Lisa Monpere-Cruz

Published April 3, 2020

Each month, we'll introduce you to an interesting member of the Professional Staff Senate. This month's featured member is Lisa Monpere-Cruz, staff assistant in the Graduate School of Education.

How long have you worked at UB?


I started working at UB on Valentine’s Day, 1986, as an undergrad work-study student, and then became a UUP professional in September 1989.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I have worked in many roles here at UB and what I enjoy most are the people I have worked with who have become great friends. The people you connect with really make UB great.

What would you say is your biggest achievement at UB?

There are two things that I am proud of that I have accomplished here at UB. The first was editing, designing and laying out two published books. The second was creating a completely online process for the faculty dossiers, department scheduling, and itineraries for candidate visits.

Tell us something about your department that isn’t well known.

Since I have been in my current department for less than two 2 months, I will use my previous department that I worked in for nearly seven years to answer this question.Something that many people don’t know about the ladies in my previous department, Learning and Instruction (LAI), is that many of the ladies have some hidden talents –singers, poets, dancers, and painters.

If you were to share some advice for other professional staff, what would it be?

To be true to yourself and inspire greatness in others. We allhave greatness within us that needs to be nurtured and encouraged.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you do for fun?

My husband and I love to fish, travel, and compete internationally with our professional show car –a 2005 Saturn Ion Redline Supercharged.Our car is outrageously over-the-top and is essentially a rolling entertainment center.The car was designed and built on Grand Island at a small mom and pop shop back in 2005 in 45 days by five friends, which is quite an impressive feat. It was commissioned by GM to launch their new 2005 Redline Supercharged model of the Saturn Ion at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.It won the best GM Sport Compact Design award.Also, the car has taken on a life of its own and even attracted the attention of some movie producers and even Universal Studios.We missed being in the “Ninja Turtles” movie by a few months when they filmed it here in Buffalo.We have been in negotiations with Universal Studios to bring the car down to Florida to display with the Minions since we have an elaborate Minion theme for the car. We have traveled all over the United States and Canada competing with people like Chip Foose from Overhauling. We have one of the very few professional show cars that is driven on the road, as well as allowing kidsto sit in the car and experience it.It has been featured on the cover of two magazines as well as in two music videos –one of which my husband and I sponsored and helped produce in 2013. We started competing at the international level in the International Show Car Association (ISCA) in March of 2015, and in April of 2017 and April 2018, we made it all the way to the Grand Championship and became the fifth ranked custom car in North America.About 15,000 people compete throughout the year and only 18-27 make it to the Grand Championship Finals.We were also the first tuner car in

the 53-year ISCA history to make finals. Here is an 8-min interview and walk around the car:

Do you have a favorite meal you like to prepare?

A porterhouse steak cooked medium with twice-baked potatoes and my late mom’s veggie casserole.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?


Any other fun facts about you?

I used to be a demolition and construction worker, a carpet cleaner, a model, and an internationally published poet.I also run three companies out of my home in addition to working full-time at UB –a Financial Services business (I hold three professional investment licenses: a life insurance license, a long-term care license, a debt consolidation certification, and home and auto certification), an executive pen company, and a gift basket company.