Sarah Leonard is the President and CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association; she took the position in 2012 after twenty years of working in Alaska in roles ranging from wildlife viewing coordinator to various fundraising positions. "I love working with the team [at the Alaska Travel Industry Association]," Leonard says. "Everyone is passionate about travel... people here really believe that visiting and experiencing Alaska is a special thing and they want to share that." She lives in Anchorage with her husband Chris, son Jacob, and dog Kumu.
Alaska Business: What do you do in your free time?
Sarah Leonard: I love antiquing and thrift store shopping, and I love looking on Pinterest at interior design and refurbishing furniture.
AB: Is there a skill you're currently developing or have always wanted to learn?
Leonard: I think it would be cool to be a really good singer. And I would like to learn and become fluent in another language, like Spanish or Italian.
AB: What's the most daring thing that you've ever done?
Leonard: Giving birth, and deciding to have a child--one of the best and hardest things I've done was to have a child and be a parent.
AB: What is your go-to comfort food?
Leonard: Cheese and pasta. I'm from Wisconsin originally, and I love cheese, any kind of cheese and breads I guess I said pasta, but just something starchy with cheese.
AB: Other than your current career, if you were a child today, what would your dream job be?
Leonard: I'd love to be a travel writer.
AB: What's your favorite way to exercise?
Leonard: I run on the treadmill and with my dog in the neighborhood, but I don't like running (sorry to all the runners out there). I do like hiking and being outdoors.
AB: Dead or alive, who would you like to most see perform live in concert?
Leonard: I like Willie Nelson, and it would have been really cool to see Elvis.
AB: What are you superstitious about?
Leonard: I always try to tell myself to be positive and have a positive aura just to be on the safe side, just because we don't really know everything about what spirits or whatever may be out there.
AB: What's your greatest extravagance?
Leonard: My husband would say how I buy clothes and shoes online, and I go on expensive--but good...