The Right Blend Blog

Who is your Chamber CEO, 11 things you probably didn’t know

It occurred to me that I write blog, after blog, after blog and the only thing that readers ever see, unless they actually know me, is the brief blurb at the bottom that gives only the sketchiest of basic information. So my blog topic for this week is me, not because I’m interesting or find myself fascinating, but because if you’re going to read my work and trust our Chamber to do what is best for you and your business, you should know about one of the people you’re investing in. So here are 11 things you probably don’t know about me.


  1. I grew up in Riceboro. From birth to age 18 I lived there, not always in the same house, but always the same area. My dad’s family moved to Liberty County in the 1960s and helped to start Interstate Paper. My mom’s parents moved to Liberty County due to the military. So I am definitely an original dirt road riding, tree climbing, fort building Liberty County gal!
  2. My bus driver in high school (I’m a proud Panther!) was Ms. Dorothy. I was the weird kid in school who loved to give gifts and at Christmas, that last sweet week before break, I would lug around a huge box of handmade gifts for each and every teacher I came into contact with and my friend, Ms. Dorothy. I saw her at Ricefest (an annual event held in November in Riceboro) two years ago and was beyond tickled when she recognized me (20 cough some odd years later), and we had a great time reminiscing about the past. Come to mention it my son’s math teacher this year at Lewis Fraser Middle School was my middle school science teacher and at open house she mentioned she still had an ornament I had painted her way back when!
  3. I was called Princess Leia through much of high school. You gotta think I graduated in 1999 and like any high schoolers who’ve been together since elementary school at Joseph Martin, we lived to tease each other. So Princess Leia I was. And ironically enough I have since had the “Princess” part adopted after telling that story by many throughout the county. They aren’t calling me Princess because of my royal hauteur, but rather as a comical reference to my high school days and stories. So if you ever come in my office and see all of the pink (and I hate pink) princess stuff, you can laugh too!
  4. I can skin a deer and make deer sausage. Sorry my animal loving friends. This girl grew up in a house that ate very little beef, very little chicken and not much pork. While I haven’t ever killed a deer, I don’t have the patience to sit still that long, I have no problem with the rest of the process. I grew up running around hunting clubs, playing tag with the other kids, eating from the big table that everyone contributed to and enjoying the tradition of loving and appreciating the outdoors.
  5. I was the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) scholar for Liberty County. What did this mean? HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. I was selected as the Liberty County rep in high school. It, “allows high school sophomores to recognize their leadership talents and apply them in becoming effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community.” For me this meant my mom driving me to Jacksonville, getting on my first plane alone, flying to Atlanta, attending the several day workshop, meeting TRUETT CATHY! And then coming home and being freaking awesome! And yes, it was that Truett Cathy (the founder of Chick fil A). I have an autographed copy of his book too!
  6. I was the editor of the Panther Press. Where I cemented my love of journalism, writing and often bluntly telling the truth. Yes, this was the newspaper at Liberty High. And my name in French class was Claudette because there is no French translation of Leah. Did you know that Claudette?
  7. I wrote obituaries to get paid while I was in college. Cause you gotta eat right? I worked for the Gainesville Times and my first job for them was to write the obits. Not glamorous, not fun and actually kinda morbid. But you know what? You do, what you gotta do! My first “real” story for them was on a lady who lost her house to a fire. I remember that like it was literally yesterday because the day after the story ran she brought me in a crocheted cross to thank me, which I still have. My ability to tell her story had touched her heart and the heart of the community to help her get back on her feet.
  8. I have written a play! Seriously. It was definitely a labor of love and so many other thanks to Jennifer Buehler and Brian Rothwell for making my mediocre attempt at creative writing come to life. My fascination with Liberty County and the military led me to find and collect letters written from soldiers to their sweethearts during the Camp Stewart days. I wrote my epistolary (letter format) play based on these letters. Opening night was packed and even my good buddies COL Milton and his wife Christy came to see it!
  9. I absolutely love to cook! While I don’t have much time anymore and my family is more into the “make it quickly” type of dinner, I have taken more cooking classes than you can shake a stick at. I love to try new and different foods and new and different techniques. If you’ve never watched Lisa Braun cook Italian you are missing out! It’s like poetry in the kitchen! One of my newest favs is Good to Go Jamaican. What Dwayne can do with some curry should probably be illegal! My palette has developed so much over the years, I have gone from the girl who wouldn’t touch a raw tomato to the sophisticate who will try anything at least once and probably multiple times!
  10. I placed, and I honestly cannot remember if it was 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the Rotary speech contest in high school. I also remember this because while I am not a naturally nervous speaker, at the time Rotary was largely male dominated and speaking in a room full of suit wearing men was a trifle intimidating. My speech talked about community leadership, and I applied that to how a house was built, creating parallels so build a picture with words. The real irony that I find in it is that as a newly inducted Rotarian, I am looking forward to hearing the speeches now of the future leaders of our community when I participated in it to become one!
  11. I love Liberty County. If you can show me someone who loves this county more I would have to challenge that. I have lived in Hinesville, Riceboro, Midway and Gum Branch and couldn’t tell you which I loved more. I have traveled more roads in this county than most people know exist. I relish now experiencing the county through the eyes of my son, my staff and all of the visitors I get to tour around. I love the history, the city, the coast, the energy and most of all I love the people. You (WE) are what make this county unique. Our melting pot has created an area so diverse that in any one day I never know who I might get to talk to or what experience I may have.

-Leah Poole, CEO for the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and Liberty County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau

The Right Blend Blog is written by two different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each writes about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

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