LaGuardia Community College has a club for just about every interest and skill. Photography, chess, creative writing, women in stem, tabletop board games, psychology, cooking, anime, economics, are all clubs organized by students for students. Despite the presence of these clubs at LaGuardia, each offering leadership and community-building opportunities, a growing number of LaGuardia students […]
A one-on-one with the President of Long Island City Partnership
Step into the world of Long Island City Partnership and you’ll immediately sense the energy embodied by its president, Laura Rothrock. With her warm demeanor, exceptional leadership skills, and deep commitment to the community, Laura has established herself as a pillar of the Long Island City community.
“Laura is great!”said Rachel Cohen, one of the Partnership’s board members. “She has definitely had an impact partnership.”
Rothrock has only been with the Partnership for a little less than a year.
“I came to long LICP just this fall. But I was already working with the partnership from 2008, when I was consulting… the partnership was already one of my clients, so I was familiar with the staff and a number of board members.”—She explained.
Sitting down with Rothrock in the conference room at the LICP there is an air of familiarity. Her calm and friendly demeanor created a sense of safety. Usually, interviewing the president of an organization can be intimidating. However, with Rothrock, this was not the case. Her sunny disposition and energy are inviting, and you quickly learn that there is so much more to her than being the president of an organization.
“I have always loved theater; I go to Broadway regularly” she said. “I went to a pretty competitive high school for performance and there was dance and singing and when I was in college I was in an acapella group.”
Now, Laura’s involvement with performance arts is purely as an audience member. “I go to a lot of shows. I think that I’ve seen everything on Broadway.” She said as she plays with her hands. “My oldest son [the eight-year-old] does a lot if performances and I help him run lines or with his singing.” Beyond that Rothrock has occasionally been known to participate in a karaoke session.
Her career in New York politics and her familiarity with the partnership has created a well-oiled machine and she quickly gained favor among her staff.
Sierra Brown, the LICP director of communications and marketing remarks: “It’s been really a delight to have Laura Rothrock join us as our president of Long Island City Partnership, she is incredibly thoughtful and human, and she listens and she’s creative. It’s a tough job [you know?] with two huge boards and a staff and the mixed-use neighborhood that we are but I think she is really on a great path, and we are so happy to have her.”
Although Rothrock is well established in her career, she was not always sure what she wanted to do when she started college. However, she would gravitate towards courses about policy and urban planning “I would always want to my hand in class and ask questions even when I was in catholic school, they would teach us passages I would always ask ‘but why?’” Unsurprisingly, Rothrock would go on to major in political science at Loyola university.
“I am passionate about equity. Racial, gender (obviously) but LGBTQ has a special place in my heart.” She remarks as she recounts her involvement in the legalization of gay marriage in the state of New York. “I have always tried to be an ally, and I hold these issues close to me.”
Her role as president of an organization, unsurprisingly, comes with its challenges.
“In addition to the BID we also focus on other aspects of Long Island City, [Long Island city] is very large as you know so we offer a lot more than BID services. A lot of my day is meeting to fix any issues here in LIC…” she said. “The biggest difficulty is time management; we are a small staff of eleven people it’s hard to manage the staff and the different departments and making sure there is coordination within the different departments and also managing the board relationships… and I would say the fund raising is really challenging.”
What she is referring to when she says BID is the Business Improvement District according to New York State, is a geographical area where local stakeholders oversee and fund the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of their commercial district. Which is undergoing a potential expansion.
One of Rothrock’s goals is to become a more effective leader. Although this is not the first time, she has had to manage a team this the first time she doesn’t have a boss to report to.
Laura Rothrock has been able to successfully manage a staff of eleven diverse individuals in order to create a well-oiled machine out of an organization that is built to support the ever growing and thriving community that is Long Island City.