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Leanna Rossmann

Leanna Rossmann

Global head of music finance | Walt Disney Co. | Class of 1999

Before she was an executive for one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies, Leanna Rossmann had her own experience in front of the camera.

It was Jan. 28, 1998, a day after President Clinton’s State of the Union address and, more notably, seven days after another news event happened.

“I was in College Democrats and had the opportunity to meet Bill Clinton and Al Gore when they visited campus, which ironically was at the time when the Monica Lewinsky scandal had surfaced, but was prior to his impeachment,” she says. “Sam Donaldson, the former White House correspondent for ABC, interviewed me right after to ask me for my thoughts about the scandal, and it was later televised.

“I never saw it, a guy friend did — who I liked at the time, super embarrassing — but I’m quite sure I was not eloquent and it was not one of my finer moments.”

The Class of '99 grad, now the Walt Disney Company's VP and global head of finance for the Fox Music division, can chuckle about it — and the Champaign-Urbana weather — now.

“I remember how one winter it was so ridiculously windy — and, of course, crazy cold, as all Illini have experienced — that I literally was blown over by the wind and looked like Ralphie’s brother from ‘A Christmas Story,’ face down in the snow. Lovely.

"Having lived in L.A. since 2000, I seriously appreciate our near-perfect weather every day.”