Lisa Weik receives multiple awards for the years she dedicated to Washington County.
After her last public board meeting in December 2022, Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik waited at her Woodbury home for a package from Washington, D.C., that her staff member hand-delivered.
The parcel contained a three-point folded American flag and a letter certifying the accompanying flag flew over the United States Capitol at the request of Congresswoman Betty McCollum. The flag Weik held in her hands was flown in honor of her dedicated public service on the Washington County Board of Commissioners.
Weik and McCollum worked closely over the years. Still, the hand-delivered gift from a U.S. House Representative was “very unexpected, but incredibly meaningful and important to me,” says Weik. During her tenure, Weik made it a habit to see Washington County’s representatives when she visited Washington, D.C., yearly as a committee member for the National Association of Counties.
A project she is proud of is her work on the Metro Transit’s Gold Line, which officially broke ground in October 2022 and is expected to be completed by 2025. “We would send groups of Gold Line officials, mayors and Ramsey County officials to Washington, D.C., just for Gold Line,” Weik says about laying the groundwork early and preparing for a formal submission to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) asking for federal funds to pay for half of the capital cost of the $505 million project.
Only three weeks after the flag arrived, the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce recognized Weik’s achievements and contribution to the community by awarding her the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.
As a chamber member and gracious award recipient, Weik compliments the Woodbury business community. “My hat’s off to the leadership of the chamber,” says Weik of the opportunities small business owners have to get to know each other. During Good Morning Woodbury meetings, Weik listens to what other chamber members say.
When it’s her turn to introduce herself and announce her “one ask” during the early morning meetings, “I always ask for the same thing—for people to apply and serve on the different citizen advisory boards with the county,” she says. Volunteer opportunities exist for residents, consumers and business owners to make suggestions that are presented to the board.
Building relationships face-to-face is how Weik was elected five times as a Washington County Commissioner. “Door knocking has been the hallmark of my time in office,” she says. Even the year she ran unopposed, she went to every address, including apartments and a senior living campus. “I would either drop off cards at the front desk or ask if I could offer resident discussions,” she says.
Woodbury constituents are savvy and often asked, “Why are you confident that you can do this?” “I changed one letter,” she reassured them, referring to her pre-commissioner work with the Food and Drug Administration, transitioning to working with the FTA for Gold Line.
Before becoming an elected commissioner, Weik worked as a senior compliance specialist for Medtronic. “If I can work on class three, life-sustaining, life-supporting medical devices that are implanted, then I can do federal infrastructure,” she says. A heart valve is much smaller than a bridge or a transitway corridor but goes through the same design, engineering and scope of work. “An environmental impact statement equates to a clinical trial. It’s the same regulatory pathway,” she says.
Transitioning from 14 years as a public official to full retirement will take time. You can hear the enthusiasm in Weik’s voice, demonstrating how much she cares about the community. Hobbies are on the back burner for now as she and her husband work on downsizing their 25-year-old Woodbury home.
“We’re going to [share] our time between Minnesota and somewhere warmer,” she says, not sure where that somewhere will be just yet. She’s intrigued by the latest innovations in modern camper vans but isn’t sure if their next home will have wheels or stay grounded.
In the meantime, Weik regularly volunteers for the Woodbury Lions Club, collecting donated eyeglasses from drop-off locations. She coordinates her pickups with trips to the recycling center and thrift stores as she clears items from home. Her work to preserve the environment comes full circle.
Weik collects an average of 200 glasses each month. She takes any glasses that can’t be repurposed to recycling centers, where trash is processed and used to create energy. The recycling program and creating renewable energy are projects that Weik is well known for as a commissioner. She was a delegate on the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Board, along with over 20 other appointments she held during her tenure.
“My week has a schedule based on hours for the different destinations,” she says. From donating household items and furniture to Basic Needs Thrift Shop in Cottage Grove to dropping off paint and scrap at the Environmental Center in Woodbury with Lion’s Club pickups in between. The programs Weik championed as a county commissioner are helping her stay connected to the community and sustainably slide into retirement.