Community Member and Trauma Survivor
Laura Sharpe is the oldest of six children in her natal family and was told early on that “if you want anything in life you will have to go out and get it yourself’. Her parents did not possess the financial assets to send any of their children to college. Being a joyful and adaptive spirit, she began to work and engage in enterprising financial and community opportunities as a young person; i.e., babysitting, newspaper routes, co-creating a comic strip sold to classmates, working in a family restaurant and closing out the shift books. She found work endeavors fun, and discovered her love of learning, people and connecting people and opportunities together, to be a rewarding, engaging life action.
Laura engaged in competitive sports early and throughout her life. The combination of her passion for learning, joyful personality and active body fostered a lifelong environment to manifest learning experiences through discipline, research, planning, action, making mistakes, seeking answers and new avenues of perspective. Learning from her mistakes made her into a person who likes to produce, grow new perspectives, succeed, participate in community and make these opportunities a reality for herself, as well as others.
In 2008, Laura’s family incurred a tragic life experience that deeply affected her entire family. She’s deeply grateful to be alive following a tragic helicopter crash on Catalina Island, California over Memorial Weekend that resulted in the loss of three precious, and leaving her with significant life altering, disfiguring and disabling polytrauma injuries. Her life altering injuries were sudden, disfiguring and disabling, resulting in 43 bone fractures, third degree burns over 40% of her body, partial foot amputation, significant left eye and facial reconstruction, along with serious traumatic brain injury and debilitating body compression issues. A wheelchair was her grateful transportation tool for 3 years, though it was not known in those first post-crash years whether she would permanently regain complete walking ability, regain normal vision out of her left eye and regain high level executive brain functioning. Her prognosis was bleak.
Laura intimately understands the meaning of reinvent herself and how to metaphorically and actually create some-thing out of no-thing. She feels that she is a blessed student of life. With a great team of medical professionals and self-discipline she retrained the cell structure of her brain and body slowly and methodically with the same passionate discipline she approached early in life through athletics and pursuit of her goals and life dreams. She aims to see beyond present challenges, envisioning possibilities through the power of positivity and application of effort.
Laura is a non-profit business Founder, CEO and Executive Director, mother of 2 daughters (29 years and 18 years old) and a first grandmother. She is the wife of a highly successful, commercial construction business owner of 41 years; a leader among men who has successfully built many iconic Los Angeles high rises, signature brand commercial offices and hospitals.
In 2012 she founded a 501c3 non-profit, Artists for Trauma (AFT), creating a signature brand of empowering, interactive, adaptive art and entertainment venues based on her personal healing through art recovery experience. She has been blessed with a diverse range of personal and professional learning opportunities and feels lucky to be guided and mentored by many successful business people; some self-made, some highly educated, corporate executives, business owners and wonderful human beings.
Laura has had the opportunity to experience work in difficult situations, with difficult individuals and results that were less than stellar. She feels confident that she lean in, making improvements in areas of business comprehension and applications; policies, procedures, costs, staffing efficiencies, risk management, clear communications, proactive conflict resolution with challenging personalities and complex situations, and professional management of people and assets that result in sustainability and profit while aiming for a valuable experience for all involved.