Critical Mass Business Talk Show: Ric Franzi Interviews Leigh Lester, Founder of Ubuntu Institute of Learning (Episode 1335)


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Leigh Lester is the Founder & Executive Director of Ubuntu Institute of Learning, an international training organization focused on social justice issues ranging from Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging to Entrepreneurship to Affordable Housing.

As a trainer, consultant, educator, public speaker, serial ideator, and occasionally a coach, Leigh is always a positive force for her clients and co-conspirators. She is active in her community of Long Beach, She serves on a national Board of Directors for industry and nonprofit organizations. Her passion is service. She focuses that passion in affordable housing, under-invested entrepreneurship programs and/or diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives.

Known for her ability to break big ideas into bite-sized pieces, Leigh’s magic powers include public speaking, training, schmoozing, collaborating and totally out-of-the-box ideation. With over 20+ years industry experience, her main focus now is helping others create the right action steps to solve their problems.

Her approach is hands-on, practical application focused on outcomes, steeped in years of personal experience. As the one minority in the room for many years, she puts her experience to use affecting policy at the national level. She serves on the board of a national appraisal organization, a member of the advisory board for the Ashoka-Brookings Partnership Initiative: Valuing Homes in Black-Majority Neighborhoods, an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Navigator with Forward Cities Initiative in Long Beach, California and she serves as a Global Advisor with How Women Lead, a Bay Area leadership network that brings together influential women in an inclusive and highly supportive community to connect, learn, and promote the voices of all women and propel their leadership forward.

In this edition of Critical Mass Business Talk Show, Leigh Lester joins host Ric Franzi to discuss her leadership of the Ubuntu Institute of Learning, as well as her latest initiative, Launch Long Beach.


Critical Mass Business Talk Show is Orange County's longest-running business talk show, focused on offering value and insight to middle-market business leaders in the OC and beyond. Hosted by Ric Franzi, business partner at Renaissance Executive Forums Orange County.

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