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The Age of Lisa

For many years my good friend Lisa was a creative and visionary teacher and school administrator. Then, when she hit her mid-40s, the school where she works gave her a big promotion. Suddenly she was in charge of the whole operation.

“Well,” she noted with a strange combination of humility and pride, “the Lisas are really coming into their own these days.”

And, in fact, she seemed to have stumbled onto something weird and true. In the 1960s, “Lisa” was by far the most popular name for baby girls. There were 496,957 Lisas born in the United States in that decade, according to the Social Security Administration, which keeps track of such things. (In the 21st century? Naming your baby Lisa is a relatively rare choice.)

These days, all those Lisas are in their peak years for employment. Unlike the Marys, Dorothys and Bettys who came before them, the Lisas came of age when it wasn’t impossible for women to rise to the top of their professions. And, indeed, many of them have. In New Hampshire, they are businesswomen, legislators, artists and even, alas, a notorious criminal. (You haven’t forgotten about child pornographer Lisa Biron, have you, readers? We’ll spare you the sordid details here.)

Need some proof that the Lisas are everywhere? Consider this list of 25 Lisas who run New Hampshire. And if we’ve left off a VIP Lisa, let us know about it at letters@cmonitor.com.

Lisa Guertin, president, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire

Lisa Merrill-Burzak, vice president of development, New Hampshire Catholic Charities

Lisa Braiterman, CFO, Brewster Academy (formerly business administrator for Hillsboro-Deering schools.)

Lisa Dennison, executive director, New Hampshire SPCA, Stratham

Lisa Kaplan Howe, policy director, New Hampshire Voices for Health

Lisa Smith Dean, development coordinator, New Hampshire Food Bank

State Rep. Lisa Whittemore of Londonderry

State Rep. Lisa Dimartino of Laconia

Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Lisa Drescher

Lisa Shapiro, chief economist, Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell

Lisa Gardner, crime novelist

Lisa MacFarlane, provost University of New Hampshire

Lisa Muskat, film producer

Lisa Densmore, outdoors writer and photographer. Author of Best Hikes with Dogs: New Hampshire & Vermont

Lisa Wilber, Avon Products saleswoman extraordinaire.

Lisa DeStefano, founder of DeStefano Architects

Lisa Rogak, biographer of Shel Silverstein, Dan Brown, Stephen King and Stephen Colbert

Lisa Guyer, vocalist for the band Mama Kicks

Lisa Van Orden, Ms. New Hampshire United States 2013

Lisa Sieverts, contra dance caller

Lisa Wangsness, ace Boston Globe reporter

Lisa Punderson, New Hampshire Veterans Home volunteer coordinator

Lisa Campbell, Salisbury town clerk

Lisa Drouin Goff, owner of the Turning Pointe Center of Dance in Pembroke

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Wolford

Actually, it is an affirming account of how we have made progress in the struggle for gender equality. Still a long ways to go, but taking time to celebrate what has been accomplished is a great idea.

Wow, wow. What a hard-hitting news story. Why not do another fluff piece on all of the Jessicas, Jennifers, Tiffanys out there while you're at it ?


Or Buffy?

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