Mississippi is full of talented, impressive, professional women, and The Source believes we have the best of the best serving on our Advisory Panel for the Jackson Metro Area. We want to give participants of The Source a chance to get to know some of these incredible ladies.
First on our list is Leigh Reeves. Even if you’ve never had the opportunity to meet Leigh, you have probably seen the fruits of her hard work. Leigh is the Publisher of Social South, a publication you’ve no doubt seen all over Mississippi.
We sat down with Leigh to get some insight into what has shaped her into the successful woman she is today. We know you will learn and grow professionally with Leigh throughout our program.
Tell us about your background.
LR: I grew up in West Tennessee in a small town called Brownsville. I went to Mississippi State on a total whim and met [my husband] Todd. That is how I ended up in Jackson.
What was your college major? Do you use it in your career?
LR: I was a “sorority girl, going out, having a good time” major. I did spare a little time for Marketing and Economics. I do use both in my career.
What was your first job? What did you learn from it?
LR: I went to work for International Paper. I learned I was not meant for the corporate world. There were too many channels to work through to get things done. It made me crazy. I loved the people I met and the contacts I made. There were aspects I did enjoy like paid vacation and an IT department to help with all my computer problems.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
LR: I never sought a lot of advice. I was young and crazy, and that is pretty much what everyone told me. I would want my children to take a safer route than the one I took. My thought process has always been this: Be willing to take a risk, but be smart enough to manage your fall. So, basically, have a plan B.
What is your trick to managing personal life vs. work life?
LR: Is there a trick? If so, please let me know. I need guidance in this area. My office is basically like a home away from home. I have equipped it with a kids’ TV area, homework area, kitchen, and shower. So yeah…not real sure I have a lot of balance here!
My work and personal life are very blended. I spend a lot of time with my kids and husband, but they know that checking emails and taking calls during family time is just part of our deal. It’s how Todd and I provide a nice life for them and are able to help others. God gave me certain talents and skill sets, and through my business is how I use them. I am just honest and upfront with the kids that the life we enjoy does take some sacrifices. It’s just my reality. My kids know I love them, and I do it all for them, and when I have to take a call in the car they better zip it up!
What advice do you wish you could go back and give yourself 10 years ago?
LR: Don’t be afraid, and don’t fear something just because it seems bigger and more powerful. It probably just means they have more red tape to go through.
What’s your proudest moment of your career?
LR: I think it is yet to come, or at least I hope so. I hope I have a lot more to accomplish.
What is your favorite item in your office? Tell us the story behind it.
LR: My picture wall. It’s a wall of framed snapshots of the kids, vacations, famous people I’ve run down for a photo, hunting weekends, parties, New Years Eves, fishing, nights out, riding bikes, baseball games, tailgating. It serves as a reminder of what is really important in my life – friends and family and the memories we make. It also helps me remember, “oh yeah, I do have some fun”. It motivates me to keep adding photos to the wall.
How do you stay motivated?
LR: I hit walls sometimes–I won’t lie. Some days, I am just tired of work. In those times, I usually just need a weekend alone with nothing but marathon TV shows. I get Todd to take the kids to the hunting camp or Starkville, and I just recharge. I have to have alone time every now and then. That helps me so much!
What is something no one knows about you?
LR: I love country music. I hate sushi.
Why did you agree to be a founding Advisory Panel Member for The Source?
LR: I admire the leadership at BankPlus. I am flattered to have even been considered as a founding member.
Be on the lookout for more from Leigh later this year. She’ll be sharing her entrepreneurial story as part of a panel of experts during one of our educational events. We’ll have the chance to learn how some of the best and brightest got their start, overcame challenges, and learned lessons the hard way.