Meet A Mom: Leslie - Libertyville Area Moms

Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?

I’m originally from Rockford, IL. I attended the University of Iowa where I studied communications and business. Following college graduation, I moved to Chicago and loved the fast paced life of city living for 9 years.

My husband, Rob, and I got married in 2007 and shortly after getting married we were ready to find a new town to call home. Rob is originally from Deerfield and was familiar with Libertyville. When we visited, we were attracted to the downtown, tight knit community, school district, and close proximity to the train station since we were both still working in the city at the time.

We’ve been here for 15 years and have been so happy with our move to Libertyville!

Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)

We have two children- Hailey, 13 and Mason, 8.

What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?

We really enjoy many of the activities and events in Libertyville! Our family favorites are largely the summer events: The Farmers Market, Lunch in the Park, July 4th fireworks, Libertyville Days and the holiday Tree Lighting in November.

Our kids are in sports so following them to lacrosse, basketball and soccer games occupies much of our free time.

When we go out for dinner our family favorites include Firkin, Pizzeria DeVille, Shakou, and Milwalky Taco. For date night we head to either Tavern, Deer Path Inn or The Boardroom

In addition to the restaurants you mentioned, can you share your TOP 5 favorite local businesses? It could be stores that you frequent for clothes, kids, home decor, healthcare, fitness, wellness, beauty salons or spas, or family resources (photographer, financial advisor, lawyer)… We love supporting local.

There are so many special local businesses right here in Libertyville!

My favorites include: JoJo and Me Salon, Murphy’s, Maison Chic, Singalila, Lolo Bowls, Salt of the Earth, Lago Enoteca, Marigold, Egg Harbor and French Nails!

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate world?

I’ve been privileged to hold many roles in the marketing and advertising industry. My 20 year + career has taken me from large and small advertising agencies in Chicago to medical device companies here in the north suburbs.

Now my career has shifted gears and I’m loving being a local real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. It’s been a marriage of my marketing and project management expertise coupled with my love of real estate and home design. I enjoy working with homeowners to help them find a home that meets their needs and allows them to live life to the fullest.

In an effort to keep it real, and not just show the sunny side, can you share with us a past or present struggle in your personal or professional life? Please also share how you overcame it or cope with it (or plan to)? We love gaining new tools for our mental wellness toolbox.

Like many people during the height of COVID, managing working from home coupled with remote learning caused me to take a pause and reevaluate my career. Knowing that a return to the office was an uncertainty and feeling like I was operating on an island vs with a team of colleagues, I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to continue to do anymore. Additionally, the needs of my kids were evolving, Being more present and available was becoming more important. I knew it was time for a life change.

I left my corporate role and took time off to be at home and rethink what was next for me. I took about 6 months to get some space and put all of my attention into my family. As I was enjoying that time off, I started honing in on the things that bring me joy and satisfaction. That led me to real estate.

I have always had a strong interest in real estate, design and home projects and researched it for fun in my spare time. I connected with a good friend, Scott Gettleman, who has had a successful 22 year career in real estate to learn more about the profession. Within a week of that conversation I was enrolled in a real estate course and five months later had my license! Since getting my license, Scott and I have formed a team. He’s been a wonderful teacher and mentor. I’m learning new things everyday and have been able to leverage so much of my past career in marketing. I’m so glad I’ve made this change. It’s been an exciting time!

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

I’m blessed with a wonderful network of friends and family who come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. They have been great advisors and cheerleaders through all aspects of my life.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

A few fun facts:

  • I won a car at post prom in high school. It was a fun thing my high school did every year. The car was donated by a local car dealership. Before you get to jealous- it was a 1989 station wagon fully equipped with wood paneling. A definite “grocery getter”! I had fun taking my friends out for lunch before selling it.
  • Silly- but I’m an “expert” parallel parker. When I first moved to Chicago my best friend and roommate (at the time), Steph, taught me how to parallel park. It was a critical skill to have when living in the city. I’ve been a “pro” ever since.
  • I love to cook and bake from scratch as often as possible.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom?

This is a good question as I feel I take away little nuggets of knowledge and wisdom from so many (mom) friends. But one that tends to stick out is from my own mom which is “don’t label your kids”- such as “the smart one”, “the naughty one”, “the tomboy”, “the sensitive one”. She was a life long teacher and educator and taught me this early on in my own motherhood. This type of labeling is a natural habit and one that generally isn’t meant to be negative or hurtful. Each of us embody several characteristics that make us unique. Loving our kids for who they are, encouraging self expression and living their authentic selves is what I strive for in parenting. By avoiding labeling it allows kids to naturally evolve vs feeling like they need to fit into the label they’ve been given.

Additionally a mantra I try to follow everyday is “be present”. We are all so busy and often caught up in the hustle of just getting from A to B each day. Looking ahead to“what’s next” vs being in the present moment. I find that when I’m present in the moment, I take in those moments- big and small- and have more appreciation. Life slows down for a minute. It’s not easy- it’s a constant work in progress.

Are you involved in any volunteering or philanthropy? Do you have a favorite local non-profit or charity?

I’m embarrassed to say I don’t volunteer as much as I’d like to. When I left my corporate role I had more time to volunteer at my kids school which I’ve continued to do over the past two years. It’s been wonderful to be more connected to this aspect of their childhood.

What are your favorite places to travel near and far and why?

As a family we’re always looking for new places to vacation and visit. We don’t have any “go-to” places as we like to try something new each year. In 2021, we vacationed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Big Sky Montana. We visited the National Parks along the way and soaked up long days in the great outdoors. It was invigorating with renewed appreciation for Mother Earth. We still talk about that trip often and are making plans to visit Glacier National Park and the Grand Canyon in the future.

And I’d be remised if I didn’t give a shout out to our 2022 Disney World vacation. Our trip was originally planned for 2020 but due to COVID we postponed it for two years. We’re glad we waited! It was a spectacular trip.

Which podcasts and/or TED Talks inspire you the most?

I’ve recently started listening to a new podcast called Mind, Body, Spirit, FOOD! It’s hosted by Nicki Sizemore. Her parents and my parents have been life long friends since their college days. Nicki is a professional chef who has had to modify her diet to address health issues she developed in adulthood. As someone with food allergies I can relate to her. She also has a website called which has loads of simple, healthy and delicious recipes for the whole family to enjoy that can be made gluten or dairy free.

What is your favorite thing about the Libertyville Area Moms Network?

This is the best curated local site of everything you’d ever want to know, find and do in Libertyville! A huge labor of love is poured into this network to make it a valuable resource!

What is next for you?

We have a home renovation project coming up this Spring which I’ll be documenting on my Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Facebook page and sharing contact information of all the experts that will be transforming our main floor. This project has been a long time coming and we can’t wait to see our space in a whole new light. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to continuing to spend time with family and friends and working for my clients to help them find a new place to call home.

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