Leslie learned Chinese at Lewis & Clark College in preparation for their first-ever exchange program to Guilin, Guangxi Province with Prof. Jeffrey Barlow and Christine Richardson-Barlow. She studied, taught and danced in China for 18 months without eating one hamburger.
Upon graduating with a Political Science degree, she met her husband, Tom Atiyeh, while volunteering for NW Regional China Council to assist with the visiting Sister State-Province Fujian delegation in December 1984. She co-founded Atiyeh International Ltd., an import and product development firm. She convinced the Chinese weaving centers to produce updated versions of the Atiyeh Kerman deLuxe which they did for over 20 years.
Leslie is excited to launch her encore career in the nonprofit sector with Northwest China Council after spending 30 years in an award-winning family-managed private business. She is a founding director of NW Regional China Council and co-founded Portland Area Rug Society. Leslie enjoys volunteering for P.E.O., St Paul Lutheran Church, neighborhood emergency planning, book club, playing soccer, gardening, and motorcycling.