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Lisa Marie Cheney gives her time and resources to the Alexandria community

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Lisa Marie Cheney starts every day in prayer and thanks. Adopted when she was 4 days old and raised by single mother Kathryn McKeown, Cheney gives back to the community for all she has been given.

“I have been given so many opportunities that didn’t have to come my way, especially by a mom who (could have chosen abortion), but gave me up for adoption,” she said.

This past fall she received the Catholic Businessperson of the Year Award from the Catholic Business Network of Northern Virginia.

“I assess what my gifts are and try to share my God-given gifts with others,” Cheney said. “I am people-oriented and care for the community.”

Cheney, a parishioner of St. Mary Church in Alexandria, puts her gifts to use in many ways. She serves on the board of governors, crew team board and drama boosters at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, and serves on the board of the Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre, where she has produced a number of shows and musicals. Cheney attended St. Rita School and St. Mary’s Academy, both in Alexandria.

Giving back is something Cheney instills in her children, Matthew, 17, Kayla, 15, and Elizabeth, 11. For birthdays and Christmases, Cheney said her children have asked for donations to others in lieu of presents for themselves. When Matthew was 11 and having a joint birthday party with friends, they collected 30 carloads of groceries for Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria.

Lisa Marie, Matthew and Kayla, will travel to Africa this summer to build a dormitory for girls as part of a trip with Commissioned by Christ, a nonprofit mission of the Arlington Diocese that provides Catholics the opportunity to serve on short-term mission trips to serve the poor.

Cheney encouraged her children to take up a school supply collection at Ireton this semester to bring supplies for the needy in Africa.

“I was in Africa for work several years ago and saw the harsh conditions,” she said. “It moved me and I told my kids about it.”   

Cheney said her husband, David, told her she needs to learn to say no. “If someone is reaching out and asking, then maybe at this moment this is what I’m called to do,” she said.

She recently spent six months working on the National Security Council landing team for President Donald Trump’s transition to help put the right people in place. To do this, she took time off from her job as a consultant with Innovative Business Group, helping businesses develop national security work within the government.

“The bigger part of my job is working with admirals and generals on the Iron Bridge Project,” she said. The project aims to change the face of the Middle East by bringing stability to that region of the world and curtailing ISIS by developing jobs and infrastructure. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017