Laura was born and grew up in Galax and has lived in Southwest Virginia all her life. Though from Galax, Laura spent her summers growing up at Claytor Lake at the family’s cabin. She or her family have always owned property in Pulaski County, and she has lived full-time in Pulaski County at Claytor Lake for the past 20+ years.
Laura attended Radford University, graduating in 1977 with a BS in Business and Psychology and an MS in Psychology in 1980. She later attended Virginia Tech as a(?) post graduate. Laura taught and counseled at National Business College, Wytheville and New River Community Colleges for many years. She founded Career Directions, a business consulting and outplacement firm in 1989, working there until retiring in 2011.
Laura has always done volunteer work, serving on various boards and organizations.
She has been a volunteer member and past President of the Pulaski County Humane Society, past Chair of the Pulaski County Library Board, and served as Pulaski Representative on the Mount Rogers Community Services Board and Boy Scout Sea Scouts Advisory Board. While in Blacksburg, she served on the Blacksburg New School Board.
Her current volunteer work includes serving on the Pulaski County Clean Community Council, Claytor Lake Technical Advisory Committee, Chair of the New River Conservancy Board, Environmental Coordinator and past President of the Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL), and serving on the Friends of Peak Creek Board, Financial Officer of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 83, Boating Safety Instructor for VA DGIF, and serving on the Virginia Safe Boating Council.
Personally, in addition to active volunteer work, Laura’s hobbies and interests include animals, wildlife rescue, companion animal rescue, travel, reading, history, particularly local history, reading, biking, and all types of boating and water sports.
Laura is married to Jeff Arnold and lives on Claytor Lake with her rescue dogs. She has three children: daughter Brett, who attended Gardner Webb University in Shelby, North Carolina and works in Home Health Care in Shelby; son Evan, who attended Radford University and the University of Taiwan, living in Roanoke with his wife Abby and is Commissioner of the World Axe Throwing League; and Ethan, who attended New River Community College, works as an Instrumentation/Electronics Technician at Radford University and lives with his wife Tabitha in Dublin.