MARIA LEONHAUSER:
 




 
 
 
 
 
President, Franco Public Relations Group in Detroit. Leonhauser provides strategic planning, crisis management, and community outreach for Franco's clients. She also is the coach of the Franco team. She serves on civic and nonprofit committees and various boards and is the recipient of civic and professional awards. She has published articles on public relations and frequently speaks on the power of communications.


WHERE BORN: "New Jersey. I was an Army brat. I was born there but I lived everywhere."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My mom. She has this incredible view of the world, this joy about her that you can do anything you want to do. It probably helped me move forward in my career, set my sights, and accomplish whatever I wanted to accomplish. I had an editor when I still worked as a journalist in Philadelphia who said that if you don't have that little knot in your stomach where you don't know everything, then you shouldn't come to work."

LAST BOOK READ: "I was on vacation and read a murder mystery by Nagio Marsh, a new Zealand mystery writer. It's called Death at the Bar"

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "I'm competitive, determined, happy. I have what people refer to as “happy bursts.” It just comes over me. I'm a bit of a workaholic."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "Up. It's headed up – public relations and communications overall. We're way more responsive. It clearly has a direct link to technology. We're much faster and clearer in our communications, whether it's a strategic document or focused press release. We've been able to broaden our reach, not just various corporations, but internal and external communications. Making sure that everyone knows, as a company, what you stand for, what you've accomplished, and why it's important."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "My favorite sorts of gadgets are cords, plugs, and adapters. I travel a lot, especially internationally. For example, I can charge my mobile phone via the USB hub on my computer. You can have the greatest pieces, but if you can't connect it with everything else, you have to schlep everything. No matter where I am or what I need, I can access it."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Anywhere where I get the sense of serenity. Anywhere in nature. I just got back from Montana. It was a broad, expansive place where you feel like you're the first person that breathed that air."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Entertaining. I like to have friends over and have fabulous dinner parties with all of the bits and pieces – place settings, flowers. Scrapbooking, gardening."

FAVORITE FOOD: "My tops would be French, Japanese, and Italian, but I will try virtually anything for the experience of it."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I'm an aspiring murder/mystery writer. I'm dabbling in fiction."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "That I was a good person to spend time with. I was true to myself in my beliefs and values. My time here meant something."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.