A lifelong love of art and the Walla Walla Valley has kept native Lisa Anderson, 34, at work with her mind on this community at all times.
She runs Walla Walla Foundry and Foundry Vineyards together with her brother, Jay.
Their parents, Mark and Patty, opened Walla Walla Foundry in 1980.
Foundry Vineyards followed 18 years later.
“This is a family business, driven by the creativity that was instilled in my brother and I from a young age,” Lisa Anderson said. “Our parents have always valued giving back to our community, and we fervently practice this in our business as often as we can.”
When not busy with the high-level management of Foundry tasting rooms in Walla Walla and Seattle — not to mention future planning for improvements, events, and wine releases — Lisa Anderson is organizing charitable fundraisers, food drives, clothing drives, shoe drives and blood drives, as well as art shows and concerts.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Anderson has sewn about 100 masks for family, friends, work and for Providence St. Mary Medical Center.
She also volunteers to serve on the Walla Walla Valley Wine marketing committee and the Whitman College Art Advisory Committee, and she’s a member of the Walla Walla Art Club (est. 1898).
Oh yeah, and she’s director of the Anderson Foundation for the Arts.
“Our goals are essentially to always look to the future and innovate, to give back to our community and also to the planet,” she said. “We take this seriously and see it as our duty as a small business in a small town.”
Since returning home six year ago, after a decade abroad — in Paris, she studied art history, and then in San Francisco, she earned a master’s degree in business and arts management — Anderson has savored her time in the family winery.
But Nov. 13, 2019, her father died.
“He was my mentor, business partner and the one person who inspired me to be my best self,” she said. “It has been difficult to see the business, and its future, without the founder of our company … to ask the questions about where we are going, and to also honor him in the process.
“I am not sure this has been overcome, but I believe we are doing our best to honor his legacy.”
It hasn’t helped that business was already starting to really take off around the time Mark died.
“Foundry Vineyards has been growing at a quick pace the last few years, which is amazing, but it is sometimes hard to know where to expand to accommodate the growth and demand — and when to just dig our heels in,” she said.
That’s why the family has trust in their work staff.
“We have the best team,” Anderson said. “Two of our employees were wine club members before being part of our team, which is how we met. Katie Pekar and Anna Forge have been a burst of energy and creativity to Foundry Vineyards.
“My brother and I appreciate their drive to see our business succeed, and they make us stronger for it.”
In the meantime, Anderson looks to continue following her passions.
“Two things that make my job at the winery the best job: first is the community participation that we are involved in (blood drives, fundraisers, art shows and concerts),” she said. “And second is the wine ‘research/homework’ that is necessary (also known as drinking wine).
“At the Walla Walla Foundry, the best part is being surrounded by remarkable problem solvers, craftspeople and artists,” she added. “It is personally fulfilling and inspiring to be able to experience art from around the world, and I am always amazed that it is produced in Walla Walla.”
As for the future, she says, “My goals for both (Walla Walla Foundry and Foundry Vineyards) are to continue to produce a product that is the best it can be, and to share it with the community and far beyond.”