Director stepping down to spend more time with family

 U-M alum may also return to academia

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News
Efficient. Dedicated. Engaging. Skillful. Personable. Diplomatic.
Some would even say irreplaceable.
In a nutshell, that’s Lisa Stadig Elliot, the executive director of the Oakland County Bar Association who announced earlier this month that she will be retiring from the OCBA in January to spend more time with her young family.
The decision brings an end to her 13-year tenure as head of the OCBA, the largest county bar association in Michigan. She came to the OCBA in November 2000 after serving as director of development for Spectrum Human Services, quickly impressing those in the Oakland County legal community.
“She takes a huge job and makes it look easy,” says Mike Sullivan, a past president of the OCBA and an attorney with Collins Einhorn in Southfield.  
A native of New England, Elliot and her husband, Marc, have two elementary school age daughters, Elise and Alexandra. The opportunity to play an increasing role in their young lives was the “tipping point” in Elliot’s decision to retire.
“I love being a mom and I want to enjoy the chance to be as involved as possible with my kids,” says Elliot, who has been brewing on the decision to retire for the past 18 months. “It has been a very difficult decision because the bar association has become an extension of my family and I treasure the friendships that I’ve made here. Everyone here is family to me.”
Elliot earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. in 1991. She then set her sights on earning a master’s degree at the renowned Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. In retirement, Elliot says she may return to the U-M to pursue a master’s degree in public administration, fulfilling a longtime desire to return to the academic world.
The demands of her job – including the regular slate of meetings, programs, and after-hours events – has been particularly taxing at times, but Elliot says a “top-notch staff and a dedicated and talented board” has helped keep “my life on an even keel.” She also credits her husband for “doing a lot of the heavy lifting” in terms of caring for their children when work responsibilities called.
Patrick McCauley, a past president of the Oakland County Bar Foundation, is among those who have extolled the virtues of the retiring OCBA leader.
“Lisa has never simply been satisfied with the status quo for either the Bar Association or the Bar Foundation,” says McCauley, an attorney with Gasiorek Morgan in Farmington Hills. “She is constantly promoting both organizations and because of her enthusiasm and energy, she has been successfully able to multi-task on the numerous projects that both organizations present to her and which need her steady guiding hand.  
Elliot and her husband, a CPA and chief financial officer for Corrigan Moving Systems, make their home in Milford in a historic farmhouse they have renovated. Their work on the home has been a “labor of love” for the couple.
Finding a replacement for Elliot is now the task of a search committee. The goal is to select a new executive director before the end of the year, as Elliot’s last day of work will be Jan. 3.