Lesli Bandy

Fundraising Committee Chair

A native to California, born in Modesto and raised in Merced amongst the most productive agriculture in the world, Lesli got her first taste for aviation while working for a crop duster as her first job out of high school. She did everything from answering phones to flagging aircraft and was given the opportunity to fly the crop duster and their private Cessna at times.  

After moving to San Diego to attend San Diego State University, she drifted away from flying, became passionate about the Tibet movement and worked her way up to become President of the Students For A Free Tibet club on campus. During her attendance at SDSU, Lesli also completed a two-year event management certification program at the University of San Diego in just one year to follow her other passion of a career in the event and entertainment industry. Supporting herself entirely through school and single-handedly raising a son, Lesli worked multiple jobs including the Padres and Chargers events. She used her skills to organize a successful fundraising event for a group of Tibetan monks which helped build a monastery in Southern India. She eventually traveled to India to spend time with some of the monks she helped.  

After graduating SDSU in 2004, Lesli began working for the Nederlander Organization, one of the largest operations of legitimate theatres and music venues in the U.S. She now manages season ticket operations for the Hollywood Pantages Theater. She returned to her passion for flying about three years ago. Being introduced to organizations like The Ninety-Nines and Women In Aviation International has helped her achieve multiple flight training scholarships, and Leslie proudly obtained her private pilot’s license this year. Lesli has put her heart and soul into everything she is passionate about and through persistence and determination she finds her way. Supporting an organization like WAI San Diego excites her to  inspire others and help them reach their dreams!