Laurie Gardner, Founder and Executive Director
Laurie passionately believes that everyone deserves to have a fun, meaningful life. A Harvard-educated Jersey girl, she is the close advisor and coach to country and state leaders, mayors, education and business pioneers, and other top movers and shakers worldwide. Starting as an inner city high school teacher and the youngest principal in Boston, Laurie became disillusioned with the state of public education and spent two decades spearheading a global school reform movement, founding and directing an internationally acclaimed charter school nonprofit and helping thousands of leaders to start and run successful organizations.
Laurie received graduate and undergraduate degrees in education, psychology, and world religions from Harvard University, where she also taught quantum physics. An avid world explorer and former Outward Bound wilderness instructor, cultural exchange guide, and service-learning leader, she has traveled to 55 countries and 40 states and speaks five languages. She is a master practitioner in over two dozen body/mind/spirit wellness techniques, including intuitive coaching.
While successful on the outside, by her late 30s, Laurie felt empty and exhausted on the inside. She decided to try a nontraditional approach to get perspective on her life, unexpectedly writing a book while fasting in the desert on a vision quest. Her book, The Road to Shine, is receiving all 5 stars on Amazon and has been featured on nationwide media. After her quest, Laurie quit her workaholic job, broke up with Mr. Almost, and dedicated herself to a new education path, helping people find the courage to live lives they love and be happier, more effective leaders. Anyone seeking to be their truest, best self or who wants to help their community or the world is someone she is honored to learn from and serve.