Leslie grew up in Washington, D.C., and has lived in many different spots, but considers the family farm in Virginia where she spent every summer, weekend, and holiday her true “home.” Leslie earned a bachelor’s from the University of California-Santa Cruz in environmental studies and a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Virginia. She was lucky enough to spend her final semester in Venice, Italy, through a program in the School of Architecture. Shortly after graduating she returned to the family farm in Fauquier County to help with generational transition for the farm business. As part of that transition, she began exploring placing a conservation easement on the farm and met VOF’s then-executive director, Tyson Van Auken. He offered her a job, and she has now been with the organization for more than 30 years. She still manages the family farm, now in its fourth generation, and operates a natural grass-fed beef business with her husband. She is a life-long animal lover and currently shares her household with four dogs, five cats, three axolotls, and several fish tanks (along with her husband, son, and daughter).