Laura Loy Tapped To Lead LAPS Foundation
Los Alamos native Laura Loy has been named executive director for the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation organization. Loy is taking over from Joanna Gillespie, who served in the role for the past 12 years.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to serve as director of such an impactful organization as the LAPS Foundation,” Loy said Tuesday during an interview with the Los Alamos Daily Post. “The job combines two of my greatest passions – philanthropy and education – and I look forward to carrying on the great work that the Foundation has done to serve our community over the last 12 years.”
The Foundation Board provided Loy, who began her new position April 3, with an opportunity to work with the previous executive director to ensure a smooth transition, Loy said.
“I credit the board and Joanna with laying a great foundation for this organization … they’ve created a well-oiled machine and now we’ll take it to the next level,” she said. “Our board members volunteer their time because they are very passionate about helping our schools and most of them don’t even have children in our schools now.
Loy explained that she and her family could live anywhere in the world and they chose Los Alamos because of the schools.
“In my new position, I get to go home every day knowing I did a good thing to help our students, teachers and community,” she said. “As an alumnus myself, I would love to see more alumnus in the future give back to the schools in thanks for the great education we all got.”
Loy grew up in White Rock, attended Pinon Elementary School and Los Alamos Middle School, and graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1992. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1996 and a Master’s degree in International Business from the University of California at San Diego in 2000.
Loy comes to the LAPS Foundation with a wide variety of experience in business, marketing, and non-profit management that has taken her from Mexico to Japan and in between. Upon completing graduate school, Loy moved to Hawaii where she worked in marketing for the travel company Cheaptickets, Inc. and later a couple of small, start-up companies.
She then moved to Japan with her husband Bob, who was stationed there as a Japan specialist with the U.S. Army. Together they lived in Japan for eight years, the first two in Kumamoto where Loy taught conversational and business English, and another six in Tokyo where Loy served as assistant director and later director for the non-profit Japan Market Expansion Competition, a mini-MBA program that taught Japanese and foreigners about market entry and writing a business plan.
Upon returning home to Los Alamos in 2012 with husband Bob and daughter Kaya, now in the 5th grade at Barranca Mesa Elementary school, Loy worked as the marketing manager for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, and taught business classes and started the Community Internship Collaboration program at UNM-Los Alamos.
Loy is an active member of the community, having been voted “Most likely to become a professional volunteer” by her Leadership Los Alamos classmates. She is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, a volunteer with Girl Scouts of America, and a member the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 8874.
The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is an independent organization that supports, challenges, and invests in a successful future for all Los Alamos public school students. Since its inception in 2005, the LAPS Foundation has donated more than $1 million to support educational programs, promote professional development of teachers and other school staff, defray operating expenses, and help fund capital improvement initiatives for Los Alamos public schools. The Foundation raises money through generous contributions from individuals and organizations who share the Foundation’s core values that excellent public education is every child's right, and that excellent public education systems depend on: a well-informed and supportive community, caring and competent educators, a supportive and responsive school environment, and sufficient financing to achieve educational goals. To learn more about the LAPS Foundation and how to get involved and/or make a donation, visit www.lapsfoundation.com or call 505.500.6501.