Entering a room with Laura Liegois, is like hanging out with one of the popular kids from school. Time together is peppered with her greeting others with smiles and handshakes and warm words, with people recognizing her and engaging her in small talk.
But the nectar of this networking is information and communication, and it’s what has made Liegois who she is, personally and professionally. She wears many hats and is the driving force behind Municipal Connections, which she founded in September 2016, her business is linking separate entities and people together in ways that are mutually beneficial to all involved.
It’s a skill set she’s excelled at since an early age, and one with which the upbeat Muscatine resident continues to shine.
“I’ve always been very outgoing and been involved in a lot of things,” she said. “I think it’s just always been in my personality to be involved. I always want to make where I live a good place to be and I want to make other places good for their residents, too. That’s really the motivation behind what I’m doing now, and really what I’ve always done.”
Born and raised in Muscatine and the graduate of Muscatine High School, Muscatine Community College and Marycrest International University, Liegois, 42, has been married to her husband, Jason, for 20 years, and they have two children, Jacob, 17, and Madeline, 15. She grew up in a bustling home, teeming with activity and chatter. As the youngest of four girls, she learned to navigate the social pathways in which she would travel as an adult, she said.
“It’s so important for people to communicate and be connected,” she said. “There are so many great things going on in our community and other communities and so many people just don’t know about them. That’s why it’s important to have that outreach and connection, just to have an awareness of the exciting projects that are out there for people to experience.”
Liegois worked for the city as solid waste manager for 10 years, specializing in recycling and green exercises to keep the city financially and ecologically friendly, and it’s that interest she continues to follow in her private business. Many of her clients are other cities and municipalities that she helps to achieve their own green goals, and one of her proudest recent moments was helping the city of Clinton almost double its amount of monthly recycling from 38 tons to 68 tons in a year.
“It’s really fun working with clients that allow me to be creative and to see the results,” she said. “Waste management is one of those things that nobody really talks about, but it’s really important, and especially now as we’re seeing the benefits of recycling and living greener, it’s such a big issue.”
Helping to connect different agencies and individuals to help eliminate waste and to help with better allocation of resources is a passion of hers, and one in which she sees her distinct skill set as a definite advantage.
“Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting people together and talking and they realize how much they can help each other, and help the better good,” she said. “I love networking, because it opens up a lot of opportunities to have conversations that can help people and the community in general. When you bring together people with different ideas and different skills, you make the community stronger.”
Liegois’ impact continues to be felt throughout the city in her various vocations, including working with Muscatine Boxing Club, Muscatine Diabetes Project, Salvation Army Advisory Board and Pearl City Players, and it’s poised to only grow as she continues her journey in communication and connection. She’s also quick to give credit to others, notably Jodi Hansen and Chad Bishop, regarding her involvement in the upcoming local film project based upon the life of Norman Baker.
“I’m always quick to give credit to others, because it’s those connections that make us all stronger,” she said. “I’m never a one-person-show, I like working together.”
Not surprisingly, outside of work, she enjoys a number of other activities which play into her gregarious nature, including board game nights with her family.
“It’s very hard to get everyone together if you have teenagers, and I like to have that togetherness, that family time,” she said. “Everybody is off going in different directions and it’s good to take time to reconnect.”
It’s all the more crucial and difficult as her own business continues booming. But it’s a good dilemma to have, she said.
“I’m happy to say my client list keeps growing, I am very much about my clients and what their mission is and how we can grow that together,” Liegois said. “My clients and cities want to do their best for their residents because ultimately that’s who they’re working for, and I love helping to make that happen.”
It’s all part of her own enjoyment of being at the center of the new and exciting.
“I’ve gotten to see so many great things I never knew existed, and gotten to be a part of so many great things,” Liegois said. “It’s been an exciting roller coaster ride, and I’m happy to be on it and see it keep going!”
For more information on Liegois’ business, see www.municipalconnections.com.