Leane Marchese

Leane Marchese

Executive Director

Life Science Cares San Diego

San Diego, CA USA

Perfection is the enemy of progress.


By Roadtrip Nation

Leane Marchese


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I grew up in Encinitas, California, and spent a lot of time working with kids in summer camps and at community recreation facilities.
After high school, I went to community college and then transferred to a four-year university—I started as a business major but switched to outdoor recreation because it was a better fit for me.
I worked for two years as a teen nightclub program director for the YMCA before going back to school for my master’s degree in recreation and leisure studies.
After graduating, I built my career and gained experience managing various nonprofit community-based programs and organizations.
I eventually made my way back to the YMCA and worked as an executive director building a brand new YMCA in San Diego’s Pacific Beach—at the time, I thought it was my dream job.
When COVID-19 hit, raising funds for a new YMCA was no longer a priority and I had to give that job up.
On the bright side, it allowed me to take on the executive director role for Life Science Cares San Diego.
With Life Science Cares, I got to start a new, innovative way to engage with the community through corporate giving and volunteer engagement.
Keep following my journey


High School
Outdoor Recreation
California State University, Chico
Recreation Management
Clemson University


Executive Director

I help pull together the collective effort of biotech companies in San Diego to impact poverty in the community.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

Every day is different. One moment I could be chatting with technical support on how to program a query in our database, creating a powerpoint for a board meeting, writing copy for a newsletter, or having coffee with a potential supporter to gain their financial support for Life Science Cares. There is no typical day and that is what I love about my job.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Back in the day, there wasn't a nonprofit leadership major or educational path and business degrees did not really include social innovation or social enterprise. Today they do. These are educational areas to explore. Also, working in the nonprofit arena really derives from your passion—once you follow that, you may find your calling.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Nonprofit Leadership


Challenges I Overcame

Job Loss

Interviewed By

Caring Forward

Caring Forward

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