Woman to Watch: Leah George

Woman to Watch: Leah George

Arlene Hisiger  herRochester.com, December 20, 2013

Leah George
Of all the positive qualities Leah George, managing director of international trade and regional outreach at Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), is blessed with, exuberance reigns supreme. Her exuberant advocacy on behalf of the Finger Lakes region and Rochester in particular, is the driving force behind all her endeavors.

George began her career in communication while she was in college, as a news announcer for SUNY Geneseo broadcasts and a part-time journalist for the Livingston County News. "As any college student, when you are young you want to save the world in some way," George said. "When I was young, I thought that's what journalists do."

Later, she worked as a reporter for YNN's Ithaca bureau. Although she enjoyed her job, George missed her family; most live in Rochester. Her dilemma was neatly resolved when she was hired by YNN Rochester as a reporter.

"It's well known that if you really want to get more money in this field you need to go to a bigger city," George said. "But I love this area. I really wanted to contribute to making this place a great place to live. I love having my family near; I love the art scene, the educational institutions, and the festivals. So I decided to stay."

George turned her attention to completing her MBA at St. John Fisher College. While in business school, she became aware of an opening at the Greater Rochester Enterprise. Here was an opportunity to marry her interest in business with her passion for the greater Rochester region.

"We're a real team; we have each others' backs.'' George said of the GRE. "Our CEO (Mark Peterson) invests in us and encourages us to give back to the community. So many people on staff are involved in community initiatives; we get each other involved."

There are a lot of different stakeholders involved in bringing business to the Rochester region. George defines GRE's role as that of facilitator/matchmaker. By providing prospective companies with industry-specific information the organization strives to find what works best for companies considering a move to the region.

"I always knew this was a great area," George said with a smile "now, thanks to GRE, I have the data to back it up!"

The same determination that breeds success in her career also makes George an effective volunteer. For example, she serves on the YWCA's racial justice committee and its Empowering Women Luncheon committee with the goal of "breaking down barriers and making this community stronger."

Contact Arlene at 585-442-6108 or arlene@wordtailor.net 
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