Meet the Leahys
Jim and Linda Leahy are two of the best people I have ever met in my life. Down to earth, humble, loving, interested in personal growth, intentional, and both with unique senses of humor to boot. The first time Linda and I spoke on the phone, I think it was for two hours. Linda is the kind of person you can talk to for hours and it feels like 5 minutes. I first met with them at the end of 2013. They were about to celebrate a huge milestone in the family company that Jim's grandfather had started, his father had stewarded, and Jim and his brothers had grown to the international success it is today. The idea at first was to make a movie just about the company and the 150 years they marked this year, 2015. In the end, we made 6 movies for them of various lengths. When I showed Linda the trailers to them, she laughed and cried, and then hugged me. I am so grateful that the Leahys came into my life, and I hope that they will remain in my life for years to come.
American Hotel Register
This is a trailer for the original film that the Leahys had in mind when we first met in 2013. It is a film that they premiered at their grand celebration for 150 years in downtown Chicago in January of 2015. They showed it to a room of 1000 employees, vendors, and clients. I was lucky enough to be there. What had moments before been a room full of boisterous conversation turned into silent attentiveness, sometimes laughter, and I even saw tears from my seat in the back of the room at a table with the American Hotel social media team. It was a hit! And the Leahys have since shown it to their other offices around the country and the world. It not only shows the history of the company but also the family's commitment to the company and its associates. I am extremely proud of this film.
Celebrating 10 Years!
This is a compilation video of our favorite family films over the past 10 years.
Leahy Family History
Jim Leahy's brother, Tom, was not only a long-time partner in the family business but also the family historian. As a boy, he interviewed his older relatives and was the only one to do so. Thankfully, he is here today to share these stories as well as the amazing amount of genealogy research he has done over the years. Add to that the fact that he's a great storyteller, and you've got an entertaining view into the past. In this clip, you see Tom sharing his research and Jim sharing his memories of his grandmother. Together, they bring to life two people who were instrumental in the Leahys' success today for the current and future generations of the family.
Melba Smith is a 94-year-old with spirit and gumption. She's Linda Leahy's mother, though they couldn't be more different. And their relationship has not always been an easy one. Melba finally allowed me to interview her after reassurance from Linda, Linda's brother, and myself that it was ok to talk about the past and her family. She was raised in a community and a generation where you leave the past in the past. Linda's reaction to this trailer to Melba's movie was, "My mother is funny!" I think she was actually taken aback with how moved she was by the movie, and how much she was able to laugh along with her mother's matter-of-fact storytelling. The filmmaking process cannot undue years of strain, but I hope that Melba's movie can give the Leahys and their children more insight into how Melba became who she is. It's this sort of insight that can shift a family culture and prevent patterns from needlessly repeating. It starts with awareness.
Rollins Family History
One things that distresses me is that so often the stories we hear are all about men and their rise to success. Women, wives, daughters, sisters - those stories often go untold, and many times because the women themselves don't see their own value as much as those of the "wealth creators." I'm on a mission to change this. I think that the saying about there always being a woman behind a man's success story is shifting, but for many generations, it has been true. And I want to tell those stories. I also think it is important for current and future generations to understand their full history, not just the history of the wealth creator. This is a clip from the background story of Linda Leahy's father and his family. He was a big shot on the Santa Fe railroad in his day, but from humble roots, and he certainly did not have the kind of stature and wealth that Linda married into. Linda agreed that it was important for her children and grandchildren to hear the stories from her side of the family that were for the most part a mystery to her daughters.
Meet the Munchins
When I first met with Allan Muchin in 2012 in his downtown Chicago office , he showed me the photos of him with famous comedians he'd known over the years and told me he'd been involved with many roasts, all while holding an unlit cigar in his mouth. "Can you make sure I'm funny?" he asked me, wanting my guarantee that his sense of humor would be captured in his movies. My reply was that I could only make him appear funny if he actually was funny. I think the beginning of this clip illustrates his sense of humor to a tee:)
In this trailer for their movie, you see the stages of success in Elaine and Allan's life. It is an overview of how they met, started their family, became part-owners of the Bulls and White Sox, and how Allan became President of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Most importantly, you can see their commitment to each other, their family and their legacy.
Words of Wisdom From An Old Lady
When I founded LCF in 2005, my first two subjects were my very own grandmothers. Lenore, my maternal grandmother, leads a very full life in South Palm Beach, FL. In this clip from her Legacy Film, Lenore shares some wisdom as we follow her throughout a very active day in her life.
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"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family."