Leighton Okus – 40 under 40 2021

Name: Leighton Okus

Age: 37

Occupation: Executive Director

Business/workplace: Ocala Main Street

Grand goal in life: To leave a legacy of kindness. 

When not working, I…  Can be found hanging with my kids, immersed in anything relating to the arts (probably at the Reilly!) or sweating it out at ONE Hot Yoga.

What I like about Ocala: I love being connected to the history of this town and the wonderful people who have paved the way for incredible growth and change. I love that I walked my children to the same elementary school I attended, and I especially love that we can still get a Baby Bear Burger, crinkle fries and a vanilla malt milkshake at Hungry Bear. 

Pet peeve: Loud chewing. I will excuse myself from a room or literally plug my ears.

Philosophy of life word: Love. If at the end of every day, we could just let love win, the world would be a better place. 

Personal superpower: Communication. I love every opportunity to get to know people, connect and share stories. I like to think I can talk my way in or out of anything.

Superhuman power I’d like: Teleportation. The ability to just appear at a moment’s notice would be incredible! I’ve wished for it at least a thousand times. 

Favorite cause: Wear Gloves and Dignity Roasters has the most intentional and meaningful mission. Their heart to help and empower people, who are often lost or forgotten, is evident in everything they do.

Guilty pleasure: Podcasts. Every kind. I never stop listening.

Historical dinner date: Barbara Walters. I think she has spent more time with more interesting people than anyone! I would love to interview the GOAT interviewer!

People who know me say I am…  Witty. They’re probably right. 

Biggest professional achievement: State and National recognition for our Downtown Burger Tour!

Favorite part of my profession: The people. Knowing, supporting and connecting the people in our community is beyond rewarding.

I indulge too much in…  Hummus. I love hummus like Bubba Gump loves shrimp. 


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