Leslie Atiyeh was raised on both sides of the Cascades- Forest Grove & Hermiston. Picking berries & cukes as a child, her mother was a field boss. She learned about the value of earning her own money and saving up to achieve her goals. She attended Lewis & Clark College and participated in their first-ever exchange program to the People’s Republic of China. Graduating with a degree in Political Science, she found a job right out of college, then requested a leave of absence to volunteer for the ’84 LA Summer Games where she helped host the PRC delegation to the Olympics– definitely a lifetime highlight! While volunteering for the World Affairs Council/NW China Council as an interpreter for the Sister State Province delegation from Fujian, China, She met her husband-to-be, Tom Atiyeh. They started an import and product development consulting firm, Atiyeh International Ltd. and moved their home and business to Yamhill County over 20 years ago. Currently, their family is spread out from Idaho to Texas with a daughter in Oregon and a black modified male polydactyl cat named SanBai.
Why did you select the business you are in?
Growing up in a rural area, I participated in 4-H, sewing and embroidery, competing in the county and state fair in modeling my own clothes. Textiles and color fashion were ingrained at an early age, so when I was exposed to the Atiyeh family business of handknotted Oriental carpets, it felt natural to learn about the weaving traditions around the world. I have been an international speaker at conferences in Iran and throughout the U.S.
What do you like most about what you do?
After 30 years managing an award-winning family business, I launched an encore career in 2015 as Executive Director of the Northwest China Council- a 37 year old statewide educational nonprofit. I enjoy putting all the pieces together for programming which brings people from all backgrounds together. The council’s mission is to promote a greater understanding of Chinese culture through programming business, language learning and contemporary affairs throughout the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Why did you join WOW and what is the most rewarding or valuable aspect of being a WOW member?
I was invited to join a few years ago by some very dynamic women– Nancy Hughes and Kathleen Buck. I am a joiner by nature and thrilled to belong to a group of women entrepreneurs. My favorite thing is to get to know the women and their stories on how they got to be where they are professionally. Fun, affordable programs introduce me to fun venues and vendors for future corporate and nonprofit event planning too!
Who could be an ideal potential client for you?
For carpets– someone who always wanted a handknotted carpet, enjoys a good bargain (we have a bargain bin in our wholesale warehouse!) and is in love with texture and color.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy baking, hiking, reading, playing soccer with my local women’s team.
What are five things you cannot live without?
- Human contact
- Authentic home grown & cooked food
- Family get-togethers
Where is your favorite place to vacation?
The Big Island of Hawaii and the Oregon coast.
CONTACT INFO: Leslie Atiyeh 莱絲莉
- President, Atiyeh International Ltd.
- Executive Director, NW China Council
Atiyeh International Ltd.
Northwest China Council