Lisa Berry began her professional journey at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, with a minor in computer science, in 1985. Subsequently, she achieved a Master of Arts in counseling psychology from the Adler Graduate School in 1989 and went on to complete a program at the Colin Powell Professional Development Academy and obtained a certificate in permanency and adoption from the University of Minnesota. For the first seven years of her career, she was a therapist in a child and adolescent mental health psychiatric unit and residential treatment center. Ms. Berry then established Foundation Building Blocks, which she operated for three years.
Transitioning into public service, Ms. Berry joined the Greater Minneapolis Day Care Center as a program manager before moving on to become a supervisor for Hennepin County’s child protection system, a role she held for 21 years. Today, she brings her expertise in child welfare to her position as program manager for Hennepin County, overseeing placement supervisors and social workers, identifying relatives of children in out-of-home placements, ensuring that children maintain access to child services once they leave the system, and managing both parental reunification and termination of parental rights. As she looks toward the future, Ms. Berry hopes to continue in her role with Hennepin County, increasing the excellence and integrity of the services they provide to children and families.
Inspired by her family’s military background, Ms. Berry was greatly influenced by her father, a chief master sergeant of the U.S. Air Force, and her godmother, who was a U.S. ambassador to Kenya and Lyon, France. She also credits much of her success to her faith and notably became an ordained minister in 2005. For her excellence, she was presented with the Rudolf Dreikurs Outstanding Alumni Award from the Adler Graduate School in 1992 for her services to the community through Foundation Building Blocks, which encompassed trauma prevention and childcare services. Above everything, Ms. Berry considers the most gratifying aspect of her career to be her decades of achievements in the field of child welfare.