Laura and her husband, Mike, have been married since 1977 and have five sons and three grandchildren.
Annie Kay, Laura and Mike Padden's newest grandchild.
Laura is the daughter of the late Paul and Antoinette Derr. They moved to the Valley from the City of Spokane when she was two years old and she considers herself a life-long Valley resident. She has witnessed the area grow and change.
“The Valley has always been a great place to live and is filled with people who care,” Padden said. “It was a wonderful place to grow up and then to raise our children. I want it to be a great place for our grandchildren too.”
Laura graduated high school from Holy Names Academy in Spokane. She earned a B.S. in Police Science and Administration from Washington State University. After graduating, she worked for long-time Dishman-based Valley business, Jacklin Seed Company, as their Data Processing Manager. In 1977, she married Mike Padden, current 4th District State Senator, and tuned her focus to working at home to have and help raise their five sons.
During that time, Laura went back to school part-time and earned a second degree – a B.S. in Computer Science from Eastern Washington University. She then joined a tech start-up, Aurora Consulting Group. Upon leaving Aurora, she ran her own web development business for a number of years.
For the last 15 years she has worked as a Web and Application Developer/Integrator for the Community Colleges of Spokane. During that time, she has served on multiple Selection (hiring) Committees and currently serves on the Web Team Committee setting policies and procedures for web management, and the Stay Safe Stay Open Committee dealing with the college’s response to COVID and the role of IT in implementing that response.
Laura is a former Youth Director and later a religion teacher. Currently she serves on the Church Finance Council. She was a member of the Spokane Valley City Sidewalk Snow Removal Committee, has been an active volunteer in numerous campaigns over the years, and currently is an elected Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) for precinct 4422.
Laura enjoys bicycling and, before the COVID working from home order, would bicycle to work along the Centennial Trail to the SCC campus. She and Mike also enjoy walking their dog, Griffey, and especially enjoy visiting their three grandchildren!