Leila Bedoian, Owner of The Local

Leila Bedoian

Company/Organization Name: The Local – St. Augustine

Member Name and Title: Leila Bedoian – Owner

How long have you or your organization been a member of the Chamber? 2 years

How have you, or your organization benefited from membership in the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce? I’ve established a network of connections that I can turn to when in need. That’s paramount as a business owner.

What advice would you give a new chamber member to maximize their membership? You get what you put into it that’s for sure, so stay engaged, attend the events, network, leverage your resources, and be a resource to others.

What career advice do you live by? Pursue a career that aligns with your interests and passions. When you love what you do, staying motivated and excelling in your chosen field is easier.

What are the biggest challenges facing St. Johns County today? There are common growth-related challenges, like rapid population growth leading to housing affordability issues and increased infrastructure needs. In tourism, we grapple with seasonal ups and downs, congestion, rising property taxes, and insurance costs along with all other costs, environmental concerns, and housing and labor shortages. Through deliberate collaboration, I believe we can build an even more balanced and resilient tourism industry.

How do you define success? Being able to enjoy life. Whatever that means to you.

What past experiences or roles have led you to where you are today? I started in the hotel industry when I was 18 and worked my way up to General Manager pretty quickly, but my greatest success has been getting out of the industry for a little bit here and there to diversify my skillset. Every random job or hobby that I have done over the past 20 years has led me to where I am today.

What is a fun fact about you? I really enjoy traveling. I don’t know if it’s a fun fact but rather a fun thing I do! I love traveling internationally and within the US. I try to take a few trips throughout the year and I hope to be able to take one big international trip every year. This past year I visited Italy, Cabo & Seattle!