Hi there! I'm Leah and I'm a mom just like you. I know what it's like to balance a family, feel alone, and struggle with money. My mission is to strengthen families through financial wellness.
I serve a lot of roles in my life - I'm a wife, a dedicated daughter, an entrepreneur, a sister, a friend, an advisor, a mediator, and so many others. The role that motivates me, inspires me and challenges me more than any other is being a mom.
Imagine this. You're sitting in a meeting and you receive a phone call...a call that will change your life as you know it. In 2013, I got that call. I will never forget that day.
My ex-husband and I went from no children one day to 3 children (ages 1, 4, and 5) three days later. We had no toys, no car seats, and no clothes for them. The children were coming to us from the foster care system. Each came with a garbage bag that did have some clothes - many they had already outgrown. The two oldest each had one toy and my daughter also had a blankie. That was it. They needed EVERYTHING.
We had been waiting for this call for several months as we were planning to adopt but this was not quite what we had in mind. We thought we would adopt one child, two at the most. We never even considered three at once.
It was amazing to have our family explode over night but it was scary, too. We made the decision out of the love in our hearts but didn't even consider the financial consequences. It was a budgeting nightmare. I didn't know how we were possibly going to provide for these kids.
All of our priorities literally changed over night.
My ex-husband and I quickly learned that we did not parent well together. Couple that with the financial stress we were under and we soon realized that staying married was not in the cards for us.
Not long after we divorced, I reconnected with a friend I knew in college. After a whirlwind romance where he won my heart and the hearts of my children, we got married.
In 2015, after I was divorced and before I got remarried, I lost my job as an equity research analyst. I applied for other jobs but I couldn't find anything that offered the flexibility I needed to grow professionally while also prioritizing being a mom.
The decision was made. I dove head first and started my own business full-time. I first established Great Lakes Divorce Financial Solutions as a way to provide compassionate financial guidance to those going through divorce. However, my clients wanted more. I opened Great Lakes Investment Management shortly thereafter as a way to maintain client relationships with ongoing financial planning and investment management.
Watch Her Thrive grew out of a passion project of mine.
I've never had the kind of money that would require guidance from a traditional financial advisor but I have had a lot of challenging financial times in my adult life (becoming a parent, getting divorced, and losing my job, to name a few). Times when careful financial planning was critical to my peace of mind.
Watch Her Thrive is about providing you with support regardless of where you're at. In addition to private one-on-one coaching and group programs, there is a free Facebook community available to any mom who needs the support.
Together, we can improve our financial situations and set our children up for a positive relationship with money.