Laurie J. James embarked on her professional journey by earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1983. In the early years of her career, she developed her business acumen through such positions as office manager with KLFY TV, legislative aide to Rep. Ron Gomez, and front office manager for Panavision. In 1986, she became the president of Just Your Type, Inc., until selling the business in 2004. Concurrently, she helped to co-found Career Directors International in 2000. Serving as their first president until 2005, Ms. James continues to contribute to Career Directors International as an active member.
In 2005, Ms. James established herself as a career image coach, independent sales director and beauty consultant with Mary Kay, and three years later opened her own consulting firm, LaurieJJames.com, LLC. Holding considerable expertise in career and interview coaching, she is one of only nine master career directors in the world, a credentialed career coach and resume writer, and a Dale Carnegie training specialist. She has received additional certifications as an electronic career coach, a career master, an international job and career transition coach, a career enlightenment LinkedIn writer, and in DISC leadership communication. Additionally, Ms. James is noted for her specialty in working with college athletes, having been inspired by her husband of nearly two decades, who enjoyed an athletic coaching career at every level of competition.
Alongside her primary career responsibilities, Ms. James has contributed her skills to a variety of civic and professional endeavors. With the Louisiana Department of Health, she did voiceovers for approximately 80 TV and radio PSAs for various life-threatening diseases and has done further voice work in commercials and jingles for local and regional clients. She has also offered her services singing the national anthem at national, regional and local events. Having made a name for herself as an actress as well, she has appeared in “Certain Death,” “Shy People,” “Inside Out,” and the “Mystery Diagnosis” series on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Ms. James has additionally acted in community musical productions, including “The Band Inside Your Head,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “A Grand Night for Singing,” “Oklahoma” and “The Pirates of Penzance.”
For her excellence, Ms. James has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades over the course of her career. Throughout the 2010s, she received multiple recognitions from the Vermillionaire chapter of BNI Global, LLC, also known as Business Network International. In 2013, she was named a BNI Notable Networker and was presented with an award for “Most Referrals Given,” which was followed by being named a Notable Networker and among the “Most 1-1s in the Southwest LA Region” in 2016. The following year, she was again named a Notable Networker and further honored as a Platinum and Greenlight member. In 2000, Ms. James was recognized for having the “Best Local Internet Site” by the Times of Acadiana.
Attributing her success to patience, persistence and consistency, Ms. James also credits her positive outlook that she tries to spread through all aspects of her work and life. Cited by her peers as being very pleasant to work with, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Career Directors International and was named a Double Star Achiever and a 10-time honoree of the Queen’s Court of Personal Sales by Mary Kay. Beyond her many accolades, Ms. James considers her most notable achievement to be creating and naming the TORI Awards in 2001. TORI stands for Toast of Resume Industry, and the award is presented to resume writers around the world. As she looks toward the future, Ms. James looks to expand her motivational speaking career while continuing to grow in her current position.