Laura Benjamin is a Principal for Communicate Colorado LLC, a veteran-owned training, coaching and facilitation company near Colorado Springs, Colorado. For over 20 years, Laura has helped clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Germany and Great Britain. Based in Black Forest, her company specializes in serving Colorado-based project teams and organizations.
As a member of the International Association of Facilitators, Laura has facilitated partnering meetings, strategic planning sessions, teambuilding and interactive trainings for groups from 5 to 500. Her clients include the Colorado Department of Transportation, Paint Brush Hills Metropolitan District, U.S. Army, Spectranetics, State of Florida, Partners in Housing, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Cabela’s, among others.
Laura is creator of the CARLA Concept Communication Model™, also used in change management and issue resolution issues.
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, Wildfires of Change: How to Rebound and Rise from the Ashes, and Cabin Mama Stories (Pinehurst Press).
Laura’s work has been featured on television, radio, in newspapers and trade magazines. She has been privileged to be a commencement speaker for colleges and universities as well as a guest lecturer on careers and communication skills for graduate and undergrad students.
Earlier, Laura was a member of the Communication Staff for the City of Colorado Springs. At Current Inc., she was a Customer Service and Sales Team Manager who supervised a team of 100+ employees. She was a Senior Human Resources Specialist at the Rochester Institute of Technology and National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where she served 2500+ faculty and staff, including the deaf and hearing-impaired. Laura was 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, which provided military honors for fallen service members and their families.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from California State University, Sacramento with graduate studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. In the U.S. Air Force, she attended the Non-commissioned Officers Leadership School, earned a USAF Commendation Medal and Marksmanship Medal. Laura is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies (LPR Class of 2010).
As a volunteer, Laura is Past-president of the Colorado Springs Society for Human Resources Management and 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 also supported the Home Front Cares Welcome Home Heroes Program, Junior Achievement, Young Women of the West and Colorado State Parks and Wildlife. Appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, Laura served two three-year terms on the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Advisory Council (RAC) for the Colorado Frontrange.
Laura lives in Black Forest, Colorado, where a 2013 wildfire destroyed her business and home. Based on lessons learned, she has written and published free useful tips at WildfireSurvivors.com. Laura enjoys time with her family and fiancé — camping, skiing, hiking, hunting, kayaking, writing and exploring Colorado. She is the proud mother of three, a happy gramma and is owned by two very spoiled cats.
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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