The oldest of eleven children, Laura grew up believing that she would be either a comedian or a psychologist. As a student at Quincy College in Quincy, IL, Laura pursued one of those dreams and majored in Psychology. With a B.A. in psychology, Laura began her career in higher education working in both housing and administration. Laura received a Master’s degree in Human Service Counseling from Illinois State University. After receiving her degree, Laura continued her work in higher education as an Associate Dean of Students for Millikin University.
While in higher education, Laura began her public speaking career. She became a well-traveled and much in demand speaker. She has provided training in a wide variety of settings including health care, government, social service, education, financial services, corporate, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, not for profit and small business.
Laura left higher education to pursue a career in a corporate business setting. She worked as an employment specialist, training specialist and became the Corporate Training Manager for A.E. Staley/Tate and Lyle. For over 16 years, Laura owned her own training and consulting business, Learning Alliances Company and sold it January 2010. Currently, Laura works as a consultant to growing family-owned farms throughout the US and Canada. In this role, Laura’s goal is to prepare family-owned farms for rapid and sustainable growth by developing strategic and business plans, designing their organization, preparing for Human Resource compliance, recruiting and training talent as well as coaching the families on their family business concerns. Laura also teaches in an Executive MBA program. Laura has been a presenter at the Top Producer, Executive Women in Agriculture and Tomorrow’s Top Producer Conferences as well as a variety of other industry conferences.
Laura is an active member of her profession and her community. She is an alumnus of the 1997 Leadership Illinois Class and has been a past President and Treasurer of the organization. In recognition of her outstanding professionalism, she received the “1996 Women of Excellence Business and Professional Award.” In the community, Laura is a leader in the fight against breast cancer and has served on the board of the United Way and has worked with the Education Coalition. Laura has worked for a number of years with S.C.O.R.E. as a consultant and counselor. She is the founder of a not-for-profit organization, Wear To Work, which provided clothing and services to women who are making the transition from welfare to work. She also has served on the Quincy University Board of Trustees. Laura is the current President of the Decatur Area Women’s Network. Laura likes to spend her free time with her husband, daughter and grandchildren.
Please join us for our guest night!