Manuela Leonhard

Manuela Leonhard

Assistant of the Mayor of Zurich and mother of 4 children, 1 daughter and 3 sons, ages 29,27,25,23

1. So Manuela tell us, what do you do?

I work as the Assistant of Corine Mauch, the Mayor of Zurich. I am responsible for her office management, her agenda, interview requests, her public appearances and attendances for speeches as well as her business trips.


2. What do you like most about your work?

Always being in the ‘middle of the tornado’ right where everything happens. It’s a daily challenge to be the ‘bottleneck’ between the Mayor and the other side of ‘the rest of the world’ giving the best for both sides, deciding what needs to be priority. I am a kind of natural fire wall. I like challenges and I like getting to know so many interesting people through my work.


3. Which improvements have you accomplished during your work?

It is a steady work between the Mayor and me to establish an environment that makes her accomplish her work in the best and most efficient way. That means a good communication and co-working together with everybody internally in the municipal Departments as well as all the people from outside. We have managed very well so far but there is still room for improvement. So the ‘journey’ is not over yet.


4. Tell us a bit more about your position as Ambassadress for the Zurich Tourism

I had this request to represent Zurich as one of its citizens who also works in Zurich. It was a great experience for me to make this short promotional video since Zurich is my most favorite place in the world. I really liked the idea of this campaign showing a city through the eyes of the inhabitants. I’m a proud Ambassadress for Zurich and I carry this spirit with my own private journeys around the world.


5. How did your previous experience in the Gastro business help you to be where you are today?

The best thing about growing up in Gastronomy-Business (I grew up in a family who owned a restaurant in the countryside) and working in this environment is learning to deal with all kinds of people. It’s one the best schools to learn people skills. This helped me all along in my job journey to be where I am right now. Intuition towards other people can be a daily door opener.


6. You have become unconsciously, the representative of ‘the Swiss branding’ and people recognize you for that

I learnt since I was a young girl that work is a good thing, a big part of one’s life so better like it than being the enemy of it. So whatever you do, do it fully and with enthusiasm. No matter if I represented my parents restaurant, the family hotel, Crossair/Swiss International Airlines or now the City of Zurich…I have not only worked at these places, I was those places. Identifying with your work makes you a representative of that brand. Obviously other people see me this way too.


7. Do you believe in networking as an important aspect of anyone’s business career?

If you are in a working world with a big diversity of topics and people, it is imperative to have a large network. It does not only help me for my job to get required contacts for the Mayor as fast as possible but also for me personally to get in touch with interesting and well educated people. If you miss today‘s world of Social Media, it doesn’t hurt you but you also miss a lot of information. Networking and being present in Social Media platforms is a personal thing, not everyone can deal with it. A lot of people are afraid to disclose privacy, but let’s be honest – anybody can find out personal information in today’s world of internet.


8. Where would we find you in your spare time?

I like to join events, premieres, concerts, theatres, exhibitions – the cultural variety in Zurich is immense, dozens of events every day. Or you find me in an afterwork-meetings and networking-groups. Or you find me relaxing at Bea Petri’s Schminkbar, enjoying beauty treatments and recovering from daily life.


9. Which are your favorite restaurants?

My favorite places for business lunches around the City Hall are: – Bauschänzli in summertime – Old Fashion Bar – Cocos Grill at Paradeplatz – Sternengrill Bellevue for a fast lunch Always nice food and great, friendly staff.


10. Which is your favorite travel destination?

My favorite travel continent is Asia – which I learned on my trips as a former Flight Attendant. I love the people, climate and food there a lot.


11. What would we find in your fridge?

There is always lactose-free milk for my morning coffee and a bottle of Champagne in case there is something to celebrate at the end of the day.


12. And finally Manuela, which item identifies you?

Red lips, red nails, red shoes….and for sure a loud laughing around the corner!

Manuela Leonhard