Previously Laura has served on Gov. Phil Scott’s transition team as Co-Chair of it’s Leadership Advisory Committee after his election in November of 2016. In the 2015/16 biennium she was a member of the Commerce and Economic Development Committee.
She brings 17 years of experience as an elected official, eleven years of targeted work experience in economic development, public policy advocacy, project development and management, fundraising and grant writing.
Laura lives in Dover with her husband TJ, daughters Stevie and Sammy and son Casey and grew up in Connecticut and Whitingham, VT where her family moved in 1987. She has lived in Southern Vermont for 31 years, the last 17 in Dover, and along with her 11 younger brothers and sisters, graduated from the tiny former Whitingham High School. She attended Champlain College in Burlington, VT and Massachusetts College for Liberal Arts in North Adams, MA and has earned a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management.
Laura has been an elected member of the Dover, Vermont school board since 2003, and is currently its Vice Chair.
Laura is Director of Regional Economic Development Strategies for The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and principal staff for SeVEDS. Prior to that she was Executive Director of the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce.
During her tenure at the chamber, Laura brought public and private entities together for long term economic development planning, events creation and marketing. Under her leadership, the chamber ran three successful public arts events, created a weekend long festival in partnership with Vermont Life Magazine for Vermont made wines, foods and artisans and helped lead creation of local and regional long term economic development strategies to diversify and grow industry and jobs.
Her involvement in developing these long term economic development strategies, beginning with a community based response to the bad winters of 2005-6 and 2006-7, led her to accept a newly created position at BDCC, the Windham Region’s economic development agency, as Economic Development Project Director. In this role she directs the work of the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) Board which has created the first ever federally recognized Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Southeastern Vermont.
T.S. Irene flooding in August of 2011 severely damaged many parts of Vermont including the Windham Region. This federally declared disaster occurred as Laura was transitioning from the chamber of commerce in Wilmington to BDCC. During that transition, she helped provide on the ground leadership immediately after the flooding in Wilmington where town offices, police, fire and roads had been severely compromised. Her first undertaking at the BDCC was to organize support and funding for emergency business support personnel. She lead work with other regional entities to develop a Windham Region Disaster Recovery plan, projects and funding to address the longer term economic impacts of the flooding. In 2012 Laura was awarded the “Volunteer Perseverance” Award by the US Small Business Administration for her disaster recovery efforts.
Laura cofounded the 501 (c)3 Deerfield Valley Troop Support Group in 2002. This group was formed to connect families coping with combat deployments and to fundraise for morale and necessity care packages for service members. As a result of having six of her family members serve in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Laura has developed a deep belief in the need to expand civic participation in government.