“…it was incredible. I am still using practical skills and ideas from it every day. It was amazing to me how effectively she addressed leadership skills & challenges dealing with employee issues that I had not recognized. Everyone who attended that day—even skeptics—were so pleased with the fact that Laura had so many real world examples based on her years as both a Work-Life Program Manager, an actual staff manager, and a Social Worker…”
Martha Jenkins, Owner, Kitchenworks, Chapel Hill
Laura graduated from Smith College with a Bachelor’s degree and completed her MSW at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She prides herself on anticipating the disruptive impact of life’s imminent events on the bottom line and helping organizations and individuals balance compassion with pragmatism. She is passionate about helping individuals, leaders, and organizations redirect the typical dysfunction, discord, and/or discomfort when personal issues intrude in the workplace.
I founded Highwire Solutions because I’ve seen first-hand how many organizations struggle when personal issues interrupt “business-as-usual.” I’ll work with you to develop compassionate, realistic approaches to your toughest workplace issues.

I am fortunate to have a unique combination of skills, education and experience including a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW); 15+ years working as a manager/senior manager (largely under the umbrella of HR at SAS), and hundreds of hours in training in work-life balance and wellness; coaching individual contributors and leaders; facilitating mediation and leadership development.

My skills and background mean I collaborate with clients to deliver pragmatic, effective solutions to work/life challenges, in a realistic, effective & efficient way. I have more than 15 years of experience in developing innovative employee assistance, work/life balance, and personal life skills programs. I’ve honed these skills in public, non-profit, and private organizations — from a Head Start classroom to the boardroom of a Fortune 500 company — and I’m equally comfortable in both environments.

My approach is, above all, collaborative. I work to understand my clients and your challenges so we can team up to create customized solutions that not only meet your needs but help preserve your bottom line. Throughout my career, I’ve developed the skills required to broker key understanding and productive relationships within budgetary, legal and environmental constraints. I love this work, and solving problems that require mediation, grief support, and work/life programs, among other strategies, aren’t just effective, they’re revolutionary.

  • Developed and led the world-renowned SAS Work-Life & Employee Assistance Programs at SAS (named the best place to work for work/life balance in 2013 by Glassdoor) from 2000-2013
  • Supervised a team of social workers who developed and delivered programs that included eldercare; childcare; life skills; grief; leadership; stress & balance; conflict/communication and more to a workforce of 15,000 employees, worldwide
  • Delivered all programs under budget, with an average savings to the company of 2.7 dollars in return for every dollar spent
  • Appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue to serve as a Board Member on the NC Council for Women
    Frequent presenter at Work/Life and HR conferences, including the Association of Work/Life Professionals, North Carolina Society for Human Resource Management, AARP and The University of North Carolina
  • Testified and served as expert for the Joint Economic Committee for the United States Congress, advocating for the impact of family-friendly employment practices in economic growth
  • Quoted in and contributed to articles published in The Triangle Business Journal, Housing Chronicles, The News and Observer, HR Magazine, Experience Life Magazine, Carolina Parent and other journals and publications.

Our MISSION is:

To provide both individuals and businesses with the tools and skills they need to navigate the competing demands of work and life. Our skilled, knowledgeable, and professional staff efficiently and effectively inspires, educates and problem-solves so our clients can return to being productive and balanced workers.

Our VALUES are:

RESPONSIVE—At Highwire Solutions, we listen carefully and respond carefully. Realistic, pragmatic and efficient, if we can’t meet your needs, we will help you find the right person or service that will. We don’t overpromise or oversell.

PRAGMATIC—We understand that workplace laws, best practices and effective solutions don’t always work in harmony with personal needs, wants or desires—especially in crisis. We are experienced and skilled at simultaneously prioritizing clients’ pain points without losing sight of the business needs.

COMPASSIONATE—We operate with a balance of compassion and practical solutions—but never with judgment. With over 20 years of experience, chances are we have encountered the issue, question or conflict before.

CREATIVE—We develop customized programs for individuals, groups or systems. Life can be messy and our hybrid of intuitive, real world,  and practical solutions reflect comprehensive experience in social work, corporate senior level management, and HR professions.

NO-NONSENSE—Our staff will not waste your time with expensive or unnecessary tools, products or reforms – just real-world, real-time, no-nonsense advice, skill-building and guidance.

COMPETENT—We design careful, aligned activities that integrate your stated goals and objectives while providing best outcomes for your organization’s or personal needs.

LET’S TALK!