Maintenance issues for students living off-campus can be a huge frustration. For Lisa Shiner ’01, a plumbing headache turned out to be a blessing when Chris Marx ’02 came over one weekend to fix a bathroom water problem.Shiner’s roommate’s boyfriend made the call to Chris, who was working as a plumbing apprentice with a Twin City company at the time while completing a degree in construction management. “We felt an immediate attraction and decided to meet at Pub II later that night,” Lisa said of the encounter that was not likely to have happened in the classroom. She was a public relations major with minors in mass communications and business administration.
That first date occurred on March 18, 2001, which didn’t give the couple much time together before Lisa’s graduation later that year. But the two continued to date after commencement and became inseparable, even as they started their careers. They married November 1, 2008, on a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
After more than nine years together, both are happy to be living and working in Normal, not far from campus. Chris has added a plumber’s license to his degree and opened Redbird Plumbing in Normal, which he owns and operates. Lisa helps with marketing and advertising for the company. A licensed real estate broker, she also works as a marketing specialist with Farnsworth Group, which is a Normal architecture and engineering firm.
The fun they enjoyed at ISU as a college couple, they still enjoy as active alumni. “We have such a strong connection with the University,” Lisa said. She loves working with students as a guest speaker in communication classes. Chris supports Redbird baseball, and they both enjoy Homecoming events each fall. And with the Redbird name prominently displayed on every business van as part of the company’s name, it’s impossible to miss the pride these two have for their alma mater.