Social influencer, philanthropist, model and mother, Leslie Anne Brooks is as busy as they come. I invited Leslie to be featured on The Lost Executive, not only because of her fabulous travelling excursions and impressive social media following, but mostly due to the important work she does as an ambassador with the Shatterproof Organisation.
What is keeping you the busiest right now?
I am doing a lot of travelling at the moment and I have three children; two daughters between 11 and 12 and a seven year old son. I also do modelling, volunteering and socials.
How do you balance all of that together? Especially travelling and motherhood?
The past few years I’ve needed to take several trips without the kids. I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful woman to nanny for them during those trips. She stays home with them and they love her. It’s made leaving them a bit easier knowing that they’re in good hands.
Professionally speaking, what are you working on at the moment?
I’ve been modelling for the past 20 years but I would now call myself a semi-retired model, though I still get work. My current agency, Sigal Models and Talent, still believe in me and send me work. This could be anything from print work to commercials or hosting a segment for an online or local news story
My husband is a business owner and that has allowed me to be able to stay home and raise our children, which has really been my most rewarding ‘job’. I also volunteer as an ambassador with the Shatterproof Organisation.
Shatterproof is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the devastation that addiction causes families. I have personally lost two family members to addiction, so this is a cause I am very passionate about. As an ambassador, I help educate and empower others to learn about and support Shatterproof’s mission.
Important work. Can you give us an example of what you’ve done as an ambassador?
While working with Shatterproof, I actually raised money for a fundraiser and rappelled down the side of a high-rise building. What a way to raise awareness! I’m not really an adrenaline junkie, but the older I get, the more adventurous I become.
How has that affected the sorts of projects you get involved with?
I have worked with a few exceptional companies. ESPN Radio in Chicago was probably one of the more exciting contracts I’ve had. It’s mostly my travels that have afforded me the opportunity to try so many new things. In the past few years I’ve climbed a mountain in New Hampshire, swum with stingrays in Grand Cayman and hiked a glacier in Iceland. But raising my children has been by far my most challenging and rewarding endeavour. If I’m able to raise kind and happy people, I’ll consider it my greatest work
Online you’ve labelled yourself a “sit down comedian”, have your children inherited your sense of humour?
I hope so. I got my sense of humour from my own mother, so maybe it’s genetic. She taught me that it’s so much easier to navigate through life while not taking yourself too seriously and finding humour in every situation. It also helps you to be a kinder human. There is so much negativity in this world. I just hope to bring a little light to those I encounter every day and I hope they will too.
You’re very popular online! Not only do you have a vast community of followers, you also have an impressive engagement rate. They really respond well to you. How much time do you set aside for content creation on socials?
Thank goodness for my iPhone! I think being able to access these sites from a phone has changed everything. I’m constantly glancing at it throughout the day to update Twitter, which I think is necessary to keep on top of things.
It’s funny, because a few years ago an agent from LA mentioned that I really ought to grow my online presence. Seeing as I’m a bit older and based in the Midwest, he thought a social presence could keep me relevant. At the time, I had about 200 Twitter followers, so I jumped right in and started posting about my daily life and the funny thoughts that popped into my head. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve now got 145k followers. It’s been a great outlet for me to stay connected and hopefully give people a laugh.
Do you have any heroes that you follow?
Most of my favourite Twitter feeds are from everyday, regular people. There are so many funny people out there. I think Twitter has been a great platform to connect us in a way we’ve never had before.
A lot of people still get put off from socials because they don’t know how to handle the commentary required. How do you manage it?
In the beginning, I really did worry about negative commentary. I’ve been fortunate in that most people are kind; but the ‘block’ button sure has come in handy. I really don’t let negative comments get to me though. I figure if someone wants to be nasty to a stranger on the internet, they must be a pretty miserable person. Life’s too short! I’d rather be happy and I try to post daily.
In 2017, you went to some cool places like Las Vegas, Naples, FL, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Punta de Mita, Mexico and Iceland. Which was your favourite?
I have always loved a beach vacation and Montego Bay, Jamaica was spectacular. We stayed at Sandals Royal Caribbean in their recently opened Over the Water Huts. Our room was right over the water and we were catered to by two dedicated butlers. The view and service were unparalleled. However, Iceland was a bucket list trip. We toured the entire country and, in just a few days, visited several waterfalls, geysers, hiked and snow-mobiled on a glacier. We saw the Northern Lights and swam in the Blue Lagoon too.
Sounds awesome. Typically, how do you like to travel?
I am based in Columbus, OH so most of my travel is by plane. I prefer to fly first or business class when I can, however Southwest Airlines has several non-stop flights from here, so I like travelling with them for the convenience of saving time during a travel day.
Where are you heading in 2018?
This year I’ll be travelling to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Newport Beach, CA, taking a seven-night Eastern Caribbean Disney Cruise with my family and visiting Costa Rica. This will be my first time in all of these locations I’m really excited about seeing them all.
What is the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in?
There have been so many beautiful locations that I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to, but I’ve always loved The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL. The location is perfect, the interior is so beautiful and they have some of the most gorgeous floral arrangements I’ve ever seen.
Big question; what are you travelling essentials?
iPhones and iPads! Seriously, how lucky are we parents that now you can have entertainment for your kids, whenever you travel? And lots of snacks! I also plan our trips with the shortest travel times possible. Long layovers make for crabby children, which doesn’t help us parents either. There are occasions when we will travel for my husband’s work, but we usually want to bring the kids along. I’ve always been able to find local sitters, usually recommended by the hotel, to stay with the kids while we go to meetings or dinners.