just hope that people appreciate each other," Romberger said. "My community is so important and I love helping others."
A star gymnast growing up, she spent time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs before accepting an athletic scholarship to Cal State Fullerton. She earned high marks for discipline and commitment, but the individualized nature of the sport left her hungry for deeper fellowship.
"I definitely had to learn the importance of connecting people together," commented Romberger, who leaned dynamically into that task working for Nordstrom for 21 years. "When you're working as a team, you find people work a lot harder when they're enjoying it."
Losing her mother in a car accident in 2006 took away one of her biggest influences and rearranged her priorities.
"She was huge role model for me and who I am and what I am today reflects much of what I learned from watching her raise us a single working mom," Romberger said. "I left the company at that time to become a stay-at-home mom or what I like to call a 'professional volunteer.' "
That volunteerism extended outside the home, especially with the Monroe School and Clarendon Hills Middle School PTOs. She served terms as president for both and said being able to bring about improvements for students was rewarding.
"My favorite project was having students present to the PTO board enhancements that they thought important to the school, which ultimately resulted in us purchasing new flexible seating for every classroom that wanted them," Romberger related.
As for family, she said her household has made a point of doing at least one activity a month since last year, whether coming together for a service project or a board game night. That gives her and her husband a regular touch point to instill the core values they hold dear: resiliency, critical thinking and empathy,
"I think if they can conquer those three attributes, they will be pretty successful in life," she said.
Romberger tries to keep an eye on the positives amidst the onslaught of despair.
"I just hope people come out if it with a renewed respect for family and each other," she said. "I'm ready to see our friends again."