At the age of 30, Laura became the youngest and first female regional head of the Institute of Directors (IoD); today, she runs Wolfe event and marketing in Manchester, working with the likes of Manchester Airport Group, Pets at Home, Leesa Sleep and the Big Chip Awards.
“My role at the IoD was to grow membership and do away with some of the old ways, bringing it into the present day and letting people know about what we did and could achieve as a region. Part of that was a Director of the Year programme, where success was recognised and celebrated and we created a network of ambassadors. We now run this for the IoD and it’s been rolled out across the UK organisation.
“That was really the point where I fell in love with events and brand building. So when my time with the IoD was complete, that’s the path I chose to follow, launching Wolfe seven years ago.
“I launched Wolfe with my brother, who lives in the US, and one of our first jobs was a huge contract with Jaguar. It was an amazing start to doing things myself and my way. And in 2012 we acquired the North West Football Awards, which recognises football excellence on and off the field, from the male and female football leagues. They grow each year. I’m so proud.
“I have to confess I am a perfectionist (don’t ask the team!), possibly a little OCD, too. But then I also feel that guilt we all experience as women sometimes, when we can’t quite do everything perfectly! My partner is really understanding and accepts that sometimes if he wakes in the night, I’ll be on my phone.”
Laura shares these anecdotes with a knowing smile but also isn’t afraid to admit that it’s not always been easy. “Everyone has tough times both in business and in life. I suffered terrible postnatal depression after my son Sami was born, juggling life, two children and a business and feeling that guilt and helplessness. I am so pleased that the stigma around mental health is being addressed in the media. You never know what’s going on with people, so be kind, always.
“I’m lucky: I couldn’t be where I am now without my family. My mum and dad are both role models. My late dad was a captain of industry and I miss him dearly. And my mum has spent her life giving back and was awarded an MBE for her charity work.”
Laura has clearly taken a leaf out of her mum’s book and is an ambassador for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, A Smile for Orly and has just begun supporting The Offside Trust.
Living in Cheadle with her partner, Daniel, and two boys; Natan, 11, a county swimmer and Sami, 5 who clearly shares the other love of his mum’s life: football. And Manchester City, to be specific. “My brother took me to my first match when I was six or seven and that was it. I don’t wear red, for obvious reasons,” she laughs.