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Lesley Anderson

General Manager of Poole's Pies

City: Raleigh, NC

Years as a Staff Member: 7 years (2006-2012) 
Tennis & Golf Counselor 2007, Land Rover 2008 & 2009, Assistant Land Director 2010, Land Director 2012 (all my time in cabins was Camp 3!) 

Current Profession:  General Manager of Poole’side Pies (Ashley Christensen’s newest Neopolitan Swim Club themed Pizzeria in Downtown Raleigh).  I graduated from Meredith College in 2013 and was immediately seeking an industry that would mirror my favorite parts of Camp.  The service industry lends itself to the same guiding principles: kindness, hospitality, hard work, teamwork, communication, and a lot of fun.  I have grown quickly within ACR working at Chuck’s & Beasley’s Chicken + Honey for more than a year, GM at Poole’s Diner (AC’s James Beard Award-winning flagship) for more than three years, and am now opening my first restaurant with the company at Poole’side Pies.   

How do the values or skills learned at Camp show up in your everyday work or personal life?  

Camp gave me the confidence to thrive in a leadership position.  It taught me to transparently communicate and work on a team.  I also learned how to multitask, work extremely hard, and balance work and play.  This has immediately translated into the work I do now.  I lead a large staff, speak publically every day, work with a budget, manage stress and people, create unique experiences for guests, maintain and thoughtfully uphold my company’s standards, and challenge the norm each day.   

Camp Seafarer taught me to be honest and lead by example.  Before is an explanation and after is an excuse.  No one will fault you if you share your failures and view them as opportunities.  I challenge my staff daily to view their shortcomings or mistakes as opportunities.  Positive language goes a long way.  It creates a mental shift that promotes reflection and growth.   

I also learned to be confident in my problem-solving skills.  Each challenge can be thoughtfully solved and shared with your team.  Empowering your team to problem solve through clear direction, trust, and delegation was a major take away.  It was a skill that I refined daily at Camp.   

What person or situation influenced you most at Camp and why did they/it impact you? 

My time in leadership positions with Gretchen Presnell Hyde, Mary Stuart Diebel and Meredith Stewart.  They all have very different leadership styles but our time together was tremendously rewarding.  I was challenged by creatively and professionally every day.  There was the leadership of equal measure of head and heart by each woman and it was inspiring to work on a team of such incredible women.  They accepted my authentic self and celebrated it.  During times of stress or insecurity at work today, I still remember my time shared with my Land ladies.  It brings me comfort and motivates me through the chaos.   

Favorite Camp food: Cookout at the cabin night! I loved sharing the experience with the campers and the challenge of starting the grill week after week! I laugh just thinking about it!  

Favorite book: Equal tie between Cold Mountain and The Color Purple  

Favorite sports team: US Women’s Soccer Team  

What would be your intro song for every time you walked into a room? Gloria Estefan “Get on Your Feet!”  
 Do you have a hidden talent? Not a hidden talent but I make a great playlist and mixtape!  

 What is your guilty pleasure? Chicken wings and Taylor Swift  

 What profession other than your own would you like to try? Bed and Breakfast Owner  

 What is a goal on which you are working? Finding a healthy balance between work and personal life (a life’s work I know!)  

 What would you eat if you could only have one food for the rest of your life? Chicken wings and Caesar Salad  

Who is your hero? Lizzo, Julia Roberts, Meredith Stewart, and Michelle Obama!