Laurie attended Humboldt State University studying wildlife conservation but soon succumbed to the lure of their new Theater Department. She subsequently worked as a professional actress for over 30 years. However, a keen interest in the environment and the arts have continued to be her twin passions. She worked for the renowned Los Angeles non-profit TreePeople for 5 years, serving as Volunteer Director and later as Director of Campus and Citizen Forestry Training, founding a Speakers Bureau where she was able to use her public speaking skills to champion TreePeople’s mission. She also wrote grants for the educational non-profit Project H.E.L.P. based in Silicon Valley, California.
Laurie moved to Ojai from Los Angeles in 2001 with her husband, John Slade, who taught Drama and English at Nordhoff High School for 12 years. She has worked professionally in Ventura County at the Rubicon Theatre, Santa Barbara Theatre Ensemble and Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, as well as directing in local schools and community theatres. She is the facilitator of Ojai’s long-running Shakespeare Reading Salon and has volunteered for a number of years at the Green Coalition. In 2016 she became certified as a California Naturalist, and feels blessed to live in the beautiful Ventura River Watershed.