Leah Ward-Lee is the Founder and Executive Director of $1000 Start-Ups, a non-profit based on her book and course $1000 Start-Ups: 60 Businesses for Micro-Entrepeneurs and How to Start Them. This burgeoning non-profit provides economic and reentry opportunities by providing training and needs-based funding for potential entrepreneurs’ low-cost business start-ups, as well as building a consortium of local businesses who mentor and grow with them.During her successful career life, Leah served 20 years in the U.S. Army, and then went on the use her extensive knowledge regarding the business use of technology working for a wide range of businesses. She eventually moved on to work as an independent management consultant for a number of years, providing services to multiple companies.
Leah discovered Fernandina Beach while consulting for the City of Jacksonville in 2002, bought a house on the island in 2013, and moved here permanently in 2019. She discovered Unitarian Universalism when searching for an inclusive church community. She has volunteered extensively in her new hometown, and ultimately decided to launch (with her son Tony) the $1000 Start-Ups non-profit when she saw the way the Covid pandemic disproportionally affected the traditionally underserved community.
And the fun part: On July 4 of this year, in a lovely beach wedding, Leah married long-time UUCJ member Sam Lane!
Leah is truly someone who Lives Her UU Values.