Posted by education4and2parents on 12th May 2011
Following the death of her husband Mike in a drunk driving crash, Laura joined MADD to help craft better laws to ensure the tragedy never affected another family. For the past 17 years later, Laura has worked steadfastly to change the laws in both Texas and Florida. Now as National President of the organization, she does similar work in all 50 states so that one day she can witness the total elimination of drunk driving.
On November 21, 1991, Laura’s husband Mike left a business meeting in Oklahoma and drove towards the Dallas-Fort Worth area to visit his family. Both born and bred Texans, he and Laura had moved to Denver six months previously to start a new chapter in their life with their 8-month old daughter. The two had only been married two and a half years. At 7:15 p.m., a drunk driver going the wrong way on a Texas highway met Mike’s car head on, killing him instantly and simultaneously making her both a grieving widow and a single mom. The offender, who died at the crash scene, had a BAC of .34 and was driving with an almost empty bottle of Jim Beam whiskey in the vehicle. After the crash, Laura moved to College Station, Texas. Once she received her settlement from the civil suit in 1993, she called the Austin branch of MADD to donate part of that money to the organization specifically to help public policy laws in Texas. This started her involvement with the organization. She immediately became active with the Brazos County, Texas Chapter. Soon after, she earned a position on the Texas State Board and was elected State Chairperson in 2000. Laura moved to Florida in 2001 and immediately began volunteering with the Central Florida Chapter. In 2001, she came on as a Chapter Advisor to the National Board of Directors and was elected to the National Board of Directors in 2002. She served as Chapter President of the Central Florida Chapter from 2003 to 2005. She served as the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee Chair from 2004 to 2008 and served as leadership chair of the MADD Florida State Operating Council just before taking office as National President. Carrying on her passion for public policy, she served as the Public Policy Committee Chair while on the National Board of Directors
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