Lesley Rydman Ohmann
When people ask what I do, I simply tell them I have over 30 years in Customer Service - perhaps an oversimplification, but true none-the-less.
For several years, I served as the Executive Director for a child development center. A previous work associate came to me with a vision and asked if I'd help. She had purchased a business, a daycare with 18 enrolled children. In two years, we went from 18 students and 4 staff members in a one room schoolhouse to a large 5-star Child Development Center with 250 families and 35 staff members. It was a wild and wonderful ride.
I was the Director of Client Development for an IT start-up. In a small business, that title is a fancy way of saying "all duties as assigned." To this day, I still do contract work for them when needed. I worked in customer service for an international hardware company where I managed over 900 accounts. I actually won their "People Who Make a Difference" award, which my friends and family used against me anytime I told them NO. "But, mom, I thought you were making a difference?" Everyone's a comedian....
Like most parents, I juggled work, kids, and youth sports - swim team, soccer, and rugby. Rugby had a regular season and an "All Star" season. My son's first year, i volunteered to cut up oranges....which led to me running the program for the next several years. If you've ever volunteered in youth sports, this will not surprise you. The grande finale of each season was to get 55 high school boys from all over the state, many of whom had never been outside of North Carolina, to Cheswick, PA for a regional rugby tournament. It was a logistical, paperwork, coordinating, and fundraising nightmare. It was absolutely exhausting. Every year, I said it was my last. And every following year, I went back....even after my own was in college. A few of those boys, including my own, were scouted by universities and even the USA national rugby team. It gave them the opportunity to travel the world.
Now, how did I get into borzoi? In my teens, I saw a black and white photo of a lady climbing out of a car in NYC with two borzoi. I had no idea what kind of dogs those were but I vowed to have one. It only took me 30 years. In 2015, my Mother's Day gift to myself was a borzoi puppy. In 2016, we added another. In 2018, a friend reached out to see if I could help transport several borzoi from a surrender situation to their foster homes. I jumped at the chance. We even fostered one of the dogs....until we made her ours. We named our little NBRF girl Addie and she is a delight!
What do I bring to NBRF? I have a sunny disposition, a quick wit, and a soul-level love for this breed. I am good with people, and finding silver-linings, and also really, really good at managing chaos. The plan is to utilize my gift of gab and written word but, frankly, I am happy to serve in any capacity to ensure these angels live long, happy, healthy lives.