Laura Slatkin is the CEO of NEST Fragrances, a luxury home fragrance company. NEST Fragrances is a luxury lifestyle brand for scent lovers that includes candles, diffusers, and fine fragrance. Outside the world of fragrance, Laura is a mother and an advocate. In 1999, shortly after giving birth to twins, Alexandra and David, the Slatkin's son was diagnosed with severe autism.. In 2003, along with her husband, Harry, and closest colleagues, she co-founded NEXT for AUTISM, an organization that transforms the national landscape of services for people with autism by strategically designing, launching and supporting innovative programs.
In addition to serving as Board Chair of NEXT for AUTISM, Laura serves on the Board of Directors of Autism Speaks, New York Center for Autism (NYCA), NYCA Charter School, New England Center for Children and the Henry Street Settlement House. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and on the Board of Directors of Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, Hunter College Autism Research and Policy Board, and the Henry Street Settlement House. Laura is also involved with the Alzheimer's initiative.
Interviewed by our Different & Able President and Founder, Alexandra Nicklas, Laura shares David’ s story and his diagnosis and challenges with nonverbal autism. She also discusses David's communication strategies, how David is burgeoning into his adult life, and why her scent Apple Blossom is near and dear to her heart. In addition, Laura speaks about the future focus of NEXT for AUTISM, which is now focusing on changing the standard for how adults with autism thrive. As the website states, “NEXT for AUTISM addresses the needs of people with autism and their families across the country, right now. “