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Banker Laura Jacobi has become a 'flash of hope' for many


SPRINGFIELD - Laura Jacobi became the chief financial officer of a billion-dollar company by the age of 35 while at the same time juggling a robust volunteer life for numerous nonprofits.

Jacobi is senior vice president, chief financial officer, and chief accounting officer for Lake Sunapee Bank and its parent company, New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares, Inc.

She has been with the bank since 1997 after an earlier career in retail management.

In 2010 she founded and became the director of the Northern New England Chapter of Flashes of Hope, a nonprofit that provides photo shoots for young cancer patients.

It has become the nonprofit she is most passionate about.

In early 2010 a friend's 2-year-old daughter was a recipient of the charity while being treated for cancer in a Boston hospital.

Jacobi said she had never heard of the nonprofit before and was inspired to expand Flashes of Hope into New Hampshire.

The chapter she founded now serves not only children in New Hampshire, but children in Maine and Vermont as well.

"One out of five children diagnosed won't survive," she said.

So the pictures mean different things to different people, to some it's the last set of professional pictures of their child and to others it's a way to mark how far they have come in their recovery, Jacobi said.

In 2012 Northern New England Flashes of Hope provided about 300 photo shoots, with about a third of those at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

The little girl who inspired Jacobi lost her battle with cancer. Jacobi said she considers her the true founder of the Northern New England Chapter.

You can learn more about the nonprofit at www.flashesofhope.org.

Born in Lowell, Mass., Jacobi is a graduate of Chelmsford High School in Chelmsford, Mass. She has lived in New Hampshire for the past 17 years.

Jacobi has a B.S. in accounting/finance from the Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester and an MBA in accounting from Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I.

Jacobi was named 2012 Young Professional of the Year by Business NH magazine and Stay Work Play NH in October 2012.?"I completed both my bachelor's and my MBA while working full time," she said. "While working full time I maintain a high involvement with nonprofits and community organizations."

She has been a wish granter and volunteer for Make-A-Wish of New Hampshire for the past 15 years, past president of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer for The Prouty and Relay for Life.

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