Laura Berman Fortgang's family
Laura Fortgang with her family

It’s time for a change in New Jersey’s 26th district, and no one is more experienced or effective at enacting positive change than Laura Fortgang, an internationally recognized pioneer in the personal and business coaching field. A founding member and board member of the International Coach Federation, Laura was one of the first people to be certified as a personal coach, and has worked extensively as a leadership and career coach to business executives across the corporate and government sectors. An expert on the impact of coaching skills training on leadership, Laura has brought coaching to NASA, the Army Corps of Engineers, Florida’s state government, the World Bank, and dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Her private practice clients include homemakers, small business owners and employees who want to improve their lives and careers. As a life-long learner, Laura also holds an ordination as an interfaith minister and has performed weddings and family milestone ceremonies in her community. Furthermore, she has lent her skills and talents to advocate for her community through leadership in the schools.

Laura Fortgang was born in 1963 and after stints in Brooklyn and Caracas, Venezuela, grew up in New Providence, N.J., the granddaughter of immigrants. Her father was the first person in his family to go to college and took opportunities for his family to see the world. Laura’s life abroad inspired her life-long interest in cultures and languages, that motivated her to earn a degree in communications from Boston University. Following her own dreams, she pursued a successful career in the performing arts before embarking on her life’s work as an executive coach. Certified by Coach University (the first training school of its kind in the world), she founded her own small business, InterCoach, Inc., working with C-suite executives and business owners alike to strategize career and life direction. A professional public speaker, Laura is a frequent guest on network and cable news, and has appeared on Oprah, CBS’ Early Show, Today on NBC, Good Morning America, CNBC and CNN. Laura’s five best-selling books have been published in 13 languages, and she is well known as a long time contributing editor to Redbook Magazine and a blogger for Huffington Post.

The parents of three children, Laura and her husband Mark are active community volunteers in Verona, where they have lived for more than 21 years. As the parents of small children, they pitched in as school class parents and sideline coaches, but as their children got older, their involvement in their community grew. Mark, a video producer, helped produce a video demonstrating the crumbling infrastructure of Verona’s schools, which was ultimately instrumental in the passage of a bond referendum to upgrade and improve facilities throughout the district. As president of Verona High School’s Music Parents Association, Laura not only advocates on behalf of the award-winning music and band program, but transformed the organization into a 5013c and spearheaded fundraising efforts that continue to allow Verona’s talented music students to travel and compete at national competitions. Laura also remains involved in the performing arts, particularly in joint projects with her children who share her passion for theater, acting and dance.

A working mother and small business owner whose family depends on her income, Laura understands the challenges New Jersey families face every day to provide a safe and secure life for their children. Both she and her husband, Mark, are self-employed, and have weathered the ups and downs and economic uncertainty of self-employment and small business ownership, particularly the challenge of finding affordable health care. The diagnosis of one of her three children with a rare medical condition altered her family’s financial security dramatically when her family’s health insurance refused to cover expensive medications and certain treatments, and like so many other New Jersey families, she has faced the challenges of navigating the educational system on behalf of a child with special needs.

Laura believes that all New Jerseyans essentially want the same things for their families, and that affordable health care, quality schools, safe communities, fiscal responsibility and government transparency and accountability are not partisan issues. She also believes that the hardworking people of the 26th district deserve more than the established leadership that is currently failing to represent the best interest of the district in Trenton. With your support, Laura will fight for the common-sense solutions for the concerns we all share.

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