Laura Woodard Clark is the founder of Vivian’s Voice, a consulting company for professional women seeking to strengthen their communication skills and advance their careers. Vivian, Laura’s maternal grandmother, was born in 1912. Raised in Monroe, Louisiana, Vivian graduated valedictorian of her high school class and raised five daughters while working as a teacher. She taught Laura to “always raise her hand in class.”
Laura founded the company after working in the non-profit and corporate arenas for more than 15 years. She noticed a trend: several talented female professionals were not achieving the recognition they deserved. After researching the communication differences between men and women, Laura realized the potential of teaching female professionals to avoid apologetic talk; take credit for their work; embrace the word “bossy,” negotiate salary and title without guilt; and overcome imposter syndrome or the belief that one is not well-suited for her job.
A proud board member and featured panelist of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Women’s Symposium, Laura graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minors in Women’s Studies and German. She earned a master’s degree in communications at Lasell College, and she is certified in Women in Leadership from Cornell University. In addition to operating Vivian’s Voice, she teaches a public speaking course for eULM.
Laura served as editor-in-chief of SDSU’s student newspaper and was involved in several student organizations, including Mortar Board. After graduation, she was the editor of a weekly newspaper in the Black Hills, where she learned all facets of the newspaper business. During that time, she was named Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year by the South Dakota Newspaper Association.
She moved to Monroe in 2005 and began working as the Assistant Director of Publications at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She was promoted to ULM’s Director of Media Relations in 2006. She quickly developed a passion for working with her colleagues and the media to promote the university’s academic excellence, its cultural contributions, and its outstanding faculty and staff members. During her time at ULM, she helped coordinate Ace’s Adventures (a free educational tool for the region’s children); provided leadership in publicizing hurricane relief efforts; and facilitated promotion of the university’s record-breaking bone marrow drive. While at ULM, she was named Top 20 Under 40 Young Professionals by Delta Business Magazine. In addition, she and her colleagues received several awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for their public relations work.
In 2013, she began working as the Corporate Communications Officer at P&S Surgical Hospital & Specialty Management Services of Ouachita, LLC. During that time, the Louisiana Hospital Associated recognized her work with the award, Merit of Excellence for External Writing. Also during that time, Bayou Life Magazine included Clark in their “People We Love” feature section. She was also named to the 2016 Leadership Ouachita Class.
Laura is a past president of the Northeast Louisiana Young Professionals; a member of the United Way Community Investment Committee; a board member of the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Coalition; and a board member of the Christopher Youth Center. She has also co-chaired fundraising efforts for P&S Surgical Hospital’s United Way campaign and the hospital’s participation in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
She and her husband Tim enjoy traveling with their five-year-old son, Weston.