Laura Benjamin is the owner of Communicate Colorado LLC, a communication consulting, facilitation and training company in Colorado Springs. For almost 20 years, Laura has helped clients improve workplace relationships and connect with customers, co-workers and constituents through interpersonal skills and online communication tools.
Since 1997, Laura has trained and spoken throughout Colorado, the U.S., Canada, Germany and Great Britain. She has facilitated strategic planning sessions, partner meetings, teambuilding, board development and leadership retreats. Her training programs are fun, interactive and substantive. Laura has also led customer service initiatives, team/board development and digital communication projects.
Laura is a member of the International Association of Facilitators, past-president of the Colorado Springs Society for Human Resources Management and a 2010 graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies. Appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, Laura is serving a second three-year volunteer role on the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Advisory Council (RAC) for the Colorado Frontrange.
Laura is a prolific writer and author of The CARLA Concept: How to Raise an Issue, Prove Your Point and Communicate with Confidence and Clarity (Pinehurst Press, 2005) as well as creator of the CARLA Concept™ Communication Model. Laura will release a number of books in 2016, including Clear Cut Confidence: How to Prove Your Point in Five Simple Steps, Taming Godzilla and Other Difficult People and Wildfires of Change: How to Rebound and Rise From the Ashes. Laura’s work has been featured on television, radio, online journals, newspapers and trade magazines. She has been a commencement speaker and guest lecturer at colleges and universities.
Earlier in her career, Laura served on the Communication Staff for the Mayor and City of Colorado Springs. At Current, Inc. she was a Sales and Customer Service Team Manager who supervised an operations team of 100+ employees. She also led an upsell and cross-sell initiative at that 400-person call center which achieved almost $1M in revenue in 18 months. At the Rochester Institute of Technology and National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID), Laura was a Senior Human Resources and Employee Benefits Specialist who supported over 2500 faculty and staff, including the deaf and hearing-impaired.
Laura served her country as a decorated Non-commissioned Officer in the United States Air Force, with seven years active duty as a Paralegal. She was also a volunteer member of the Base Honor Guard Team, providing military honors for Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard service members and families. During her enlistment, she attended the Non-commissioned Officers Leadership School and earned a USAF Commendation Medal, Marksmanship Medal and an Honorable Discharge.
Her volunteer service includes the Home Front Cares Welcome Home Heroes Program, Junior Achievement, Young Women of the West and Colorado State Parks and Wildlife. She also served on the boards of the National Speakers Association Colorado Chapter, Pikes Peak Partnership and Pikes Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Inspired by losing her home and business in Colorado’s Black Forest Wildfire, Laura launched WildfireSurvivors.com to offer free tips for those who have survived a wildfire. She enjoys camping, kayaking, hiking, hunting, fishing, books, music, photography and exploring beautiful Colorado. She writes humor at CabinMama.com and is owned by two spoiled cats.
Laura’s StrengthFinders Report and top five strengths:
- Relator: finds deep satisfaction in working hard with those whom they have close relationships to achieve a goal
- Empathy: can sense the feelings of others by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations; people share their innermost thoughts or feelings knowing they will be accepted without judgment
- Maximizer: will focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence, seeking to transform something strong into something superb
- Developer: can recognize and cultivate the potential in others, spotting the signs of each small improvement and inspiring individuals to see their best qualities and claim their moments of excellence
- Strategic: skilled at creating alternative ways to proceed; faced with any given scenario, can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues, generate innovative ideas and propose systematic programs of action
THE PERSONAL STORY
I grew up in Upstate New York as the eldest of six children. My mom was a city girl and dad was one of 10 on a nearby farm. We attended Catholic schools, spent our free time skiing, swimming and roaming the woods at the cabin Grandpa built near Canandaigua NY. Eventually Mom and Dad followed their young ‘uns out to Colorado, where we all still live. Most of us inherited the entrepreneurial gene from Dad and are self-employed.
I enlisted in the United States Air Force right after high school, cross-trained into the paralegal field and traveled the US, starting with the frigid Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was a privilege to serve seven years active duty and volunteer on the Base Honor Guard Team where we provided military honors for deceased service members and their families.
An assignment to Denver got me hooked on Colorado. So after an HR job at the Rochester Institute of Technology & National Technical Institute for the Deaf, the family and I moved to Colorado Springs. I worked as a career consultant, then Sales and Customer Service Team Manager at Current Inc. managing a team of 100. I started my business in 1997. I have spoken, trained and consulted throughout the U.S. and in Europe and have four books to be released in Summer/Fall 2016. I’ve also cleaned stalls at a 400-head horse farm, sold vinyl checkbook covers, walked dogs and tweeted for the Mayor of Colorado Springs.
Want to know more? Please send me a note.