THE PERSONAL STORY
The eldest of six in a big, happy Catholic family, Laura (Benjamin) Lollar joined the U.S. Air Force right after high school — one of the best decisions she ever made. The biggest mistake was to decline her squadron’s offer to nominate her for the United States Air Force Academy first class of female cadets. Laura has been a paralegal, employee benefits and HR specialist, call center rep and frontline supervisor. She’s shoveled horse manure on a 400-head trotter farm in Upstate New York, blogged for the Mayor of Colorado Springs and sold vinyl checkbook covers. She started writing for fun in grade school, publishing on the mimeograph machine when the nuns weren’t watching. Since then, her articles on business, leadership, communication, culture and the outdoors have been published in trade magazines, newspapers, journals and online blogs. Laura launched her consulting business in 1997 with three young un’s to feed, a mortgage and $700 in the bank. She has traveled the world speaking, training, coaching and facilitating. An outdoors enthusiast, Laura hikes, hunts, skis, camps, kayaks and was rumored to have once caught a fish. She raised her kids in a townhouse, lived in a historic log cabin, lost everything in a wildfire, started all over again and married a wonderful Navy guy a few years ago. Laura and her husband live near Colorado Springs and are owned by one very spoiled cat.
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THE BUSINESS BIO
For over 22 years, Laura has led communication, leadership and team development projects, presented keynote speeches and trained throughout Colorado, the U.S., Germany, Canada and Great Britain. She is an experienced teambuilding, partnering and strategic planning facilitator, highly qualified in leadership and personal development assessments including DiSC personality styles, Team Dimensions, Personal Listening and the ConflictLens. Laura is certified in Situational Leadership and completed 40 hours in Basic Mediation and Theory Practice training.
Since 1997, Laura has worked with hundreds of organizations including the Christian Meetings and Convention’s Association (CMCA), LibDib, the U.S. Army, Junior Achievement, State of Florida, Spectranetics, Cabela’s, National High School Rodeo Association, General Services Administration (GSA) and many others. She has coached and mentored hundreds of individuals, frontline managers, executives and business owners over the past two decades to help them improve interpersonal communication, workplace relationships and leadership skills.
A lively writer and experienced radio guest, Laura’s work has been featured on television, radio, in newspapers, trade journals and online magazines. She has been a commencement speaker for colleges and universities and a guest lecturer for graduate and undergrad students on leadership, careers and interpersonal communication skills.
Laura authored The CARLA Concept™: How to Raise an Issue, Prove Your Point and Communicate with Confidence and Clarity based on her proprietary communication and coaching model. She was a contributing author on interpersonal communication for Safety, Health and Asset Protection Management Essentials (CRC Press). Laura is working on a number of books, including: Taming ‘Godzilla’ and Other Difficult People; The CARLA Concept™: How to Raise an Issue with Confidence; Wildfire Survivors Tips and Wildfires of Change: How to Rebound and Rise from the Ashes.
Earlier in her career, Laura was a Customer Service and Sales Team Manager at Current Inc. She supervised a team of 100+ call center employees and led an upsell program to achieve record-breaking revenue goals. At the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), Laura was part of a Human Resources and Employee Benefits team that served 2500+ faculty and staff, including deaf and hearing-impaired employees.
Laura is proud to have served her country in the United States Air Force. Her active duty service included seven years in administration and as a legal services specialist assisting base Judge Advocate Generals (JAG). She earned a USAF Commendation Medal and Marksmanship Medal, attended the Non-commissioned Officers Leadership School and volunteered on the Base Honor Guard Team, providing military honors for fallen service members and their families.
Laura has a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from California State University, Sacramento, with graduate studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She is also a Leadership Program of the Rockies (LPR) graduate, class of 2010.
Laura served as President of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Colorado Springs Chapter, volunteered for Junior Achievement, the Home Front Cares Welcome Home Heroes Program, Young Women of the West and Colorado State Parks and Wildlife. Appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, she served two 3-year terms on Colorado’s Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council (RAC).
Personal Strengths (from the StrengthsFinder Assessment)
Relator: finds deep satisfaction in working hard to achieve a goal with those whom she has developed constructive relationships.
Empathy: senses 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 to stimulate personal and group excellence and to transform something strong into something superb.
Developer: will 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, quickly spots the relevant patterns and issues, generates innovative ideas and proposes systematic programs of action.