Laura Caroon ’06, Director of Culture and Growth at Trive
Major/Minor: Religion; Studio Art

Please tell us about yourself.

I believe that we’re each placed on this earth with unique passions and skills to make a positive impact on the people and spaces around us. I’m a business coach/consultant with a background in leadership development, community building, small business, women’s empowerment, and marketing strategy. (But my favorite place to be is out on the lake with my fisherman husband, Josh, our fantastic daughter, Olivia, and our one-year-old Aussiedoodle, Opal.

What is your role at Trive and your favorite part about your current work?

I am the director of Culture and Growth at Trive. I am the second half of a small but mighty two-person team. (Fun fact: My colleague is originally from Norway, and married a Cobber he met while she was studying away there!)

In this role, I get to empower individuals and teams to maximize their potential and create healthy workplace cultures where they can truly thrive. My favorite part of the role so far is seeing the “aha” moments with my coaching clients. We often have the answers we need inside of us, but sometimes it takes a little external nudge to bring them to the surface.

What have been some of the learning curves in your new role?

It seems counterintuitive, but what we do to be successful in prior roles usually does not translate to success in a new role. There are new goals, challenges, and expectations. I’m someone who wants to hit the ground running right away, but I’ve had to slow down and do a lot of listening and learning. I actually recently became a certified practitioner of Everything DiSC® and I’m pretty excited about that.

Photo: Kara Lee ’00

You are also a member of the Moorhead City Council. Why did you decide to run?

Yes! Politics have been pretty wild in recent years, and I was really frustrated with what was happening. I decided to work on making the change that I could with the skills that I have in the place where I am. In 2019, I was part of a virtual cohort through the She Should Run program to learn about campaigning, and in 2020 I filed for candidacy for my ward’s spot on the Moorhead City Council. I won that seat and have been on the council since January 2021.

What excites you about the future of Moorhead?

So much! Moorhead has got some really incredible things on the horizon in terms of being a vibrant, inclusive, thriving place where people want to work, live, and play. I’ve witnessed so much change across the river since moving to Moorhead 20 years ago. Now it’s our turn to shine.

One such project I’m super excited about is the opportunity we have to build a new library and community center in Moorhead. We’re asking residents to approve a half-cent sales tax on their ballots in November in order to fund the project. A modern, inclusive and welcoming library and community center will not only be such a great amenity to our residents, but it truly will be a catalyst for renewing our downtown. (If you want to learn more, check out

Why do you think Concordia is a good college choice and why would staying in Moorhead following graduation be beneficial? 

Cobbers are a special kind of people. A Concordia education not only teaches you skills and facts but also how to be resourceful and resilient, how to think outside of your own lived experience, and how to pivot and explore new paths.

Cobber connections are also second to none. The alumni network is pretty incredible.

And, of course, I encourage folks to stay in Moorhead! I came to Concordia from the Twin Cities and planned on moving back after graduation. But I quickly fell in love with the Fargo-Moorhead community. It’s one of the fastest-growing regions in the country and there are so many great job opportunities. It’s a great place to start a business or begin your career.

You are also the co-founder and former president of Ladyboss Midwest. What inspired you to start the organization and how did that grow into what it is today?

My co-founder, Danyel Moe ’16, and I met while working in the Communications and Marketing office at Concordia. I hired Danyel to my team and we became fast friends, bonding over common interests in art, social media, and women’s empowerment.

In 2018, we came up with an idea to create a small conference for women in Fargo-Moorhead. We wanted to create a place where women could gather to talk about topics that we didn’t feel were being addressed in other spaces locally. We wanted to build an event that felt fresh and fun and impactful. 

Because we’re both marketers, our first goal was to build our audience. We started a Facebook group called Ladybosses of Fargo-Moorhead. (Danyel called me her “Ladyboss” at Concordia, so that’s where the name came from!) We invited our friends, they invited their friends and, by the time we opened tickets for the Ladyboss Summit, we had 800 women in our Facebook group.

We had created an incredible community of women in this Facebook group and wanted to find more ways to bring them together, so we started hosting a couple of events each month. We hosted things like a painting party, happy hours, book clubs, floral arranging, speed networking, yoga, self-defense classes, and a candidate forum, to name a few. 

In 2020, we entered into a strategic partnership with Jodi Duncan ’90 and Flint Group/RR46 that gave us an opportunity to maximize our impact and broaden our reach across the Midwest.

Overall, I worked on building up the Ladyboss community for four years and I’m so proud to have been a part of something that impacted the lives of 8,500+ women in our region.

Your major is entirely different from your career path. How did your Concordia experience prepare you for your life after college?

I picked my major based on what I was most interested in at the time. I did end up working in ministry for a handful of years after graduation but was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug pretty early. Even though my major doesn’t directly relate to the work that I am doing now, it gave me the skills I needed to consume and interpret information and absolutely enhanced my writing skills. Being a strong communicator has been a skill that has helped me tremendously in every role — personally and professionally.

Why did you choose to attend Concordia?

There were a lot of reasons that I chose Concordia, but two things that stood out were the atmosphere on campus (if you know, you know!) and my admission representative, Jeremy Johnson. I had a great experience with the admission process from the beginning and I felt very welcomed into the Cobber community.

What do you wish you knew in college that you know now?

I wish I would have taken opportunities to get to know people better while I was on campus. Two of my favorite professors have since passed, and I wish I would have taken them out to lunch or connected with them after graduation. I would have loved for them to know the impact they have had on my life.

What advice would you give to a current student or someone who is considering Concordia? 

Two things. 

1. If you can, take advantage of a study away opportunity. For most people, there’s no other time in life when you can sneak away to a foreign country for a month or a semester. It’s an experience that you will never forget. 

2. Get involved in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Don’t just stay on campus. Volunteer, job shadow, go to events, take an internship, contact your local elected officials, get to know your neighbors. Relationships are everything.

What’s the best professional advice that you have received?

There is only one you and that is your power.

What are you most proud of professionally? 

I’m really proud of making the decision to run for office. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone — and still does, honestly. It was scary to put myself out there and I felt really out of my league. But serving the community in this way has been such a rewarding experience and I’ve learned SO much.

Have you thought about writing a book about your experiences?

Hah! Yes. I would really love to do that. Any Cobber publishers out there?

My path has been anything but linear, and I’ve gone through some pretty major setbacks and bumps in the road. I think we’ve been sold a fairy tale that says if you go to the right school and get the right degree, you’ll get the perfect internship and land the dream job, which will lead to living happily ever after. But it doesn’t work that way. Everyone’s trajectory is different and there are no “right” boxes to check. The “dream job” isn’t always what we think it is. I would love it if sharing my experiences could help someone else’s journey.

Published October 2022