Laura Benjamin is the owner of Communicate Colorado LLC, a business communication consulting, coaching, training and facilitation company in Colorado Springs. For over 20 years, Laura has worked with independent businesses, Fortune 500 firms, boards, trusts, trade associations, metropolitan districts and the U.S. Military. She has coached, trained and facilitated for groups of 15-500 throughout the U.S., Canada, Germany and Great Britain.
Since 1997, Laura’s company has also managed customer service, workplace relationship and team development projects. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators, she has facilitated strategic planning sessions, partnering meetings, teambuilding and leadership/board retreats. Her clients include Paint Brush Hills Metropolitan District, Spectranetics, OrthoAccel Technologies, U.S. Army, State of Florida, ProRodeo Hall of Fame, Pikes Peak Library District and Cabela’s World’s Foremost Outfitter, among others.
Laura is creator of the CARLA Concept™ Communication Model and author of the book by the same name. She was a contributing author on interpersonal communication for Safety, Health and Asset Protection Management Essentials (CRC Press). In 2017 she will release four books, including Clear Cut Confidence: How to Raise an Issue and Prove Your Point in 5 Simple Steps, Taming Godzilla and Other Difficult People and Wildfires of Change: How to Rebound and Rise from the Ashes.
Laura is a skilled trainer and facilitator on interpersonal communication, customer service, teambuilding, DISC Behavioral Styles and the Conflict Lens. Her work has been featured on television, radio, in newspapers and trade magazines. Laura has been invited to give the commencement address for colleges and universities and has been a guest lecturer on leadership, professionalism and communication for graduate and undergrad students.
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 initiative for the 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 supporting 2500+ faculty and staff, including the deaf and hearing-impaired.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from California State University, Sacramento. She 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 on the Base Honor Guard Team, providing military honors for deceased service members. During her enlistment, Laura attended the Non-commissioned Officers Leadership School and earned a USAF Commendation Medal and Marksmanship Medal.
Laura has volunteered for 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. She is Past-president of the Colorado Springs Society for Human Resources Management and a 2010 graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies (LPR). 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 lives in Black Forest, Colorado, where a wildfire burned 500 homes in 2013, including her historic log cabin home. She provides tips for wildfire survivors at WildfireSurvivors.com. Laura enjoys camping, skiing, hiking, hunting, kayaking, books, writing and exploring Colorado. She is mom of three, gramma of two and is owned by two spoiled cats.
To discuss a consulting project, training, coaching or facilitation, please contact Laura.
Laura’s top strengths from Gallup’s StrengthFinders Report include:
- 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. (Photo – far left)
An assignment to Denver got me hooked on Colorado. So after working in Human Resources/Employee Benefits at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) & National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), the family and I moved to Colorado Springs. I worked as a career marketing consultant, then Sales and Customer Service Team Manager at Current Inc. managing a team of 100. I started my business in 1997. It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to have spoken, trained, coached and consulted throughout Colorado, the U.S., Canada, Germany and Great Britain. 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.