By Renee Williams, Photo Credit: John Harpring

Leslie, affectionately known as “Elle,” is a Field Services Consultant for Jan-Pro Augusta-Aiken. She has two daughters, Kelsey, 19 and Amelia, 13. Kelsey  volunteers at Camp Cocoon, a camp for children who have recently lost a parent, and Amelia is a professional actress and singer so the family travels a lot for auditions, performances, and filming.

The family has two dogs, Cosette, an 11 year old Malit-Poo, and Bijou, a 10 year old toy poodle. Leslie enjoys immersive travel, kayaking, live music, sporting events, the theatre and festivals.

One word to describe yourself: Free-spirited.

What quality do you admire the most? Kindness.

If you could do any job, what would you choose? My dream job would be a Travel Blogger.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a News Anchor.

What’s your favorite food? Homemade macaroni and cheese!

Dream vacation? That’s tough… Can I say a trip around the world?

Favorite place to take the kids? Anywhere that offers culture and exploration. My daughters and I travel a lot and we love discovering something new to us.

What would surprise people about you? That I’m a very sentimental person. I’m glad that movie theaters are dark because if we’re watching a sad movie, I’m always the one crying.

Is there an important life lesson that you have learned? An important lesson that I’ve learned is that I can be completely independent. I can be mom, businesswoman, homemaker, and manage my daughter’s growing career all on my own. It’s a great feeling to know that I don’t need a spouse to accomplish my goals

Best thing about being a mom? Parenthood offers new rewards every day. Again, I’m sentimental so I find many “bests.” My girls bring me the most joy. The happiness I get from them is like nothing else.

Hardest part about being a mom? Letting your kids make their own mistakes. Having an adult child is so much more difficult than having a minor child because, at that point, all you can do is advise and hope they listen. It’s tough to watch your kids make decisions that you know aren’t in their best interests and not being able to do anything about it.

Favorite indulgence? Donuts and Hallmark Christmas movies.

Who do you admire the most? My cousin, Travis. He is in desperate need of a double lung transplant and he will live less than a year without it. His attitude and bravery are exemplary. He’s the most positive person I know and he’s always the guy who’s helping other people. He’s a wonderful example of a father, husband, and friend. No matter what life throws at him, he handles it with humor and grace and I admire that. If you need to be lifted up, he’s your guy!

Favorite TV Show: This Is Us. It’s the best thing on television.

Are you a dreamer or a doer? I’m a paradox of a dreamer and a doer. I’ve always had my head in the clouds but my feet on the ground. I encourage my girls to dream big and to actively chase their dreams.

This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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