Lisa Christy, Executive Director

A photo of Lisa Christy, Executive Director of Portland Japanese Garden

Lisa Christy is a specialist in understanding audiences and how best to communicate with them. Christy, who ascended to the role of Executive Director of Portland Japanese Garden in 2024, previously served as the Chief External Affairs Office at Portland Japanese Garden, overseeing Membership, Marketing, Communications, and Community Relations. Christy came to the Garden in 2014 as Director of Marketing and Communications at an auspicious time in its history: the organization was about to embark on an historic expansion led by world-renowned architect, Kengo Kuma.

During her tenure at the Garden, Lisa Christy grew the department seven times over, oversaw a comprehensive rebranding for the Garden, and directed the Garden’s expansion communications plan that yielded national & international press. She has expanded the organization’s community access programs for underserved populations, established a comprehensive digital strategy, and has driven record-setting admission for the Garden year over year – even during construction.

Prior to working for Portland Japanese Garden, Christy worked at premiere advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy for nine years where she helped guide award winning advertising campaigns such as Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and Proctor & Gamble’s “Thank you, Mom” Olympic campaign, in addition to Starbucks, Sony, and Travel Oregon. Christy also worked at OLSON advertising agency in Minneapolis, MN and Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City, MO.

As the daughter of professors in education and advertising, Christy believes passionately in giving back to the industry through education. In addition to her agency work, she was a full-time instructor at the University of Tennessee where she was awarded Lecturer of the Year. She has also consulted and guest lectured on marketing, communications, and media strategy for universities and professional groups throughout the United States. Christy holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Middle Tennessee State University and a master’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University. She currently lives in Portland with her husband and son who loves baseball.