About Laura

Highlight Reel

  • Born and raised in Niagara
  • Self-employed with experience in public, private, and non-profit sectors
  • Certified by AMCTO in Municipal Administration
  • Former St. Catharines City Councillor
  • Former Executive Assistant to Mayor and City Manager at City of Welland
  • Founding board member of Quest Community Health Centre (secretary and treasurer, developed the centre’s first budget)
  • Niagara Poverty Reduction Network committee member of Wages & Work working group
  • Founder of Underdogs Boxing Club (volunteer-run non-profit organization that offers programming for the whole community and is home to programming for women-identified survivors of violence)

The Details

Laura Ip has been keenly interested in politics since having worked for a local government relations firm in 2000 and then moving on to a communications position for a local municipality for a couple of years before starting her own business.

She ran for St. Catharines city council in 2006 and 2010. She was appointed to city council at the beginning of 2014 and served until the end of that term.

Following the 2014 election, Laura had decided she was not going to try to enter politics again, but the state of politics at the regional council table has persuaded her to throw her hat in once again.

Laura has lived in the Niagara region her whole life, having grown up in Niagara Falls and moving to St. Catharines nearly 25 years ago. She has been an extremely active community member since she was a teenager, volunteering for numerous initiatives.

Laura is a graduate of both Brock University (Hons. Bachelor of Arts in Sociology), Niagara College (numerous management certificates and a Teaching Adults certificate), and she holds a certification in Municipal Administration from AMCTO. She has worked in public, private, and non-profit sector roles and is currently a freelance researcher/writer. Laura is also the founder, president, and head coach of Underdogs Boxing Club, a local volunteer-run, non-profit organization that offers recreational non-contact boxing programming to the community, including women-identified survivors of violence, and youth.

Below is Laura’s resume for the last 20 years of education, work experience, and selected community involvement.

EDUCATION

Degrees and Diplomas
Social Justice and Equity Studies M.A.
, Brock University (in progress)
Sociology (Hons. B.A., with Distinction), Brock University (2012)
Office Administration – Executive (Co-op), Niagara College (1998)

Professional Development and Certification
Teaching Adults Certificate
, Niagara College (2010)
Municipal Administration, Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers (2007)
Leadership Niagara (Inaugural Group), Brock University / Niagara College (2007)
Municipal Administration, Niagara College (2006)
Management Development – Effective Leadership, Niagara College (2004)
Ontario Management Development Leadership Skills, Niagara College (2003)

Awards
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2013)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship) (2012)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (declined, due to SSHRC award) (2012)
Distinguished Graduating Student Award (2012)
Brock University Dean’s Honours List (2008 – 2012)
Niagara College Dean’s Honours List (1995 – 1998)

EMPLOYMENT

Regional Councillor, Regional Municipality of Niagara (2018 – Present)
Developer of Volunteer Programs
, Gillian’s Place (2018 – Present)
Freelancer
, Self-Employed (2014 – Present)
Resource Development Coordinator, YWCA Niagara Region (2015 – 2018)
Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant, Brock University (2012 – 2018)
Administrative Coordinator/Community Engagement, INCommunities (2015)
City Councillor, St. George’s Ward, City of St. Catharines (2014)
On-Line Instructor, Canadore College (2003 – 2015)
Continuing Education Instructor, Niagara College (2000 – 2015)
On-Line Instructor, Humber College (2005 – 2010)
President, LJI Professional Services Inc. (2004 – 2010)
Executive Assistant to the Mayor and City Manager, Corporation of the City of Welland (2003 – 2005)
Communications Coordinator, OEB International (2000 – 2003)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Founder/Director, Underdogs Boxing Club (2017 – Present)
Member, Women in Niagara Council (Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce) (2016 – Present)
Blogger/Podcaster, The Practical Feminist (2016 – Present)
Noon30 Panelist, 610CKTB (2015 – Present)
Working Group Member, Wages & Work working table, Niagara Poverty Reduction Network (2014 – Present)
Community Editorial Board, Niagara Voices Columnist, St. Catharines Standard (2016 – 2018)
Director & Lead of Governance
, Cowork Niagara (2015 – 2016)
Fighter, Pearl Gloves, MS Society of Niagara (2015)
Director, Niagara Workforce Planning Board (2014 – 2016)
Lead of Promotions/Creative Committee & Fighter, Pearl Gloves, MS Society of Niagara (2013 – 2014)
Organizing Committee, Niagara Social Justice Forum (2013)
Member, Niagara Grant Review Team, Ontario Trillium Foundation (2009 – 2012)
Community Editorial Board/Niagara Voices Columnist, St. Catharines Standard (2009 – 2010)
Event Chair, Mayor’s Committee on Community and Race Relations (2007 – 2009)
Founding Director & Secretary/Treasurer, Quest Community Health Centre (2006 – 2009)
Founder, Mommy Talk (2005 – 2007)
Public Relations Chair, Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (2003 – 2004)

Tell Laura what it means to you to Reset the Region: