Laura joined GAR Foundation as their Senior Program Officer for Education in May of 2024. As GAR's Senior Program Officer for Education, Laura's role is to refine and lead the implementation of the Foundation’s education strategy, rooted in collaborative, interconnected grantmaking work and systems-level change initiatives. 

Most recently, Laura served as Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Strategic Partnerships at the University of Chicago’s TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health. Prior to that, she led strategic and policy initiatives at Summit Education Initiative. Laura also practiced law in the private sector for nearly 20 years, becoming a national expert on state & local taxation and litigating matters in more than 35 states and the US Supreme Court.

Laura earned a law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, an MA in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University, and a BA in Psychology from The Ohio State University.

Laura has served on many boards and committees in our community. She currently serves on the boards of Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital, Groundwork Ohio, and the Women’s Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation (Immediate Past President). Past service also includes Girls on the Run of Northeast Ohio, ATHENA Akron, Akron Roundtable, Ballet Excel Ohio, GroundWorks Dance Theater, and Akron Children’s Hospital Ethics Committee.

Laura lives in Akron with her husband Howard Parr. She is fiercely proud of her four adult daughters - and two bonus daughters – who are scattered across the East Coast, Midwest, Mountain West and Europe. Although geography gets in the way of regular Sunday dinners, Laura has fully embraced the amazing travel opportunities family togetherness provides. Laura is happiest when she is spending time with family and friends, traveling anywhere, or cheering for her beloved Ohio State Buckeyes on football Saturdays.

Believe it or not: Laura and her daughters once led Mickey, Minnie and the gang down Main Street USA at Walt Disney World, serving as Grand Marshals of the Magic Kingdom’s parade spectacle. Mouse ears, “parade waves” and lots and lots of smiles were involved.