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She rescues Dobermans.

posted Sep 25, 2015, 4:24 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Sep 26, 2015, 8:04 AM by Richard D'Ascoli ]
You might know PSAR REALTOR® Leah McIvor for her extensive community involvement in the East County region. She is incoming 2016 chair of the 600-member San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. For the past four years, she has chaired the Chamber’s Women in Leadership Luncheon (WILL), an annual awards program that honors dynamic women, standout leaders in their field, and draws more than 350 attendees. She also has served on various Chamber committees. She also is a board member for La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation, a capital fundraising group for facility improvements.
 
But did you know that she has been involved in rescuing and housing Doberman Pinscher dogs since she was a sophomore in high school? Over the past 30 years, Leah has fostered many dogs in need of rehabilitation, care and placement. “It’s a magnificent breed,” said Leah. “They are intelligent, athletic and loyal with an even temperament. The film industry has not served them well.”
 
Leah’s family has deep roots in San Diego. Her grandmother arrived here in 1921, traveling a wooden plank road across Imperial County with Leah’s great-grandparents. During her elementary school years she was often found visiting her great-grandmother’s home on Porter Hill Road in La Mesa and enjoying summers at the city’s municipal pool.
 
Horses also played a big part in Leah’s childhood in East County. Leah’s pony, Sake, was among the first horses to board at the Willow Glen Equestrian Center in El Cajon.  She has many fond memories from years of riding the trails from Ivanhoe Ranch and Smith Ranch.
 
Leah’s high school career spanned both coasts. She started at Grossmont High School as a Foothiller and finished as an Eagle -- not at Granite Hills, but at Thomas A. Edison High in Alexandria, Vir. 
 
After high school, Leah followed a traditional path in Northern Virginia and went to work for the Navy and then on to Sperry (the company became Unisys Corp.). Her natural talents soon drew Leah into marketing and business development. Leaving the defense industry, Leah joined a production company providing signage and communications products to high-profile organizations and events in the nation’s capital region. Her clients included The Race for the Cure, Marine Corps Marathon and many Smithsonian projects.
 
It was an exciting time. But the West Coast still tugged at her heart. “I love the atmosphere of the nation’s capital,” she said, “but San Diego is my home.” Leah and husband Anthony began a slow-motion relocation back to California in 2008.  They established residence in La Mesa’s Eastridge area, with Rommel and Heike, the Dobermans, and began to rejoin the community.
 
For Leah real estate was an easy choice for both personal and professional reasons. She earned her sales license in 2012, immediately joined Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage on Fuerte Drive, where she is today. “This is such a rewarding career,” she said, “whether it is finding the right investment for an out-of-town client or helping a new couple find the home of their dreams.”
 
Real estate is an endless learning experience, according to Leah. She has attended Modernism Week in Palm Springs, a citywide event that celebrates midcentury architecture and design. She also has checked-out the listings in Spain in Madrid’s swankier neighborhoods.
 
Leah and Anthony thrive on travel. Over the years, Leah has attended a cooking school in Ireland, dodged iguanas for a helicopter ride over Iguazu Falls, spent a freezing night in a Japanese monastery and searched for camel herds in Australia’s Outback. 
 
Back at home, Leah managed the 2012 campaign for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Proposition V, a $398 million bond measure. Prop. V, approved by East County voters, has financed the construction of facility, infrastructure and technology needs, and helped build the Cuyamaca College Student Services Building and the Grossmont College Arts and Communication Complex. 
 
Leah was honored the same year with the East County Chamber’s George Felix Volunteer of the Year Award. The award is named after the late La Mesa businessman and Chamber advocate known for his community volunteerism. The City of La Mesa has a public memorial to Felix, who passed away in 2002, located on a median at the corner of La Mesa Boulevard and University Avenue.
 
Leah is a 2011 graduate of the East County Chamber’s Leadership East County program, and recently completed Leadership East County’s first-ever Masters class. “These programs are valuable for real estate professionals,” she said. “The content can be easily translated into concrete benefits for clients.”
 
Leah said, “Community engagement is essential to the growth of a real estate professional’s business. It’s the same way with our Association. PSAR has always been there for me. Their legislative efforts help our community remain a beautiful place to live, work and play. Our engagement as members brings it all together.”