Laura Loughridge is 17-year veteran of the very competitive world of philanthropy. She has worked for big names such as the American Heart Association, Cranbrook Educational Community, American Red Cross and is currently the Michigan State Director of the March of Dimes. She started with the March of Dimes in March of 2011 with a year-end budget of $4,104,395 and a year-end projection of -$280,000. In ten months, she managed to close the year at $6,576,456 or $2.5M over budget. “Yes, we ended our year well over budget but my greatest accomplishment in this new position is the number of staff who have said how much they enjoy their job again! People should love their job. When people are happy and fulfilled, great things happen!” commented Loughridge.
On Laura’s 30th birthday, she resigned from her job, sold everything she owned, gave the rest away, packed a 50 pound backpack and wandered around the world for two years. She lived only in Third World countries. In Brazil, she lived on a small island and taught yoga, kayaking, rock climbing and surfing. Later she lived on a Hare Krishna ashram in central South America, studied with the Dalai Lama in Northern India and survived the tsunami in Thailand. Along the way, she volunteered at several non profit organizations as well as founded an orphanage in Tanzania (after climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro) with Australian friends she met along the way.
Laura’s Route: Ireland, Brazil, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, England, India, Egypt, Tanzania, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Argentina and Chile
In May of 2005, Laura moved to Michigan from the Middle East to take a job at Cranbrook. She has since become a staple in our community. In 2012, she was the Charity Preview Co-Chair for the North American International Auto Show. She volunteers to walk in the Thanksgiving Day Parade as a “Big Head”. She sits on the President’s Advisory Council at Wayne State University. Laura is a member of the Detroit Economic Club, the Detroit Regional Chamber and is a Leadership Detroit Graduate, Class of XXXI. In 2009, she even ran the Detroit Half Marathon. While her accomplishments and affiliations are great, her passions still lie in International travel, theology, public policy, philanthropy and yoga. Currently she lives in Sylvan Lake with her two sons and dog. She does yoga and meditates every day and is eternally grateful to be chosen as one of Brooks’ Elite 40 Under 40.
The information presented here was accurate as of January 2012.