Great Teachers, Sports, and Community
“MAC is one of the best decisions we ever made,” said Lisa (Aubuchon) and Scott Hammack. “It is a great honor to be an alumni.”
Basketball brought Lisa to MAC. “In 1983-85, there weren’t the regional sports teams like we have today. We didn’t really know kids from other schools, we only competed against them. So, MAC created a great experience to make friends with kids from all over the region,” she explains. “Our team was MAC’s first women’s basketball team to win the Midwest Junior College Athletic Conference Championship. In fact, we were the first MAC team to have a winning record at 31-7! I had great teammates—Becky Berry, Melissa Ermisch, Lisa Waller, Kathi Savage, Dora Mitchell, Lisa (McClaskey) Callahan, and her sister Lori McClaskey.” Lisa, originally from Bonne Terre, earned all-conference basketball honors, graduated with honors, and earned a full-ride academic scholarship to Southwest Missouri State University where she earned her BS in Marketing and Management.
Although Lisa has great memories of playing basketball at MAC, the start wasn’t exactly smooth. “Back when I played, we didn’t have local teams, like there are today, that played in off-season. So, we only knew each other as rivals on the court during the season . . . and, there wasn’t a lot of love lost,” recalls Lisa. “For the first few weeks of practice, no one really spoke to me because they all thought I was mean because I would always be smiling and laughing during our games in high school. Luckily for me, after the first few weeks of practice, my teammates realized I wasn’t laughing to make fun of them, but I was just a bit silly and just liked to smile and laugh and have fun.”
Lisa recalls a “life lesson” that really impacted her. “During my freshman year, I was shocked when we forfeited in the middle of the game!” She explains, “Coach Bradley was very unhappy with how the game was being officiated. After challenging a call, the officials issued a technical on Coach. He called time out and referred to the rulebook about the ‘incorrectness’ of the call. When the officials refused to look at the rule book, Coach became concerned the game would get out of hand, so the team walked off the court without finishing the game. I remember being upset. But, it taught me how important it is to have conviction about what is right and standing by your team. It proved to be a good lesson for me as a manager and coach regarding how I supervise the people who report to me.”
“Another great memory was a time Coach lost a bet to the team and had to wear a tuxedo to the game. We loved making bets with him and it really drove us to do our best. That and the fact that we had the opportunity to make history by becoming the first winning women’s basketball team at MAC,” she continues. “We had many interesting experiences on our bus trips back in the day. We had a really, really old van we took to away games. Coach Bradley drove and the van had a tendency to break down on a regular basis. (Budgets for women’s sports were pretty slim back then.) Because Coach Bradley had experienced previous heart issues, we all worried that the stress of the old van might make him more stressed out than dealing with the officials! :) Our team had such varied tastes in music, and we made compromises around what music we listened to. Half was really into rap music, and the other half loved rock ‘n roll. The whole team knew I loved to sing but couldn’t sing my way out of a bucket. So, they often let me lead the chorus just so they could get a good laugh at how bad it was.”
Lisa also appreciated the excellent foundation she received by being able to take a lot of her core classes at MAC before transferring to Southwest Missouri State University. “At the time, I’m not sure I appreciated the caliber of professors we had. But, as I look back, I am grateful for the transition that MAC provided me and how helpful all my professors were.”
Currently, Lisa is head of Go To Market Enablement at Airtable, a SAAS software company that specializes in providing companies with a connected apps platform giving teams the ability to build their own applications. Her global responsibilities include working with sales and customer support teams to assist them as they assist clients to achieve the business outcomes they are looking for from the product.
Scott, originally from Desloge, still values the flexibility MAC offered. Because he was able to attend college while continuing to work, he could pay his way through school and minimize his post-college debt. After his 1984 graduation, he transferred to Southeast Missouri State and earned his BS in Business Administration. Scott’s very successful career earned him recognition as a top performer in the companies where he worked. Then, he launched his own financial advisory firm, Hammack Advisory Group, LLC, serving business owners, executives, and high-net-worth individuals and families.
Lisa and Scott Hammack
He recalls Dr. Jim Chambers as a great economics teacher, “He had a unique teaching style and influenced how I viewed business. He motivated me to become an entrepreneur. I’ve always had a passion for investing and saving for my future. In fact, I purchased my first stock when I was 17 years old. I spent the first 25 years of my career in corporate jobs in sales and executive leadership roles where I was responsible for multi-million dollar budgets. This inspired my desire to take that knowledge and start a business where I could help others plan for their retirement and long-term investing goals. I feel my experience in business and management gives me a unique skill set so I can take the extra time to educate my clients while building long-lasting relationships with them.” Learn more about Scott’s business at www.hammackadvisorygroup.com.
Lisa says, “We have two daughters, Allie and Abbey, who completed many of their foundational courses through MAC’s dual credit program and attending summer classes. Thanks to MAC’s excellent partnership with the university system, all their credits transferred to Southeast Missouri State University where they graduated with bachelor’s degrees. Both girls enjoyed participating in numerous MAC activities in their youth including College for Kids, participating in the first all-children’s play in the theater department, and attending various sports camps.”
Community is important to the Hammacks. Scott says, “Over the years we’ve learned how important it is to give back and help our local community. Currently, I serve on the board of the National Children’s Cancer Society, headquartered in St. Louis, which is near and dear to my heart. One of our daughters lost one of her best friends to cancer at the age of 15. We have made it our mission to help others going through similar circumstances. Also, I am honored to serve on the Mineral Area College Foundation Board because I know how important MAC is to our local community. We support MAC’s mission to give students in our region a chance for an education, especially those who may not get to attend college without MAC being here.” Lisa and Scott are also members of the MAC Booster Club and love seeing how MAC has been able to expand the number of sports teams in the past few years, although basketball is still their favorite MAC sport.