LISA LESHNE has been in the media and entertainment business for over 25 years. Lisa’s experience spans the broadest range of the industry. In 1991, she co-founded The Prague Post, the largest English-language newspaper in Central Europe, along with its book division and website, PraguePost.com. Lisa worked in Prague as the newspaper’s Publisher for almost a decade. In 1999, she moved to Manhattan to work for Accenture as a Senior Consultant in the Entertainment & Media Group. She later worked in strategy and business development for Dow Jones, and was Executive Director, International, for WSJ.com, the Wall Street Journal Online, responsible for digital business operations in Europe and Asia, where she oversaw advertising, marketing and circulation. Lisa also served as VP, Strategy and Business Development, for Ink2, an industry leader in the print-on-demand industry and the owner of Cardstore.com. Lisa worked for a year after 9/11 at the Partnership for New York City’s Financial Recovery Fund, evaluating grant applications and providing strategic advice to small businesses destroyed in the World Trade Center attacks. Prior to founding The Leshne Agency in 2011, she was a literary agent at LJK Literary.
Lisa’s clients include Czech bestselling novelist and memoirist Ivan Klima; New York Times Bestselling Author of Crazy is My Superpower, Three-time WWE Divas Champion AJ “AJ Lee” Mendez Brooks; Award-winning ScaryMommy.com Blogger and New York Times bestselling author Jill Smokler; New York Times Bestselling author of Shutterbabe, The Red Book, Hell is Other Parents, and Between Here and April, Deborah Copaken Kogan; RunLikeAGirl.com Blogger and New York Times bestselling author Mina Samuels; New York Times Bestselling author of The Buy Side, former Wall Street trader and CNBC.com contributing writer Turney Duff; Author of Miracles We Have Seen, No Regrets Parenting and 940 Saturdays, Pediatrician and parenting expert Dr. Harley Rotbart; #1 Los Angeles Times, USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of Living With a SEAL: 31 Days Training With the Toughest Man on the Planet, Former rapper, Serial entrepreneur, Marquis Jet and 100 Mile Group co-founder and Atlanta Hawks co-owner Jesse Itzler; Author of My (Underground) American Dream, Former Goldman Sachs VP, Immigration Rights Activist and Co-founder and Chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, Julissa Arce; New York Times bestselling author of A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers, Lawrence McDonald; College admissions expert, Attorney, Forbes columnist and New York Observer writer Steve Cohen; Co-Founder and Partner of the GSV Acceleration Fund and former Chief Business Officer of Chegg, Anne Dwane; Stylist and Bravo TV personality at Blood, Sweat and Heels, Daisy Lewellyn (d. 2016); Former ABC news anchor, Digital lifestyle expert The Well Mom and Geek Girls Rising blogger Heather Cabot; Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It Blogger Meg Zucker; Million dollar winner on Survivor, Reality star, TV and Sirius XM Radio Host Jenna Morasca; American Police Beat Publisher Cynthia Brown; Author of The Death of Punishment, New York Law School Professor Robert Blecker; and Award-winning author of Vodka, Tears and Lenin’s Angel and New York Post celebrity real estate and food columnist Jennifer Gould.
LITERARY SPECIALTIES: An avid reader of blogs, newspapers and magazines in addition to books, Lisa is most interested in narrative and prescriptive non-fiction, especially on social justice, sports, health, wellness, business, political and parenting topics. She loves memoirs that transport the reader into another person’s head and give a voyeuristic view of someone else’s extraordinary experiences. Lisa also enjoys literary and commercial fiction and some young adult and middle-grade books that take the reader on a journey and are just plain fun to read.
TALENT MANAGEMENT: Lisa manages a select number of her literary and entertainment clients, overseeing business matters, speaking engagements, and advising them over the course of their careers. Management clients include AJ Mendez Brooks, Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, and Steve Cohen.
Originally from Champaign, Illinois, Lisa has a BA in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MBA from Harvard. She has been profiled for entrepreneurial activities on 60 Minutes, Prime Time Live, the BBC, and featured in Fortune, Money, The New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, Advertising Age, Smithsonian and other publications. Lisa is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study on The Prague Post, and has been an invited speaker and panelist at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children, ages 13 and 11, and their rescue dog, Luna May, a hound/husky/retriever mix who can be found on Instagram @LunaMayNYC. Lisa is active on several non-profit boards, and enjoys spinning, training for marathons and triathlons (anything to get her outdoors) when she’s not curled up with a good book! Lisa is a member of the Association of Author Representatives, the Author’s Guild, the Women’s Media Group, PEN America, and moderates a monthly discussion series for UJA-Federation of New York called “In the News.”
SANDY HODGMAN is Director of Foreign Rights for The Leshne Agency. Sandy began her publishing career in the editorial departments at John Wiley & Sons and at Little, Brown, and has handled the foreign rights at The Robbins Office Literary Agency, HarperCollins Publishers and LJK Literary Management. She has had the pleasure of selling foreign rights for such best-selling authors as Wally Lamb, Gregory Maguire, and Madeleine Albright.
At The Leshne Agency, Sandy handles foreign rights and is dedicated to the long-term success of the agency’s authors. Sandy meets regularly with foreign publishers in New York and at international book fairs such as the Frankfurt Book Fair, the London Book Fair, and Book Expo America. Sandy is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Colgate University and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.
KARISA KOONTZ is an Editorial Assistant at The Leshne Agency. Originally from Westchester county, New York and Portland, Oregon, Karisa is an aspiring writer working on a novel about Henry VIII’s natural son, Henry Fitzroy, and loves reading anything and everything. She has previously worked as a technical writer, nanny, camp director, and editorial associate at a sports marketing start-up.
Karisa has lived and worked in New York City since 2003 except for a brief three-year sojourn in San Francisco. She holds an MFA in writing from The New School and a BA (cum laude) in English from Barnard College, Columbia University. She currently resides on the Upper West Side with her husband.