Vice President of Conservation and Policy
Laura grew up hiking trails in the Hudson Valley area. Among her first summer jobs in this area was the opportunity to lead youth trail crews in Harriman State Park. This fun and inspiring position sealed Laura’s interest to work towards conservation of our special places and natural heritage.
Laura went on to receive her Master’s Degree in biology with a focus on tropical forest ecology. Early in her career, she gained an appreciation about innovative conservation strategies while in the Peruvian Amazon and learned about the complexities of conservation working in the Florida Keys and the Everglades. Laura returned to her northern roots in 2000. Today she is a senior conservation manager with more than 22 years of experience including field research, resource management and conservation program development.
Laura’s work has been largely focused in the nonprofit sector, including employment with the National Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy, where she grew into a management role as the Ohio Associate State Director. Laura joined the ATC in 2005 as the Southwest and Central Virginia Regional Director, assuming the Senior Director of Conservation role in 2007 and VP of Conservation and Trail Programs in 2017. She’s proud to work for an organization that aspires to implement the community building vision of Benton MacKaye, while protecting and promoting a premier hiking destination. When she is not working for the Trail, Laura is spending time with her husband and two daughters, exploring the mountains and rivers of southwest Virginia and beyond.