Lisa Swardenski Donner
“Success isn’t owned, it’s leased.
And rent is due every day.” – J. J. Watt
For Lisa Donner, life is about building relationships. She takes the time to work with her clients and be a trusted partner that listens in order to find the right fit. Beyond the traditional duties expected of an agent, Lisa enjoys being there for it all. She finds great satisfaction in helping customers prepare a home to sell and/or get them settled into a new one. Lisa began her career in real estate at Toles, Temple & Wright, Inc. in 2016.
Though Lisa was born in Pittsburgh, she grew up in Peoria, Ill., where her father ran their family-owned appliance distributorship. As a little girl she recalls playing with cousins while visiting her grandparents nearby in their Prairie-style 1903 residence – the Francis W. Little House – designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This, among other things, helped her grow a strong appreciation for fine architecture later in life.
Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications from Indiana University, where she also minored in sociology and Spanish. She then worked in different marketing and sales positions, first receiving a glimpse into the world of real estate as part of the support staff of The Knell Group in Peoria. It was there that colleague, mentor and local powerhouse Mary Ann Knell took her under her wing. Though she did not know it at the time, that experience served to help further cement her future as a REALTOR in the Peach State.
Lisa relocated to Rome the first time in 1996 and worked for two years until the birth of her son, at which point she chose to be a stay-at-home mom. This decision was very important to her as it was something that her own mom had done for their family. She was always grateful for that, as above all, she believes that being a parent is the most important job that someone with children can have.
After being in the South for a few years, the Midwestern transplant felt a pull to raise her children closer to their grandparents and extended family back in Peoria. Her professional background brought an opportunity to work in marketing for the local franchise of Northwestern Mutual, where she quickly became an award-winning associate. While away, she continued to maintain her bonds back in Rome with a strong network of friends.
Those five years in Central Illinois were opportunities for growth and self-reflection that made Lisa really appreciate the quality of life in Rome – a small, vibrant town that was still in close proximity to big cities. So when the opportunity came up to come back, Lisa jumped – and landed as the treatment coordinator for Vargo Orthodontics. She reconnected with old friends and made new ones as she got resettled.
She had already toyed with the idea of selling real estate in Rome before returning to Peoria, and the interest never really left. Acting on that long-time passion for the industry, Lisa switched fields and joined the TTW family as a full-time licensed agent. She had truly found her calling.
Having lived in Rome now for a total of almost two decades, she is proud to call it her home. Lisa finds great value to be put on a town with such charm and history, and considers it a real gem.
According to Lisa, her greatest gift is her family and the time they get to spend together. She is married to Dr. Josh Donner, a pediatric cardiologist at Harbin Clinic. Lisa has two children, Carson and Leigh; as well as Elijah, Grace, Emmanuel, Ezra and Zeke, who she lovingly refers to as her five “bonus children.”
Lisa is passionate about causes in her adopted hometown community and in particular, preventing child abuse through education. In her spare time outside of her volunteer work, she enjoys being outside, listening to live music, working out and staying active.