New York Huskies

Husky profile: Libby Readel Leahy, ’05


A UW tradition for 30 years, the Dawg Dash 5K walk/run is a celebration of Husky community and spirit. Thousands of students, alumni, faculty and friends have participated in Dawg Dash, helping to make strides in the advancement of academic scholarships and higher education. This 5K has taken place annually in Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma, Washington, and—thanks to alumni like Libby Readel Leahy, ’05—in New York City as well.

According to Leahy, the UW Alumni Association’s New York City chapter had been eager to host a Dawg Dash event for many years. “We felt it would be a great way to raise awareness about UW on the East Coast as well as to raise money for the UWAA New York Scholarship Fund, which supports UW students from the tri-state area,” she says.

The first Dawg Dash NYC took place in April 2014 on Roosevelt Island. Leahy worked with fellow alumnae Jennifer Brezicha, ’01, and Holly Harlow, ’06, to gather support for and organize it. Nearly 150 people participated, and the chapter raised more than $4,000 for the scholarship.

The following year, Leahy collaborated with Jena Reid McLaughlin, ’10, to coordinate the second annual Dawg Dash NYC. Held in April 2015, it took place at Brooklyn Bridge Park. With an increase in volunteers, sponsors and participants over the previous year, they raised more than $5,000 for the fund.

Leahy is thrilled by the ways that Dawg Dash has brought people together: “For me, the most rewarding part about organizing Dawg Dash has been the opportunity to meet numerous alumni from all over the tri-state area, not to mention the world!” She notes that, for the 2015 event, visitors from the United Kingdom made a point to participate in the run while they were in New York.

Leahy says that the four years she spent at the UW “were some of the best.” Although she only lived in Seattle during her college years, she considers Washington just as much of a home as Illinois, where she grew up, and New York, where she’s lived for the last ten years.

At the UW, Leahy majored in Communication and also completed the Foster School of Business’s Professional Sales certificate program. For the certificate, she interned at the Seattle office of That internship led to connections in the New York City real estate market. Leahy was introduced to sales agents at Stribling & Associates through what she thought were informational meetings but turned out to be informal interviews. After a third meeting/interview, Leahy was offered a job in their New York office and the opportunity to work on one of their major conversion projects, The Plaza. It was an opportunity too good to pass up, so she agreed to move to New York and and join their team after graduation. She still works with them today and is one of their leading agents.

Leahy particularly enjoys working in new development, but she is active in the resale market as well. She has managed the sales offices of The Plaza residences and has been involved with the marketing and selling of six luxury residential buildings in Manhattan. She has become quite an expert on New York City and has even created, a social search tool on where to eat, drink and what to do by neighborhood.

She credits her studies at UW with helping to set her up for success. “My classes in both communication and business involved a lot of group interaction and group problem-solving,” she says. “They instilled in me the value of ethics as well as how to develop self-confidence and assertiveness.”

A lifetime member of the UW Alumni Association, Leahy is proud to be a Husky and represent UW on the East Coast. “Being involved with the New York alumni network has allowed me to be part of a wonderful, tight-knit community in a large city,” she says. “If you’re a UW alum and moving to a new city, definitely check out your local UW alumni chapter. It’s a great way to meet fantastic people who also just happen to share the UW experience. Get involved—it’s so much fun!”