Snapshot: Brian Leonardi
Occupation: I’m an attorney. I’ve been working for a company in Norwalk for the past five years, but I just accepted a new position. I’ll be starting with an insurance company in Purchase, N.Y., in September.
Family: Elena and I got married in September 2012, and we were living in Danbury at the time. I grew up in Danbury, and Elena grew up in Brewster, N.Y. Our oldest, Avianna, was born in March 2014. Marcella was born in October 2015.
How long have you lived in Newtown? We are just past our three-year anniversary in town. We were running out of space in our townhouse in Danbury and were looking in the area. The first house we looked at in Newtown we fell in love with and moved into in July 2016.
What do you like to do in your free time? We love to go to my mother-in-law’s beach house in Milford. When we can, we like to travel and go down to Mexico once a year on vacation. Elena and I, every year or so, like to go away together, just her and me. We just did a trip to Croatia last month, which was a blast.
Do you have a favorite author? I love anything by Stephen Ambrose. He writes a lot about American history. He’s had some excellent books on World War II, which is a subject I’m very passionate about.
What is your favorite travel destination? Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For family vacations, that is our favorite place.
What is the best part about Newtown? The community. I don’t think that we realized what a great community it was when we moved here. Halloween here blew our minds. We don’t want to miss that now. And the first time I saw all of Main Street lit up with the [luminaries] during the holidays was awesome. Those are the intangibles about town that we didn’t realize when we moved here, but that we absolutely love.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? Aside from my parents, it’s my kids. When it was just me and Elena, we could go and do whatever we wanted. With the kids, it completely changes the way you view life and what your priorities are. You realize why your parents sacrificed all their time, energy, money, and resources for you, because it is the same you want to do for your kids — you want them to have the best of everything and enjoy a rich life.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My family, because that time is such a premium.
What is your favorite musical genre? I listen to pretty much everything, but I feel like I almost always gravitate back towards the stuff I listened to in middle school and high school. One of my favorite channels on SiriusXM is Lithium. It’s all ‘90s alternative/grunge like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and Bush. I never get tired of listening to that stuff.
Do you have a favorite TV show? Game of Thrones was our favorite for the past eight years, but we’re shopping around for a new favorite show.
What is your favorite food? I could eat pizza every day.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? Practice what you preach. My parents instilled that in me, and they were big on having morals and manners.
What is something you cannot live without? My family.
What is your proudest accomplishment? In addition to having a great marriage and a beautiful family, I would say passing the New York State Bar. I’ll spare you the details of how awful that summer was… It was stressful.