As the Vice President of Leadership Development at the Chamber, Laura spearheads a suite of influential programs including Leadership Wilmington, Encounter Wilmington, and the Career and Leadership Development Academy. She is also responsible for orchestrating chamber council meetings and events, ensuring a diverse platform for collaboration and business growth.
Her previous role as the Manager of Programs and Operations at the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship showcased her prowess in cultivating the region's entrepreneurial landscape. Through strategic program development, execution, and evaluation, Laura catalyzed symbiotic partnerships, recognizing the pivotal role of relationships in propelling regional growth and development. Laura's academic foundation includes a BSBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Appalachian State University and an M.Ed. in Higher Education from UNCW, underpinning her multifaceted approach to leadership and program management.
Her commitment to community impact and leadership excellence has earned her accolades such as inclusion in the prestigious Wilmington Biz 100 as a community Connector in 2023, 2021, and 2020. She was honored with a 40 Under 40 Award from the StarNews and Wilmington Chamber of Commerce in 2019, marking her significant contributions to the community at a young age. Her participation in the Wilma Leadership Institute in 2018 and recognition for Excellence in Community Engagement by UNCW in the same year further underscore her commitment to leadership and community enrichment.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Laura is a devoted mother of four, cherishing time with her loving husband, two cats, and engaging in various community-oriented activities. She actively contributes to the cultural tapestry of Wilmington, volunteering with the Cucalorus Film Festival, Thalian Association Community Theater, and the Wrightsville United Methodist Church.