story by Michele Toberer Anna Jae Griffin goes by AJae, and the Mississippi native has been a cowgirl for a lifetime, and a Southeastern Professional […]
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Meet the Member Lisa Bearden
story by Michele Toberer
Lisa Bearden is a secretary extraordinaire and the Southeastern Professional Rodeo Association couldn’t be happier to have her. She started working as a secretary for SPRA rodeos in 2011 and has been the SPRA Finals secretary every year since her first one in 2012. She began her involvement in the rodeo secretary position about 12 years ago, after she and her husband, James Bearden were married. “James works as a judge at the rodeos, and instead of sitting and watching, I started timing. Timing turned into working as a secretary, and now most weekends you’ll find us at a rodeo together, doing what we love.” Besides James and Lisa, you will often also see them at rodeos surrounded by many of their family members that are competing, as well as the rodeo family they have become a big part of.
The blended Bearden family consists of Lisa, James and Lisa’s two sons, Trey Moore 26, and Cole Moore, 24, as well as James’ two daughters, Cristi Turner, 35, and Laci Bellew, 30. Trey and Cole both competed in rodeo as they grew up, and Trey still competes as a bareback rider, recently winning the PRCA Southeastern Circuit in Davie, Florida after winning all three rounds and the average. Trey has also won the SPRA Bareback Champion title 6 times, most recently in 2018 and 2019. Trey’s wife, Chelsea, and Laci and Cristi, all compete as barrel racers in the association, so most of the Bearden’s family functions revolve around rodeo schedules, or are at them, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lisa grew up in Summerville, Georgia and loved to ride horses on the trail, but never competed in rodeo. She played softball and may have gained her team spirit from those days. “I love all the contestants in the SPRA and have become the mom of the association. A lot of the younger contestants refer to me as mom, and many of them grew up competing with my kids so they’ve known me for a long time. I enjoy getting to see them all every weekend.”
By day, Lisa is an insurance coordinator for Designer Smiles by Benton in Anniston, Alabama, where she has worked for two years. James has worked at Honeywell Aerospace in Oxford, Alabama for over 30 years. The couple lives in Ohatchee, Alabama and besides rodeo filling the majority of their free time on the schedule, they do like to fish and hunt when they can. They also love spending time with all of their grandkids. Trey has a daughter, Denver, 19-months, and a son, Tayt, 3 years old. Cristi has two sons, Evan, 14, and Jase, 6; and Laci has a son, Brent, 8, and daughter, Jaci Mae, 15 months. “Evan plays varsity football, Brent plays soccer, and Jase is huge into tractors. Jaci Mae and Denver both have ponies and are our future barrel racers. And, Tayt is all about bucking horses and is a die-hard rodeo fan already. With all of our grandkids and family, Christmas is fun at our house!”
Rodeo has been the perfect complement to Lisa Bearden’s life, and she still gets excited when she sees the joy that rodeo brings to many of the contestants she deals with each rodeo. “It doesn’t matter if they are a teenager just starting out, or if they are 50-something and haven’t competed in a while; to see their excitement as I hand them their winning check, whether it’s the first or last hole; the excitement of seeing that will always make me smile.”