Woman in Leadership: Stephanie LaFleur

By KBJR News 1

October 21, 2010 Updated Oct 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM CDT

Chaos is what Stephanie LaFleur says is a part of her daily life, but she loves every minute of it.

With five kids, a childcare business, and a laundry list of volunteer commitments, Stephanie rarely experiences boredom.

But it's being a part of a child's life that always brings a smile to Stephanie's face.

"I just really enjoy how you can make a difference even when it comes to the simple things like teaching them how to tie their shoes or sign language those kinds of things. And they are just like little sponges and they soak it all up," says Stephanie.

Besides running a child care center, Stephanie is a mother to five girls.

One of whom she took into her home and began caring for as her own, while the young girl was going through some difficult family times.

"It was just a nice transition to open our home to her because she's a great kid and this way she still gets to see her family and also gets to grow up in the chaos of a large family," says Stephanie.

Stephanie also spent 22 years in the Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing.

This love for jets prompted Stephanie to begin volunteering for the Duluth Air Show and it's already been two decades since she started helping out.

And that was just the beginning of Stephanie's passion for volunteering.

"I think it's important that your kids see you giving back because it should be an automatic thing for people to... as I say "do a little time. You should be active in your community and giving back because you are blessed," says Stephanie.

But it's Stephanie's infectious laugh and positive attitude that draw people to her, from the moment they meet her.

"It never ceases to floor me how positive she is and that's something I've noticed that she brings out in other people," says Stephanie's husband Chris.

"I am the sunshine pusher that is the other call sign for myself. I think positive thoughts lead to positive things and if you are a positive person you are less likely to spread the doom and gloom," says Stephanie.

A light of sunshine that Stephanie plans to continue shining in many Northlanders lives.