Laura Quebral is a planner, analyst, communications strategist, and fundraiser with deep experience in project management, grant writing, team construction, consensus building, and organizational development. Named Director in 2015, she provides day-to-day leadership and management for UBRI as it engages in a range of high-visibility projects in regional economic development and sustainability.
Laura is the team leader and project manager for the Buffalo Billion Delivery Unit using her expertise to guide decision-making and support signature initiatives through strategic planning, problem solving and project implementation. Laura led the local working team during the creation of the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan leveraging knowledge of the local context and stakeholders to maximize the efficiency of national consultants to advance the Plan and its strategic initiatives. Laura was well-positioned to lead this working team having been project manager in the development of the award-winning Western NY Regional Economic Development Council’s Strategic Plan, a highly-collaborative plan aimed at making fundamental improvements to the WNY economy. In addition to progressing the Buffalo Billion investment initiatives, she leads the UBRI team in support of the Regional Economic Development Council as it prepares its annual strategic plan progress reports for the Governor. Taking lessons learned from UBRI’s role in WNY’s economic development efforts, Laura led the UBRI team in assisting each of the Upstate regions in New York with the research and expertise on strategy development and implementation to guide their Upstate NY Revitalization Initiative plans.
Senior Policy Associate at UBRI from 2009-2011, Laura developed recommendations for the restructuring of governance for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System; facilitated the creation of the Western New York Environmental Alliance; provided project management for the creation of a 20-year restoration and management plan for Buffalo’s celebrated Olmsted Parks system; and produced Who’s Your Economy?, a regional labor market assessment to support economic growth in Buffalo Niagara through improved alignment of workforce supply and demand.
Prior to joining UBRI, she served as Knowledge Management Officer at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the John R. Oishei Foundation leading research and evaluation relevant to funding interests to enhance philanthropy both regionally and national, and providing informed context for decision making. Before that, Laura was Director of Planning and Strategic Initiatives at the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. In the latter role, Laura led fund-raising campaigns at the Conservancy which surpassed both previous records and current goals including the Olmsted ReLeaf campaign to support reforestation in Buffalo after a devastating ice storm in October 2006.
Laura holds Bachelor’s degrees in both English and Psychology from the University at Buffalo; and a Master’s in Urban Planning, also from UB, where she won the award for best thesis for “Preserving Buffalo’s Olmsted Parks: Facing Challenges in Planning for Historic Park Landscapes.”