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How Leslie Bonci Balances Work and Family

Here’s my interview with the lovely Leslie Bonci:

I was a little nervous about my interview. I’ve interviewed lots of people before and generally enjoy meeting new people. However, having lunch with someone who has built he entire life around healthy eating was a little intimidating. I generally eat healthy, but I have been known to eat a French fry or two on occasion. For my lunch with Leslie, I knew that I had to make a healthy choice. Since we met at the Cheesecake Factory that took some planning, but I settled on their Vietnamese Shrimp Summer Rolls and she settled on a lunch size Greek salad.

I had nothing to worry about though. As Leslie said, our lunch was “delightful”!

I asked Leslie a series of questions. What impressed me most was her practical approach to living and her profession.

Hometown:         Pittsburgh, Pa.

Family Makeup:  Married with two grown sons. 

Interesting Pittsburgh Fact: Leslie met her husband at the Three Rivers Arts Festival!

What makes you passionate about nutrition? Since everybody eats, her job is both relevant and necessary. She is passionate about nutrition because people have control over what they eat and making good choices makes people feel better and lead more productive lives. For that reason, taking care of yourself is important, especially for women.

Greatest career success? Her tenure with the sports teams she supports is noteworthy. Sports is constantly changing and has lots of turnover. However, Leslie has endured and outlasted several coaches!

Greatest career challenge? She can’t clone herself. Since she’s been successful in building her reputation, Leslie is in demand an she likes it. Staying busy and helping people live healthier lives make her happy. Still, even though Leslie is in better shape and more efficient than most of us, she needs her rest too. She also needs time to spend time with her handsome husband and her sons. Since one of her sons is getting married this fall and she is taking dancing lessons!

How did she make being a working mom work?
Leslie had two comments that impressed me. She was able to hire the same woman that raised her to raise her children. She had a lovely caregiver named Ruby that became a part of her family while she was growing up and Ruby cared for Leslie's children. She said her kids had "an extra grandmother", which was wonderful! Having that support from a trusted person gave Leslie the security to follow her dreams.
The other thing that Leslie share is that she made decisions that worked with her family's schedule, especially at mealtime. As someone who keenly understands the role of food in our lives and how eating is a ritual that bonds us, she made sure that her family always had dinner together. However, they ate at 8:00 PM.  So many people make working mothers feel guilty about not subscribing to "traditional family schedules". My conversation with Leslie reminded me that every family has to define their own normal. 

What Most Impressed Me About Leslie? Leslie is awesome! After having lunch with her I became a true fan. Every story she shared about her professional success reminded me that doors are opened for those who knock. Leslie's career is a function of her belief in herself and her passion for her work. She has created her own opportunities and she is living the life that she has created. After our lunch I was inspired to continue to look for my own opportunities.

Little Known Facts: Leslie and I bonded around our shared love of healthy eating and natural childbirth. However, not only did she deliver her children naturally, she went for a run the day before she delivered. That makes her a true rock star in my book.

We also share a love of Toy Burch and stilettos. She confessed that she intends to wear them during her sons wedding. She is accomplished and stylish. Indeed, Leslie is a working mom to admire! 
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