Leslie Rohrer '78, P'12
This interview is dated 11/10/2015.
Leslie is a partner and marketing director at The COR Group, an advertising and marketing solutions company. Leslie is also the president of Houston Dressage Society, a non profit organization that furthers the art of dressage and through education allows members to conduct their own shows and reach their goals. Leslie is an active member in the equestrian community and constantly works towards developing the sport of equestrian both nationally and internationally. Leslie currently serves as an Executive Member of the Women's Leadership Council. She joined the Council because she believes that Brown made her the person she is today and she believes that Brown's alumnae are an essential part of the greater community.
How has Brown made a difference in your life?
Brown molded the person I am today. My time at Brown gave me a completely new perspective on the world and my role in it. I grew into an inquisitive and creative problem solver due to the diversity of people I met at Brown and the academic challenges I faced.
There are so many ways to get involved with Brown, but you chose to join the Women's Leadership Council—why is that? How has this choice impacted you personally and professionally?
I am still involved with Brown in multiple ways but I added the WLC because I believe in its vision. When I was at Brown, women were clearly in the minority. Now, women are the majority of students so the future of Brown depends on the University's ability to engage and connect with them after graduation.
You led the rebranding efforts for the WLC. How do you think marketing can play into the success of the Council?
Branding creates clear communication and a recognizable identity. This is important for the success of any organization—it has to be understood by those on the outside.
As a mother of three, wife, dedicated volunteer and professional, how do you balance work and life? What advice would you give to a young alumna who is struggling to find that balance?
I don't use "balance" to describe my life because it implies a constant state. Instead, I set priorities and juggle my daily activities accordingly—there are always decisions about what has to get done and what can wait. Some days are intense and others are quiet. Each of us has to figure out for ourselves what's important to invest our time and effort in.
Can you tell us why you are so passionate about equestrian?
I've pondered this question many times! Why do any of us feel passionate about a certain activity? For me, horses help me enjoy being outdoors while at the same time demanding constant focus (to stay safe) that makes me forget everything else while I am around them. I return home mentally and physically refreshed. I greatly admire their generous spirit and natural beauty while respecting their strength. I have been devoting a lot of my time recently to growing equestrian sport in our country. Equestrian competition is physically and intellectually challenging. Horses test your character in every possible way and, hopefully, make you a better person. In the past 12 months, I've managed two international events, a national championship that was a 2016 Rio Paralympic US team selection event for physically disabled (para) riders, a multi-state regional championship and a local championship. It's been demanding but also very rewarding.
How have the last 12 months rewarded and challenged you with respect to all of the national and international events that you have held?
The most challenging aspect is trying not to forget anything important—I always want to give the competitors the best possible experience and to avoid disappointing them. It's also difficult to juggle volunteer event management with my "day job." However, the rewards of seeing competitors qualify for national, world, or Olympic championship events is enormously gratifying. Hosting physically disabled riders at the 2015 national championships was inspiring and my favorite event to date.