Have You Met?

In the world of Colorado television advertising, Leslie Fishbein, President of Kacey Fine Furniture, is an icon. Many young people have grown up knowing Leslie as the nice Kacey Fine Furniture lady who lets her viewers share in her birthday celebration every year.

It was 1976 when Leslie joined the furniture business that was founded in the 50’s by Leslie’s parents, Jack and Shirley Barton. Kacey now operates six stores in Colorado; and as President, Leslie is in charge of the day-to-day operations, directs the merchandising, and she is accountable for all profit and loss within the company.

With each birthday, Leslie is aging like a fine wine - just getting better with time. Fishbein is brilliant, talented, and has a sharp business mind. You can put her up there along with any top business exec in the City of Denver.

It doesn’t hurt that the energetic Leslie is a physical fitness buff who wouldn’t miss a day without a work out; and happens to have a sister who is a hairdresser extraordinaire; and a cousin who is a top fashion consultant for Neiman Marcus. No wonder she always looks so fabulous!

All kidding aside, there is so much more to this trendsetting, dynamic business leader. Leslie believes in rewarding her employees. If someone helps contribute to the company’s success, she feels obligated to return in kind, because as Leslie says: "Success begets success". To encourage employees to take ownership and feel like they are an important part of the company’s success, the family donated stock to a trust and created an Employee Stock Ownership Program. The trust can buy stock, and as employees leave, they redeem their stock.

Many of us personally know first hand what a true and supportive friend Leslie is and agree that her sparkling presence - and zest for life and learning - motivates all of us to reach for the stars and never quit. For sure this lady has “heart” and a special flair all her own.

When asked: “What she hopes she will be remembered for?” Leslie responded: “For being kind, caring and energetic - but funny, and certainly not boring!” Being boring is something Leslie will never have to worry about. Leslie Fishbein is all of the above; and like a “force of nature”, sometimes unpredictable – which makes her even more fun and exciting to be around.

What event do you look forward to attending each year? As far as an Industry event, there is a yearly conference in Pebble Beach, and a non-profit event favorite is the DCPA’s “Saturday Night Alive.”

Do you consider yourself a risk taker? Yes, but with reservation. I will not jump out of a plane, I do not want to scale the Himalayan Mountains, nor do I like to gamble in Las Vegas.

If you could hypnotize anyone for the day, who would it be and what would you have them do? I don’t know that I would hypnotize anyone, but I am very amenable to suggestion and have been hypnotized various times. Once, the hypnotist asked me to remember the funniest joke I had ever heard, and I must have laughed for 20 minutes. I just wished he had asked me to tell everyone what was so funny!

Were you a good kid (or a mischievous one) when you were growing up? Do I really need to answer that one?

How has Denver changed through the years? Let me give you an example of how Denver has changed: There was a McDonald’s Restaurant on the corner of Colorado Blvd and Mississippi, now it is a Boston Chicken. But we used to ride our horses to McDonald’s to get drinks and snacks. Denver was very rural with a pretty small city area that, as a child, I had the run of the entire city! We would take the bus or walk or ride our bikes all over the city without a care in the world.

Is there a song you know all the words to? Some Beatles and Rolling Stones songs, and “America the Beautiful!”

Who is your personal hero? My father, my mother and my husband.

Who do you consider your mentor? I have been fortunate to have a lot of them, too many to enumerate here.

What is your greatest strength? Literally, I am extremely energetic and I can lift more furniture pound for pound in high heels than most people can imagine!

What is your greatest accomplishment? I am not done yet, so it is premature to say.

What is your most treasured possession? My husband and my family.

I know you have a great sense of humor; what can make you laugh every time? Besides jokes, funny books, the Comedy Channel - probably me!

What book has had the greatest impact on you - and is one that you would highly recommend to others? "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

What do you do to decompress after a hectic day? I don’t ever really compress, I am so energetic that I could slap myself sometimes. I don’t sleep much but I read voraciously.

You always look so impeccably dressed; where do you like to shop for clothes? Unfortunately, since no one pays for the clothing that I wear in the commercials, I will not give any of the stores a free endorsement. I will say, however, that my cousin Charles Goldstein gives me a lot of advice.

What topic are you most opinionated about? What topic do I not have an opinion about? I am opinionated about everything!

What do you think is the secret to a good marriage? Finding the right mate the first time.

If you could start all over, and change careers, what would you do? Journalism or Broadcasting or Writing something.

What’s in the future for Leslie Fishbein? Good question. As I have reached the age of 54, I realize that I do not know anything anymore. So, I am on a quest to determine the future, and I hope that the future finds me!

In your Kacey Fine Furniture commercials, you have become quite the charismatic spokeswoman. You look much more comfortable being on the air now than you did in the beginning – what helped you evolve and gain so much confidence? Thank you for the compliment. Obviously, age begets awareness of self.

Leslie Fishbein’s Awards & Recognitions: Leslie has won an Emmy for set design, a couple of “Mame Awards” for the Parade of Homes, “NHFA Design Display Award” for store design, “2002 Corporate Business Woman of the Year” awarded by the Woman’s Vision Foundation, MVP Award from the “Great Game of Business in 2000”, was a Judge for the “Pinnacle Awards” for the American Society of Furniture Designers. Leslie has also been interviewed and published by Inc. Magazine, National Public Radio and appeared on a special segment for NBC about business. Leslie’s company has been the subject of a case study for the University of Denver School of Business and has appeared in various books and articles.