While many people talk about being “busy”, Leslie Haley could stand as an edifice to the personification of the word.
Haley currently works for the Virginia State Bar as an ethics councillor, but her titles are far from stopping there. She also holds titles to the positions of President of the Chesterfield County Council of PTAs, President of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association, a director of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, President of the Walton Lake Homeowners Association, and chairman of the staff parish committee at St. Marks.
Oh, and she’s also a wife and mother of two as well.
Fourth-grader Alex keeps her going with his activities at Evergreen Elementary and daughter Reagan, an eighth grader at Midlothian Middle School, is entering the point in life where she’s involved in many school events as well. “They’re both involved in multiple activities and I’m there on the weekends for everything,” Haley said. “I’m not missing that stuff either. I don’t have a lot of downtime, I guess.”
Still, somehow, Haley finds time to do things for herself. “I’m also a part-time aerobic instructor at the Y, and I take a dance class, so that’s my fun thing. I reserve a couple of hours here and there between things.”
And when Haley does get that much elusive downtime, one thought usually crops up in her mind. “When I stop, sometimes I go, ‘I don’t know how I do this’,” she said.
Believe it or not, Haley does actually manage to get in some sleep. “When I crash, I crash,” she said.
But through all the rigors of her schedule, Haley loves what she does. “I guess I’m truly a Type-A personality because I thrive off of being busy,” she said.
And though she enjoys staying busy, Haley admits her present schedule was not in her plans. “It was not my intent that all of those positions fell together at the same point in time, but they just happened to do that, which has made me a little taxed now.”
Through it all, what keeps Haley going is one simple philosophy for life.
“I believe you get what you give to your community and the world you live in,” she said. “I wouldn’t choose to just do anything, but I do things related to education and to our family involvements and commitments.”
Haley attributes being able to keep up due to the quality of people she works with. “I’ve got great groups around me in every organization I’m in,” she said.
Haley says she stays organized through the understanding that in today’s society everyone is busy. She goes into every meeting under the perception that everyone else’s schedule is just as tight as hers. “You have to prioritize and you have to stay mindful of that,” she said. “I don’t think there’s a mom or dad out there that’s not just as busy running their kids.”
Life was not always so complicated for Haley. After receiving her business degree from West Virginia University, she spent 10 years in sales at Philip Morris. After being bounced around from state to state, Haley decided she wanted more from life and returned to WVU to study law. Marriage to her husband Joe brought her to Virginia where she completed her law degree at the University of Richmond. She then went into a private practice for five years before joining the Virginia State Bar.
“When I became a lawyer, I really believed that lawyers can make differences in their communities and their lives and their family’s lives and that’s what I do,” she said.
Currently, Haley concentrates much of her attention on the Council of PTAs, who along with the Chesterfield Business Council is organizing candidate forums throughout the county. “It’s really just to put candidates out there,” Haley said. “It’s not a debate, it’s a forum.”
According to Haley, the forums will allow the candidates to answer questions that have been submitted by the public so the voters can better evaluate them. “They need to see these people on their feet in front of a group and get the opportunity to know how you should vote.”
Despite her often overwhelming schedule, Haley does see clearer days ahead. Her stints as presidents of the Council of PTAs and homeowners association end this year. She will also be coming off the staff parish committee at St. Marks. “I’m starting to wind down some of the things that are important to me and I’m sure I’ll stay involved,” she said.