Education: University of Oregon, B.A. in philosophy
Professional accomplishments: Instrumental in creating and implementing plans on important public policy issues such as Envision Eugene, Capstone downtown student housing project and extension of EmX into west Eugene. Helped put together the nonprofit Better Eugene Springfield Transit, a coalition of community leaders, business owners, environmental organizations, social service organizations and community members. Serves on BEST board; served on the Eugene Comprehensive Lands Assessment Committee and Envision Eugene Citizen Resource Group. Staffs the chamber's Local Government Affairs Council.
Impact on community: Volunteers with St. Vincent de Paul and serves on its First Place Family Shelter advisory board; City Club of Eugene program committee; active in the children's ministry at her church, where she serves as nursery coordinator.
Motivation: "I grew up here, and I think it's really important that we have a vibrant community that we can all enjoy, maintain the livability of and that our kids can grow up in, and stay in. Myself, and a lot of young people I work with, are in a position where we had a lot of opportunities that not everyone did. I think that we who have had the opportunities have a responsibility to give back."
Secret life: "When I was a kid I actually wanted to be a lobbyist. I used to watch a couple of movies about politics when I was a kid, 'The American President' was one of them. And I still remember watching all the conventions with my dad and grandfather - I was a really dorky kid. They watched both parties' conventions, and they always encouraged thoughtful dialogue."
Family: Husband, Chris; daughter Margot, 1
Nominated by: Dave Hauser, presiden t, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
Why she is a rising star: "In her two years as director of business advocacy here at the Eugene Chamber, Laura has worked to create and implement successful advocacy plans on over a half dozen public policy issues that will have a significant positive impact on the regional economy and our community. ... She is also very passionate about helping low income and homeless families in Eugene."
- Ilene Aleshire, blue chip