Laura has always been rooted in community by being a voice for collaboration and making a positive difference for those around her. She took on an effort in 2014 to protect the mountains around her Coker Creek home through the Tennessee Wilderness Act. There, Laura led a diverse coalition of stakeholders through five years of non-stop lobbying to see the bill pass in December of 2018, and 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest became designated as wilderness.

Her diverse background includes place-based tourism work, community development, and passing legislation to protect the natural landscape. Art is a passion (and a frustration), and having always been an artist at heart, she is always creating. Laura served as a Director of Tourism and focused on community leadership on various boards and as chairman of the Coker Creek Heritage Group before turning her attention to growing a successful art and fine craft gallery (Coker Creek Gallery) as an accomplished nature and adventure photographer.

With a passion for big skies, big mountains, and public lands, Montana has always held a special place for Laura and her husband, Bill. In 2019, they relocated to the Flathead Valley for Bill’s work with the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and are thrilled to call the Swan Front and Bigfork home. They love to camp and explore, on foot and in kayaks, usually with a dog or several, their son, JJ, and always way too much camera gear.

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