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I am a Hudson Valley Parent: Michelle Barone-Lepore

Michelle Barone-Lepore manages her career/family balance with community support

Michelle Barone-Lepore enjoys a full family life, career and community involvement. The mom of two young boys, Luca, 4, and Luciano, 2, she and her husband, Daniel Lepore, are now expecting a daughter, Liliana.

Michelle Barone-Lepore - mother to 4-year-old Luca, 2-year old Luciano, and soon-to-arrive Liliana - feels that she was born into her full-to-the-brim balance of work, parenting and avocations. Just as her husband, Daniel Lepore, who she's known since they were in fifth grade, was born to his.

"We're both kids of immigrants," said Barone-Lepore. "Our parents instilled so much work ethic in us. We're always striving to be best."

Barone-Lepore works as senior vice president of marketing for Rhinebeck Bank in Poughkeepsie and has a long-held weekend gig as a deejay for iHeartRadio's KISS FM. She's also co-chair of First Friday Poughkeepsie, (, a monthly food, art and music festival in the City of Poughkeepsie aimed at increasing the city's community vibe and awareness of its support of local residents and businesses.

Barone-Lepore also is a key supporter of the local Stuff the Bus holiday campaign, where non-perishable food is collected for area food pantries. Last autumn, she introduced the program to her eldest.  

"I...took Luca to help with the Stuff the Bus fundraising the station was hosting recently, for KISS FM," she said. "And he did great, waving his hand, passing out donation cards, and helping out beyond all expectation."

READ MORE: Volunteer opportunities for kids

Barone-Lepore's husband is vice president of LCS, a regional c

ommercial cleaning and landscaping business, which he grew into a 500-person operation while she grew a freelance social media marketing company that eventually led to her bank career.

"I am always on the ball; there's always so much to do," Barone-Lepore said. "I love balancing all my activities, my jobs, my family. I like a full life."

She grew up the youngest of six siblings, with her closest in age ten years older. Her dad owned a florist shop/liquor store on Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Her mother worked a night shift at IBM.

READ MORE: Keeping up with a busy schedule

"I always had a lot of support and a lot of people to bounce ideas off of," said Barone-Lepore. "I've had a lot of love in my life." 

But she also noted the many lessons learned, including the value of a fully-lived life. During college Barone-Lepore pursued her love of songwriting and singing, including doing paid performances. Now she's focused on time with her family, weekends at the radio station and community work.

Her kids, said Barone-Lepore, are "boy's boys" and like to dance or sing along to a song, but she teaches them how important it is to have a full life and to be involved in their community.

"My mom says I was always a doer," she said. "I think sometimes you're just born that way. My mom, my family, worked to empower me and that gave me confidence. I think a lot of people lack that confidence."

While her boys may not have the performing bug that she does, Barone-Lepore pointed out that Luca's thriving in karate now, learning discipline. And both he and Luciano are learning the power of mini-moments, as she calls them.

"I never underestimate what they can do," she adds. "I incentivize them in a positive way."

She and her husband feel that they're raising their family in the perfect place, made more so by their full lives, and the fact that they know folks everywhere they go. In addition to the ways that the entire Hudson Valley is rising with positivity, Michelle is stressing positive action in a new Youtube video she's creating each week with her niece.

"I think, in the end, it all comes down to hard work and what you're ready to give," she says, summing up the work/family balance that drive her life. "Putting forth a positive image is what it's all about, for the area and for one's family."

Paul Smart is a father who writes for a variety of publications in the Hudson Valley.

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