By Lee Allen –
2017 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year
Laura Oldaker learned early “how to earn the things I want.”
After she was named Verizon’s 2013 Latino Business Series’ Entrepreneur of the Year, she told HipLatina.com that when she was 9 and wanted a Barbie doll, her mom helped her set up a raspado on their front porch. “I made enough to buy my own Barbie,” she said.
Working at a senior care center in 1995 to help pay for college, Oldaker saw how much she could improve others’ lives – and never forgot it. After a foray into marketing and public relations, she and her husband, Justin, founded By Your Side Senior Care in 2009 to provide in-home care for Tucson-area elderly. They now employ a team of three dozen people.
Oldaker started the Academy for Caregiving Excellence in 2015 to train caregivers.
The bilingual mover and shaker is one of the first Arizona graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business effort, receiving a Certificate of Entrepreneurship in 2014, the same year she won the Hispanic Business Salute Award from Telemundo Arizona and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Oldaker has lived up to her advice to young would-be entrepreneurs to “give back to your community” once they’ve achieved their career goals.
She is vice chair of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber’s board, a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, is involved with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Santa Catalina Parish Pastoral Council, where she volunteers in the soup kitchen to help the less fortunate.
The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership named her a Flinn-Brown Fellow in 2016.
After learning that she was the Hispanic Chamber’s Business Woman of the Year, Oldaker said, “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to be included with this group of fantastic business leaders and also indebted to our team that is dedicated to positively impacting the lives of older adults in our community. Without them I wouldn’t have the opportunity to share and mentor other Hispanic women about how they can start and run a successful business.”