A Conversation With…Lisa Luke, Axalta Coating Systems

Hear how Lisa is “supporting” the coating industry through her local auto body shop.

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For any motor sport fan, Lisa Luke has one of the best jobs around. As the head of corporate affairs for Axalta Coating Systems-North America, she oversees the partnership with NASCAR superstar driver Jeff Gordon. She is also a new mom and the wife of former NFL player Triandos Luke.

PF: So what does your role as head of corporate affairs for Axalta Coating Systems-North America entail?

LL: On a high level, corporate affairs generates awareness by promoting the organization internally and externally. We focus on developing relevant content and pertinent partnerships to help strategically position Axalta. Our team utilizes public relations efforts to promote the brand, products and inform the public of our community involvement that includes establishing and managing philanthropic activities, as we believe in giving back to the communities in which we work and live.

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Lisa Luke, Axalta Coating Systems

PF: We’ve seen Axalta leverage its relationship with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon extensively. How has it been working him as a spokesman?

LL: Jeff is a great ambassador for Axalta. We couldn’t ask for a better partner. He’s excellent at what he does and is well respected. He not only understands our goals and objectives, but he supports them, and that comes through when he represents or speaks about Axalta.

PF: You won the Miss Black USA pageant, shortly after you earned your master’s degree in international affairs/communication and development. How did that experience shape you?

LL: It helped give me the platform to speak on a variety of issues that were important to me, and it helped make me tougher. Early on, I was a little naïve thinking everyone would be supportive. However, as I went on TV talk shows and made appearances, I realized that not everyone was going to be warm and fuzzy if you were speaking about more than just world peace. In life, there is going to be opposition. Needless to say, I learned to thrive in the face of adversity.

PF: You are married to former Denver Broncos receiver Triandos Luke. How did you two meet?

LL: Triandos and my cousin Brandon played together at the University of Alabama before Brandon transferred to another school. They both happened to be drafted by the Denver Broncos and became good friends. I was visiting Brandon one weekend when Triandos called Brandon to hang out. He showed up, we locked eyes and after a haphazard “I’m not even trying to match-make introduction” by Brandon, we’ve been hanging out ever since. He’s an amazing human being. I am blessed.

PF: What’s the best piece of advice you were given?

LL: Like a lot of mothers, my mom put me in dance lessons at an early age. Apparently, I wasn’t entertaining enough in the beginning and those recitals were painful to watch. That needed to change. So one day Mom told me to “put a little extra in it.” And I’ve been doing just that every day since. If you want to excel, you’ve got to give it your all. You’ve got to put a little extra in it, more than the next person. Extra time, extra focus, extra energy, extra passion.

PF: If you had $100,000 to give to a charity, which one would it be?

LL: I would give it to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops the disease. The statistics are devastating and the affects it has on caregivers can be debilitating. The mind is such a marvel, it’s unfathomable to think of losing it.

PF: What was your first car, and what is your dream car?

LL: It was a gold, Chevrolet Celebrity mini station wagon. Now why make your 16-year-old daughter drive a mini station wagon? Only an overprotective father, who clearly didn’t want me joy riding would do that. It didn’t have air-conditioning and the radio had to be rigged. I think they had even stopped making it by the time I got it. So I went to work on my mom who empathized with her baby being too hot in the summertime, so I was quickly upgraded to a “newish” Toyota. I do love to support “Made in the U.S.A.,” as my current SUV is, but I can picture myself in that Maserati Ghibli. Actually, any Maserati.

 

About Lisa Luke

Family: Married; mother to bouncing toddler girl

Favorite hobby: Lifting weights

Favorite movie: “Coming to America” and the original “Ten Commandments,” Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner!

Favorite book: Left to Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza. It’s an amazing true story of survival and forgiveness.

What’s playing in your car CD/radio: “Fun” by Pitbull

Originally published in the September 2015 issue.

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