2016 Most Influential Women Honoree: Denise LeBolt
Denise LeBolt believes each of us can improve the lives of others. She makes her mark through food.
LeBolt is the founder of Homemade. Delivered. LLC, which she opened in 2013 out of a desire to help friends consume healthy food.
“I started Homemade Delivered with the goal of changing lives through better nutrition and helping those looking for healthy, nutritious, yet delicious, meals,” she says. “I started cooking in my kitchen at home and fairly quickly knew I would need to move as word spread of our services.”
In late 2014, Homemade Delivered moved to a commercial kitchen at 1330 E. Cherry St. LeBolt now has seven employees and just added her 223rd family to the client list.
“I knew that Homemade Delivered would be helpful for those on special diets,” she says. “What I didn’t anticipate was how many families with young children and no time to cook we would serve.”
From her early, post-college working days as a buyer for a large Texas department store through her time working for wholesale clothiers, LeBolt always believed in herself and her ability to enact positive change. One of her first experiences channeling her desire to serve involved man’s – and woman’s – best friend.
“My husband and I are dog lovers and have been associated with Westie Rescue for the past 20 years,” says LeBolt, who has four rescue dogs. “It has been an amazingly rewarding experience seeing the eyes of the literally hundreds of dogs where our actions have assisted in freeing these wonderful angels to live happy, loved lives.
LeBolt jokes she and her husband are known inside Westie Rescue as the worst foster parents due to the fact that they fell in love with and kept so many of their fosters.
When she served on the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, LeBolt decided with her husband to become a Big Couple to a 12-year-old boy, whom they mentored for six years. The young man learned to be a public speaker, excelled in athletics and debate, graduated college and now works for a Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Washington state. In 2003, LeBolt and her husband were honored as Big Couple of the Year.
LeBolt also was on the board of Ozarks Food Harvest, during which time she became well-versed about the issues of hunger, especially among area youth.
“I was happy to be an active board member for over 11 years, helping with the capital campaign for the current building,” she says.
LeBolt also has served the boards of Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast, Wish I May, Don’t Meth With Us and Good Samaritan Boys Ranch.
John Horton has known LeBolt for more than 20 years.
“Denise brings energy, knowledge and a strong work ethic to everything she does, personally, professionally and community-wise,” says Horton, president and owner of Layer 3 Technology.
“I’m extremely proud to call her a close friend. This community owes a great deal to Denise for all of her community service work.”