Founder & Matchmaker
Leslie Wardman is a fifth generation Californian, born and raised in Orange County and Los Angeles. She is one of the most experienced matchmakers in the industry with over 16 years of work in the field. Following a twenty year career in ESPN production and advertising, Leslie decided to put her passion and natural talent for networking into what she calls the most important part of life – finding your significant other.
She then became the Matchmaker and Director for an international matchmaking company for busy, single professionals during the 1990's. Yet, she envisioned a more personal, hands-on matchmaking experience.
This vision is what led her to create Ambiance Matchmaking in 2002.
Leslie relies on client referrals and word-of-mouth. She believes a job well done is better than any form of advertising. This adds an extra layer to the pre-screening process, as she already has a built-in reference.
Over the past fifteen years, Leslie has worked with thousands of clients across the United States in accomplishing their dating, relationship and marriage goals.
Leslie has been a guest on several TV and radio shows, written columns on love and dating for major publications, and is the author of the book Love, Dating & the Beatles. She is currently writing a book on the phenomenon of divorce after seventeen years, titled The 17-Year Itch.
Hunt Ethridge is an award-winning dating and relationship expert with over a decade of experience helping people become the best, most dateable versions of themselves. While the focus of his coaching is on making someone empirically more dateable, the lessons learned translate very easily into personal and professional lives. The emphasis is on confidence building, leadership, image & style, conversation skills, reconnecting with fun and more.
He has founded 3 dating companies including the International Dating Coach Association which serves to educate and certify dating coaches and has members all across the globe. He has been featured collectively and individually on CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Post, Maxim, the Huffington Post, Telemundo, Yahoo! Shine and more. He is considered one of the top in his field and is consistently called upon for insight, collaboration, and speaking engagements. As a prolific writer, he has over 100 dating advice articles all over the Web. He was recently voted the #1 Male Dating Expert in the country at the 2016 US Dating Awards.
Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, EdD abd, is a leader in the fields of personal development. He provides personal - life, dating, and relationship - and professional consulting services, transforming clients through a focus on personal alignment in the areas of life, intentions, values, and expectations, for greater alignment, confidence, and emotional intelligence.
He is the founder of Simplify Health Inc. and the subsidiary LIVE for yourself (LFY) Consulting which focuses on helping individuals create sustainable fulfillment and happiness, creator of The Breakup Supplement, author of The Essentials, and The Live for Yourself Journal, host of the LIVE for yourself podcast, Chicago event director for ManTalks, previous host of the Suave Lover podcast, and a freelance expert and writer who has worked for Dose Media, The Great Love Debate, The Huffington Post, TheGoodMenProject, ManTalks, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, Bustle, Examiner.com, and many more.
Chad Johnson, PhD, is an associate professor of human relations and a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma. He has published numerous scholarly articles as the lead author for the Praeger Handbook of Social Justice and Psychology. He is passionate about understanding love, relationships, and finding fulfillment in life.
Dr. Johnson is also an experienced licensed psychologist who provides coaching, consulting, and counseling for a wide range of issues such as dating, relationships, love, and finding personal meaning, purpose, and self-expansion. Essentially, his approach to relationship coaching consists of helping clients meet their personal goals through imaginatively exploring their lives and concerns more deeply in the context of a supportive and collaborative relationship. Through a strengths-focused process he facilitates clients discovering deeper self-understanding and awareness, recognizing their core values and goals for dating and relationships; thus, leading to expanded meaning, aliveness, and engagement with oneself and fulfillment in one’s connections.
When not working to assist clients in reaching their relationship and life goals or training future mental health counselors, he spends time with his two children, Jade and Gabriel, who recently moved to Brooklyn, NY. He also enjoys escaping on his Triumph Bonneville motorcycle and riding around the countryside with destinations unknown. He has two furry companions at home, his dog, Aspen, a Siberian Husky, and his cat, Mysty, evil incarnate.
Creative Director & Writer
Taylor has been involved with all aspects of the company since it's founding in 2002. She now focuses her energy on web design, writing, editing, and developing innovative methods to interact and grow within the matchmaking industry. Using the world wide web as her main platform, she combines her research and writing skills to communicate with our community and provide invaluable resources.
She has written numerous magazine articles, blog pieces, and is in the midst of collecting research for her book on human chemistry and attraction. She is also completing a personal memoir, chronicling mishaps in love and life. Graduating with Cum Laude Honors from Oral Roberts University, she majored in International Business, minored in Spanish, and was on the Division 1 Varsity Tennis Team. Originally from Toronto, she has been traveling the world since 2008, recording stories of love, life and happiness from others across the globe.
Writer & Educator
Michelle Martin has been involved with the company as a blogger and educator since 2014. She is also an Assistant Professor as California State University and DePaul University. In her academic life she researches and writes about post-conflict dynamics in Africa, and a range of other social problems. In her more personal prose she writes about single parenting, empty-nesting, online dating, and living an authentic life in an often inauthentic world. She strives to find meaning (and humor) in just about everything. Michelle has written three books, and is a blogger for Huffington Post.
Michelle has a PhD in Peace Studies, a master's in global policy, and an MSW, and has spent most of her career working with individuals and families dealing with a range of issues, both at home and abroad. She has traveled around the globe in an attempt to better understand humankind, but has only ended up with more questions. Mostly, she is passionate about connecting on a deeper level with all types of people, with the hope of contributing to finding peaceful solutions to all of the conflict in the world.
Michelle now applies her wisdom and skills to assisting our clients in their search for a meaningful relationship. She resides in Laguna Beach, CA.
Janet Jackson is responsible for ensuring all Ambiance members have a great dating experience. She does this by taking care of everything involved in your match, including coordinating member schedules, and making your reservations at our partner restaurants. She even calls you post-match to ensure you had a positive experience and to receive your feedback.
Janet has a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Concordia University. She resides in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two children. She considers her marriage and family the most important aspects of her life. These values are what drives her in helping Ambiance members find a meaningful relationship.