"When I was about 12, a small group of girlfriends and I used to build two-story houses in our backyards," recalls Leslie. "Not one of them fell down." She’s built her career with similar success. Leslie parlayed an early interest in art and architecture into summer jobs with design-build firms, and an internship with a large commercial real-estate development company. "I had a great mentor who taught me what it takes to bring a building program to fruition, starting with raw dirt," she recalls. "All those experiences helped me understand the importance of different perspectives that come into play working on projects. Everyone should have a voice. Everyone makes a difference." Leslie values building connections and relationships in her business development role, and mentoring middle-school girls through professional organization CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women). Leslie also can speak to hard work: she spent six years as a speed skater.