Anyone who meets Lisa Mutchler can see that she is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is she a dynamic and energetic businesswoman, but she also exudes humility and kindness. Mutchler has worked in state government for more than 31 years, 16 of those at Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
After working as a Business Manager, Mutchler began to run TEEX’s Economic and Workforce Development Program. Working with this program, she travels around Texas, establishing business relationships and offering training and technical assistance to communities. She explains how growing up on a rural South Texas farm and ranch helps her identify with clients and build relationships. She explains, “I really care about rural Texas because I came from rural Texas. I love going out and speaking to communities and elected officials about the importance of economic development and strategic planning, especially as Texas continues to grow.” This year, Mutchler also began directing TEEX’s Cyber Readiness Center, which offers training, tabletop exercises and assessments all over the world.
In all of her positions, Mutchler focuses on forging strong relationships, connecting people throughout the state of Texas and helping to solve community problems. Mutchler’s passion for this work is apparent. She says, “I pride myself in having strong relationships across Texas at the city, county, regional and state level. I am very protective of my relationships and my customers.”
To become such an influential figure within TEEX’s organization, Mutchler has been persistent, adaptable and optimistic, never backing down from a challenge. One remarkable thing about her is that she refuses to frame things in the negative. When asked about obstacles she has faced, she says, “Obstacles may come up in business and life, but we have to turn them into opportunities. If there is something you don’t know how to do, you figure it out, or you find the resources and you learn.”
As a woman breaking the glass ceiling in business development, Mutchler describes the changes she has seen during her career at TEEX. She says, “When I started in 2006, TEEX’s senior leadership was comprised of all men, and there were only a handful of women in management roles. However, within two years, TEEX hired the first woman in senior leadership. It was encouraging to see that women had a seat at the table. I’m excited that we now have a Chief Diversity Officer, and I’m looking forward to seeing TEEX continue its quest for diversification on all fronts.”
Mutchler attributes much of her success to having strong mentors, including her first mentors, her parents. She, in turn, has impacted many other women, including her daughters, one of whom is finishing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, the other of whom is an Agricultural and Natural Resource Extension Agent. Stephanie Mazurkiewicz, Mutchler’s former student in the Basic Economic Development Course, says, “Lisa Mutchler is an incredible inspiration to all women in the workplace. Lisa’s personality radiates positive energy, creating a robust learning environment for all of her students. As a leader in Economic Development, Lisa is a spectacular asset to the industry and a remarkable role model for all women in the workplace.”
When asked what advice she would give to other women in business, Mutchler says, “Seek out those mentors, whether they’re formal or informal, and tap into their knowledge base. Find ways to emulate other successful women in leadership. Always stretch yourself and stay out of your comfort zone. Don’t ever stop trying to become better.”
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Vita Vaughn | Director of Marketing and Communications/CMO