Courtney Glancy

March 27, 2023

Laurie Brown’s Career Celebration

After 25 years of working with the University of Florida, Laurel (Laurie) Brown is officially retiring on March 31, 2023. While her physical presence will no longer grace the halls of TREEO, her impact at our office and in the community will linger for years to come.

A woman of the people, Laurie has always pushed to improve the community any way she can. Through her relationships built in and out of the office, Laurie has been an essential player in bringing OPWD to the doorstep of the Gainesville community.

While Laurie is leaving us as the Coordinator for Community Outreach and Custom Training, she has cycled through many titles, worn many hats and become the jill of all trades throughout her career. View a snapshot of Laurie’s career and achievements below:

Career Snapshot:

  • 1997 Hired as an OPS Marketing Coordinator for the UF Division of Continuing Education (DOCE)
  • 1998-2000 Member of Exhibitor Advisory Council for the American Dietetic Association
  • 1998-2001 Course Production Supervisor (DOCE)
  • 1999-2000 Fundraising chairperson for community cheerleading group
  • Summer 1999–Fall 1999 Computer Instructor, Center for Business and Professional Development, Santa Fe Community College (SFCC).
  • 2000-2001 Chairperson of the Exhibitor Advisory Council for the American Dietetic Association
  • 2001-2003 President of women’s organization within a church
  • 2001-2004 Program Coordinator, DOCE, Office of Executive Education
  • 2003 Presented a 90 minute program on leadership at the 16th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference
  • Jan 2004 to Oct 2004 Editor/Production Manager, Applied Learning Systems (ALESYS)
  • Nov 2004 to March 2005 Substitute Teacher Alachua County School Board
  • 2005-2008 Member of the University of Florida Communications Network (UFCN)
  • 2005-2006 Member of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA)
  • 2005-2007 SGMP Chapter Communications Committee Chair
  • 2005-2013 Member of Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP)
  • 2005-2013 Marketing and Program Coordinator, TREEO
  • 2006-2011 Annual presentations to Cancer Survivors in Spartanburg, SC
  • 2007 to 2009 SGMP Chapter 1st Vice President
  • 2009 to 2011 SGMP Chapter President
  • 2013-2014 Program Coordinator, Executive Education (DCE)
  • 2014 to present UF OPWD, Community Engagement and Custom Solutions Coordinator
  • 2016-2022 On a voluntary basis provided life-skills training classed to opportunity youth and work-release and incarcerated individuals
  • 2019-present Summer Girls Camp Director for girls 11-18


Co-developed and taught a Train-the-Trainer course.

Worked with UF departments and external business professionals to seek instructors and course developers and to develop advisory committees.

Initiated and managed the development of the Online Water Conservation Certificate Program and created and directed the advisory committee and course developers.

Responsible for the coordination and logistics for all the LEED training courses, secured public and contract courses bringing in an average of $350,000 annually for five years including military contracts in Japan and Germany.

Wrote grant proposals for, Susan B. Harwood, Banner Center for Water Resources and Workforce and Job Training Grant and secured a Cost-Share grant to fund the development of the Water Conservation Training Program.

Worked with UF department of Environmental Engineering on outreach and marketing for Conserve Florida Water projects.

Developed partnerships with (IFAS) Food and Resource Economics Department to moderate and manage the logistics for a series of water conservation webinars and with Forester University to establish a water conservation webinar series.

Developed new courses; Work-Life Balance, an online course; Professional Presence, and Communication through Emotional Intelligence customized onsite programs as well as online life-skills courses.

Served as project manager for the development of an online Human Trafficking course

Pushed the idea for a women’s leadership conference, which sparked the establishment of the annual Inspiring Women Leaders Conference, currently in it’s 6th year.

Created a pilot program working with incarcerated women at the Alachua County jail.

Built a relationship that served as the foundation and starting point of hosting the safety yard at our facility.

Please join us in celebrating Laurie’s career and legacy – she will be missed!

A Message from the Director:

Retirement is one of those bittersweet moments when you make one of your life’s most important and transformational transitions. It’s bitter or maybe a little bitter that you leave behind the people you have closely worked with for years, the challenges of creating professional relationships, and celebrating personal and professional accomplishments. It’s sweet or semi-sweet (like chocolate morsels) because you gain precious time to spend with family and friends. It is also a time for you to explore and experience the world in a new and exciting way. Instead of deadlines and bureaucracy, you get fairies and unicorns.”

Laurie, I will miss your positive, caring soul. I have enjoyed our spiritual discussions and have admired how much you truly care about people. Inspiring Women Leaders is celebrating its sixth year because of you and your desire to bridge an equity gap for women in the workplace. Your commitment to community engagement, bringing together town and gown, and educating the underrepresented has been inspiring. You are what you have fought for others to become…an Inspiring Woman Leader.

Fair winds and following seas is a navy saying for those moving on to another job or retiring. It is a wish and a hope for the person you are saying it to, so they will always have the wind at their back and a smooth, carefree journey. This along with the following blessing I wish for you.

‘May the LORD bless you
and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

– Andy Campbell

Well-wishes from the OPWD Team:

“Laurie, I truly will miss your warm smile and our walk way chats.”
“I am reminded of my first year at TREEO, we had a trunk or treats for the kids. You, your daughter, and granddaughters attended the event and this made my day. I still laugh at the time me and Hayden ran into you and your husband at the airport and you accidently spilled the beans about Busch Gardens lol. I will definitely miss you but I know TREEO cannot compete with the awesomeness that is retirement. Thank you for your leadership and inspiration. Best wishes!”

– Areiole Williams

“Laurie, I am so glad you were able to be a part of 130! Some of my fondest memories involved decorating our room for Halloween (what are the odds the people who love Halloween the most ended up in 130 together). I really enjoyed dressing up as characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus and Harry Potter with you and the rest of 130. We really committed to our roles and decorations! Halloween will not be the same with out you! You will be missed greatly but I hope you enjoy your well deserved retirement.”

– Lauren Troffer

“I still clearly remember that during my first interview, I was so nervous that I could barely breathe, it was Laurie’s warm smile that reassured me, gave me the courage to complete the interview, and brought me to OPWD. Laurie continuously encouraged and helped me when I first entered the workplace and gave me great spiritual motivation in all aspects of work and life. I am very glad that I have come to OPWD, and I am more grateful to have such a great leader as Laurie who constantly inspires me. I have learned a lot from Laurie: her love and dedication to work, her kindness and consideration for others, and her positivity and optimism toward life. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for all that Laurie has done.”

“Dear Laurie: You have been an outstanding leader, mentor, and friend, and you will be greatly missed. I wish you all the best in your retirement and know that you will continue to thrive in your new journey!”

– Lu Yin

“I have had the great pleasure to work one on one with Laurie. I believe her desire to help fulfill her clients and students’ goals taught me how to look at the importance of how I take care of my clients and the community. She also gave me a deeper insight into keeping an open door to all possibilities. I believe this is just one of her compassions that leads her to reach out into the workforce and community to fill the needs of others around her. Laurie’s many gifts/talents give her the ability to befriend people in her communities of work and friends. She has helped so many others become better people to the point of self-sacrifice and in such humility that I hope to leave a legacy like this for others to follow.”


– Wanda O’steen

“Have worked with Laurie for many years and she always brings great Vibes to the work place. We survived the trip Miami Water & Sewer Water Security Training.

It was a fun and interesting trip with Ron and of Course Chris Roeder……………..which by the way I ran into at Trader Joe’s Friday. He says Hi to the Gang.. I dont think i need to mention my name…………..

Best of Luck. Enjoy your Retirement…………:)”

– Marta Keilhauer

“I’m going to miss talking to you over our shared wall! As an originating member of room 130, you brought life and fun into our office space and made each day something to look forward to. I value everything I have learned from working near you; your words of wisdom and encouragement will stay with me throughout my own life and career. I hope you find peace and happiness in your time of leisure and that retirement is everything you’ve dreamed of and more!”

– Courtney Glancy

“Thank you for always being a supportive, caring, and fun co-worker! Wishing you health and happiness in your next adventure!”

– Melissa Hamilton

“I have had the privilege of working with Laurie off and on for over 20 years. She is always upbeat and positive (and not afraid of frogs, lizards, etc.). I just want to wish her a heartfelt congratulations. Now the real fun begins!”

– Jennifer Douglas