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 40 Over 40 for 2023
Leslie Kelsay



"You don't have to be serious all the time

to be taken


AGE: 72

PROFESSION: Marketing & Comminications

What is the best thing about being your age?

I don't think as much about things I'd like to do over. I'm more focused on what I'd like to do next.

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?

Spending a wedding anniversary in the "Same Time, Next Year" cottage near Mendocino. Cue the Johnny Mathis!

What is your greatest extravagance?

Joy perfume.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A view of an ocean--any ocean--and every deadline behind me.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Packing everything I owned into a 1968 Chevy Impala and moving from Missouri to California to be editor of a weekly newspaper. It was rash. I wasn't prepared at any level. My emergency fund was a check from my parents for $25. It took me a while to figure things out. Truthfully, there are "things" I'm still working on. But my life has been larger and brighter and deeper than if I'd repacked the car and headed back. And I believe that car is still cruising the streets of Salinas.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

Optimism, not that all will be well, but that enough will be well to rest, refresh, and awake to the next day's opportunities.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Resilience and perseverance are important, but they are not the most important characteristics of a successful life. Gutting problems through, toughing things out is a lonely, unhappy, and often solitary place to live. When you're confident enough to build teams, at work, at home, in friendships, life is easier, goals are more achievable, and your world is a better place.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.

Words of wisdom to younger women…

You don't have to be serious all the time to be taken seriously. Your personal sense of humor, revelation of foibles that led to growth, celebration of progress can underscore all the credibility your education, experience, and professionalism establish with others.


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