Laura McKnight

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Laura began her career practicing tax, corporate, and estate planning law at the Kansas City firm of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne.

After practicing law, Laura led business development and market expansion efforts at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, one of the largest organizations of its kind managing nearly $3 billion in assets. Laura served as the foundation’s president and CEO for six years.

In 2012, Laura began working with Curran Companies, a Kansas City-based private equity firm. In that capacity, Laura served on the advisory board of Crown Philanthropic Solutions, a software company with more than $6 billion in assets administered on its SaaS platform. Laura assumed the CEO role at Crown and facilitated a series of transactions that resulted in RenPSG's acquisition of Crown..

Laura’s work in business development draws on her experience with the increasing role of philanthropy in families, small to mid-size businesses, and large enterprises. Her articles and editorials have appeared in publications across the country, including the the Wall Street Journal‘s online WSJ MarketWatch, the Downey Patriot, Las Vegas Tribune, Hawaii Reporter, Atlanta Journal Constitution,, SunSentinel, Kansas City Star,, Sun Advocate, Island Dispatch, Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers, and the Roanoke Star-Sentinel. She has appeared in television segments and, for five years, co-hosted the Live with Rink and Laura business radio show featuring regional CEOs as in-studio guests.  

Laura’s first book, Cereal for Dinner, Cake for Dessert, published in May 2012, is a true story to inspire women to think differently about how work, life, and community are intertwined in their lives and the role of philanthropy in families. Laura believes the connection between philanthropy and positive psychology helps drives success in client, employee, and consumer engagement. This is a theme she explores in Do Good, Feel Better, her second book, published in January 2017.

Laura earned a degree in philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a law degree, with honors, from the University of Kansas School of Law, where she served as managing editor of the Kansas Law Review. Laura has served on several boards of directors over the course of her career, including the Mattie Rhodes Center, Mid-America Planned Giving Council, Nonprofit Connect, BioNexus KC, Young Presidents’ Organization, National Association of Corporate Directors Heartland Chapter, United Way of Greater Kansas City, American Royal Association, Start Up Weekend, and the Children’s Mercy Hospital Foundation. She is the grateful recipient of honors that include Ingram’s 40 Under 40 and the Kansas City Tomorrow Distinguished Alumni Award.

Laura has helped a wide range of clients with growth strategies and engagement initiatives, including DST Systems, EPR Properties, Honeywell, Baker University, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Perceptive Software/Lexmark, as well as several high-growth start ups.

Laura has played a key role in ensuring that Embolden's tools continue to reflect a commitment to philanthropy, social impact, and making a difference in the community.