Laura J. Phelps Elected Vice-Chairman of The English-Speaking Union of the United States
By: The English-Speaking Union of the United States
Ms. Phelps was elected to national Board of Directors of The English-Speaking Union of the United States at the ESUUS annual general meeting in Seattle on September 26, 2013. Subsequently, at a meeting of the Board, held on November 26, 2013, she was elected by her fellow directors to be as a member of its Executive Committee.
An immediate past president of the San Francisco Branch of the English-Speaking Union, Ms. Phelps has served as a member of that Board since June 2009. The San Francisco Branch elected Ms. Phelps president in June 2012, and she shepherded the Branch to a solid financial foundation as well as ensured that it remained a strong proponent of the ESU mission of education. The Branch continues the great tradition of awarding graduate school scholarships, has developed a thriving Shakespeare Competition and recently re-established the British University Summer School (BUSS) program. Most recently, Ms. Phelps smoothly transitioned the Branch presidency to her successor Eileen Macmillan.
Ms. Phelps is a financial professional with more than twenty-five years experience in banking, finance and administration. She has worked for Bank of America and First Republic Bank and served as Director of Finance for Horta, LLC and VP for Finance and Administration for Anagran, Inc. Ms. Phelps currently is principal of her own firm, Comprehensive Financial Services, which serves a diverse range of private partnership clients in Silicon Valley. Ms. Phelps is also a member of the Finance and Audit Committee for the City of Menlo Park, California.
A graduate of the University of Chicago, Ms. Phelps earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Philosophy. She completed course work in Industrial Relations at the International Graduate School at the University of Stockholm, as well as course work in business and law at the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University.
The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political educational organization that celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members. Founded in 1920, the ESU is a 501(c) (3) charitable educational organization headquartered in New York City with some 6,000 members nationwide. An independent American corporation, the ESU carries out its work through a network of some 70 U.S. Branches, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs including scholarships, teacher education and conversational English tutoring. It also conducts book and cultural exchanges working in fellowship with the 57 independent ESUs around the world. Most prominent of ESU programs is The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, a school-based program to develop students’ speaking and critical thinking skills, through ESU Branch-sponsored community competitions and at the National Competition at Lincoln Center in New York City. Inaugurated in 1983, the program has since engaged more than 250,000 young people.