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LESLIE Doenges

Company: Vermont Sport & Fitness Club
Title: Owner
Age: 32

Favorite Part of Job? My favorite part of the job is having the opportunity to spend each day doing something I feel very passionate about. I get to work alongside my husband building and creating a business that we then get to share with our community and help impact their lives in a positive way.

Most Inspiring Mentor: My paternal grandfather (Pipere) was my most inspiring mentor. He taught me how to have the tough conversations and face things head on but also how to listen. He wasn’t afraid of change or reinvention, even in his eighties he was still learning, growing and developing new skills. Everywhere he went he was making new friends and embracing life fully, truly an example of how to live with purpose and love.

Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I once auditioned to be a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire when I was visiting a friend in NYC!

Favorite Vermont Escape: My favorite Vermont escape is Mountain Top Inn and Resort in Chittenden. I worked there for many years, it is also were Dan and I got engaged and had our wedding so it holds a special place in my heart. Each time we go up there I feel so at peace, it’s like a breath of fresh air from our busy routine.

What is the best career advice you have received? There are no shortcuts to success; you have to put in the work. Don’t be afraid to fail, failure is part of the success.  
“Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

What motivated you to live and work in Vermont? The connection I have growing up in Vermont and going to college at UVM is what brought me back here to live and work. But what motivated me to stay was the surprising amount of opportunities that came my way while here. The ability to find a job and subsequently purchase a house at age 25, and now at age 32 owning our own business, engaging in our community and making an impact, is a fulfilling lifestyle I don't think I would have found anywhere else.

Career Highlights: I feel as though every job I have had has served a purpose in preparing me for the next step in my career, but at this point I would have to say my highlight has been making the transition to a business owner and working full-time with my husband. This role is very dynamic and I am learning and growing every day with new challenges. Although this has been the highlight so far, I still feel as though the best is yet to come.

Community Involvement: One of the best things about living in Vermont is the ability to connect with your community and make an impact. As an active member of Rutland Young Professionals serving both on the board of directors and on the events committee, I have had the opportunity to give back to our community in a variety of ways through the organization, whether it is a monthly mix, speaking to the youth of the county, or our annual Young Professionals Summit, RYP is the perfect avenue for me to be able to volunteer my time and skills. I take a lot of pride in engaging and inspiring other young professionals in the area to get involved and do great things.
In addition to RYP, in the past I have organized annual charity events for the Boys & Girls Club most recently in August of 2017. Currently I am volunteering on the planning committee for Winterfest, a regional week long family event that provides activities for kids during February vacation. Having a young family myself, I love being able to be a part creating such amazing and fun opportunities for families in our community.



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