Woman Who Makes a Difference: Laura Chandlee

Age: 49.

Location: Dubuque.

Title and organization: Household manager, the Chandlee family.

Number of years with organization: 22.

Education and career background: Bachelor’s degree in teaching in Spanish, University of Northern Iowa.

Community outreach and volunteering: Approximately 22.

Family: Husband Chad; son Alec; daughters Ana, Leah and Maren.

How did you get involved with your organization and within the community?

I grew up in Dubuque and learned at a young age to give back and to help in our community. We moved back to Dubuque in 2000, after college and living in Chicago, Dallas and Cleveland.

What challenges have you faced in your role?

I think finding my passions and seeing where my skills can be used to best. Learning to reach out to see the many possibilities.

What is the most fulfilling part of what you do?

I love connecting with people. The connections lead to great conversations and collaborative work. I love learning and growing, while helping our Dubuque community.

What do you believe makes an effective leader?

I believe communication and being open to ideas, thoughts and sharing freely. I believe in allowing your passion to drive and motivate.

Why is community outreach important to you?

It’s about connecting with others and learning. There always are new ways to think, and great people guide and inspire here in Dubuque.

When not busy in your various roles, what activities do you enjoy?

I love time with my family. I love to travel with them or just relax at our home or on the river. I love to explore the world and learn about other cultures. I enjoy tennis and pickleball. I love to watch anything our kids are involved with.

What was your reaction to receiving your Salute to Women award?

I was so surprised at first. I am so grateful and appreciate Bobbi Earles nominating me. It truly makes me feel good knowing I’ve made a difference in a small way.

If you could offer one piece of advice to other women, what would it be?

Be so completely yourself that everyone else feels safe to be themselves, too. Your voice is heard. Your story is needed. Your ideas are vital. Your existence makes a difference. Go and do what you can, when you can, with purpose and love. You can do it, so just believe.

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