Beyond the Boardroom

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Leslie Ruhland

Author: Sarah Treseler
October, 2016 Issue

A North Bay native, Leslie Ruhland is currently vice president of Accuchex Corporation in Novato, which specializes in providing payroll and HR solutions to employers nationwide. Ruhland spent time living in South Africa and now lives in Lucas Valley, a mere eight houses away from her childhood home.

Asked how her business got its start, Ruhland says, “I originally came from the hospitality industry and my husband was studying engineering. My father thought is was a great idea to offer off site ‘job-shopping’ but the core [of the business] was payroll—which, in itself, is the circle of life. [The business] was a great blend of all of our talents.” Ruhland admits, “I’ve owned and operated my own businesses for most of my adult life. I can’t remember earning a paycheck from somebody else.” Accuchex has been in business for 27 years and incorporated in May 1990.

Do you have a big family?
It’s relatively large and still growing. I have three sons, two dogs and a cat. I’m looking forward to it growing even larger in the years to come. I have a big dining room table.

What do you love to do outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family on the water sailing or at Lake Tahoe. I recently took up golf, which is great fun. You can get fresh air and exercise while having a cocktail and chatting.

What spells adventure for you?
Landing in a third world country without a hotel reservation.

What talent or skill would you like to have?
I wish I could stay focused long enough to learn to speak four different languages fluently.

Where would your dream vacation be?
An around the world sail on a 150-feet yacht, complete with crew

What’s your most prized possession?
The sapphire ring I wear every day. It represents my life and will become a precious gift to pass on.  I’m partial to sapphires as they are not only beautiful but also my birthstone. Before her death, my mother instilled a sense of tradition by passing her special birthstone pieces to the next generation, as a way to remember the family that came before. Although I have several pieces, including my Grandmother’s pendant and my Mom’s earrings, I wear a sapphire ring every day.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?
I’m a cat-dog person. My cat loves the car, eats like a dog and comes to a whistle. My dog is a big pussycat.

What was your first job?
My first job was at a gas station (when gas stations had attendants). I loved acting like I knew what I was looking at under the hood. Remember the old credit card swipe machine with carbon paper?

What’s the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten?
Mopani worms. They’re similar to a giant caterpillar and live in Mopani trees in Southern Africa. Fresh off the barbeque they taste like tortilla chips.

If you could live anywhere in world, where would you choose?
I’d live everywhere for 18 months. That’s long enough to develop new habits, learn traditions and become part of the fabric of a community. I couldn’t choose one single place.

Have you ever had a mentor?
My father held me accountable, challenged my ideas and was my greatest supporter.

What do you consider your best quality?
I’m a positive person who wakes up happy each day. Also, my loyalty and capacity for love.

What’s enjoyable about your career?
I really enjoy meeting people who are involved in diverse business ventures. When I’m able help them, I feel like I’m a part of their adventure, too.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
Sometimes I still feel like a 16-year-old girl pretending to be a grown up—and I’m afraid I’ll be found out.

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