Her journey from California, where she did a lot of acting, to a radio show in Greeley makes for an interesting story. “I went to Zina Provondi School and my acting coach was the head acting coach at Paramount Studios, so that gave me my start. Then my dad’s friend was a good friend of Bob Hope. Through that contact, I was able to do many projects with Bob Hope. I was an ingénue at seventeen and did many fun things in film and theatre.” Lea was “up” for parts in quite a few television productions, but none of them ever came through. “I loved drama and was a real drama queen. I thought I was going to be a Broadway star.”
When Lea got married, her career plans changed. “I started a day care center. I still did some acting though. When I would get a call to audition, I would dress up all of the kids, (I usually took care of between four and six of them) and take them with me on the interviews. One time both my son and I got a job out of it.”
Lea and her family lived at a dairy. “My husband was in the dairy business and had a chance to buy a farm in Greeley. I was acting in a Christian soap opera at the time and had to give it up to move to Greeley. That was in 1976. We’ve been here ever since.”
Never one to sit still, Lea started her own business, The Sport Closet, a retail store that specialized in workout clothes. Then she started The Dance Center from London, which handled hot bright colors of Spandex and went on to open the Face Place, a Paula Lynn Skin Care shop. As if that wasn’t enough, she and her husband started the Greeley Charter Business, an airplane charter company. During this time, she continued her pursuit of acting with JF Images as her agent. She also served on the Greeley City Council for four years. In 1993, she began the “Lea Live” radio show, which started out as a forum for her local listeners. Now over two million daily listeners hear her program.
Do you have a favorite childhood story? What is it? When I was eight years old, we were living in Cleveland, Ohio. A group of girls was playing on the rocks and it was windy and stormy. A friend had slipped down the rocks and I told the girls to join hands and form a chain. I was at the end and we pulled her up. I was the hero!
What’s important in your life? God, family, country. My spiritual beliefs; my husband and family; and my career. My horses are also important in my life. I’m a novice barrel racer. Oh, and I can’t forget my Dog Star, a Kerry blue terrier, the “Starman.”
What’s in your future? A syndicated talk show.
What are your volunteer activities? The Adoption Exchange, Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Co-Chair of Women’s Economic Development Council for Colorado, former volunteer at Billie Martinez Elementary School, and numerous other non-profit organizations and political campaigns statewide and nationally.
Is there a non-profit that is special to you? I’ve worked with the Adoption Exchange Program for ten years. There’s nothing greater! We do a feature on the show about children looking for homes. These are mostly older children, not babies. Nothing touches me more. It’s my major passion. People need to be aware of the organization. Maybe if people see the children they might be more willing to take on the care of one or more children and give them a home.
Which social event is your favorite? The Easter brunch with my family. I don’t have a favorite community event.
Favorite restaurant? Panzano in Denver. It’s Italian and next to my favorite hotel, Hotel Monaco.
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? I have met so many through the years but the highlight was Rudy Guiliani and when I was younger, Elvis Presley. I spent the day with him.
If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Someone who’s a cross between Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep.
Do you have any pets? My Dog Star and three horses.
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? I’m romantic, bright and cheery and love lots of light and I’m fun and whimsical.
What word describes you best Enthusiastic and larger than life. (Or anal retentive, a know- it- all and cute)
How would you like others to describe you? Honorable, generous and a person with integrity who stands by her word. One who says what she means and means what she says.
What was your first job? I was THE babysitter at 12. My first “real job” at 16 was at Marie Callender’s as a hostess.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My impatience. I’m too intense.
What trait do you most deplore in others? Lack of integrity, phoniness.
What is your greatest indulgence? I tend to do everything, so that’s a tough one for me.
What type of clothes do you like? Unique and eclectic.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Take my potions and have a quiet time.
What’s the last thing you do before bed? Have my prayer time.
Favorite comfort food? Breakfast foods.
Tell me something about yourself that people would be surprised to know about you. I’m just so childlike. They don’t see or understand that.
What is the best gift you have ever given? I gave a “Christmas” to a family that didn’t have very much.
What is the best gift you’ve received? My son.
What or who is the greatest love in your life? My husband, Mike.
What is your current state of mind? On what given day? Usually, I’m happy and content.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Outside of raising a child, the opportunity to succeed in business and my jobs.
What is your most treasured possession? A blanket. It was my birthday blanket and I wrapped it around my father. The next morning he passed away. My other treasured possession is a “thing” my son made me for Christmas. I’ve now put it in a shadow box so I won’t lose it. It’s very important to me.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Sense of humor and honesty.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Same thing. Women who are real and who are funny.
Favorite books/writers? Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.
What is the best advice you have ever received? My father told me to have courage and a sense of humor; to believe in something greater than myself, not take myself too seriously and never get too big for my britches.
Do you have a motto? Be able to laugh at yourself; then people will laugh with you, not at you.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you? I was using a “lip liner” at my son’s football game that turned out to be Peacock Blue. I found it wasn’t a lip liner; it was eyeliner.
If you could come back in another lifetime, what/who would you like to be? And why? A princess so I could do great things for people.
What are your hobbies? Other interests? Waterskiing, snow skiing, getting away to the beach, voracious reader. Horseback riding is a favorite.
Who is your mentor? Diane and Roseanne Garnsey. They live in Greeley and work on mentoring and counseling. Roseanne is Diane’s stepmother. She was a Colorado State Senator. They are very close to me and we’ve spent a lot of time together.
What would you most like to be remembered for? Accountability. That I made a difference in the lives of those that love me.
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? On the beach, somewhere warm where I could read books.
What do you like about the town you live in? It’s peaceful and has a hometown quietness. The best thing about Greeley though, is the people that live here.