Ben Laughter is an attorney with substantial business background in manufacturing, distribution, and retail. He received his law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1976. He and his wife both graduated from University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, in 1973. One of his degrees is in Political Science, with honors. His honors thesis was entitled Judicial Behaviorism - The Supreme Court, 1896 - 1957. While at Carolina, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a National Merit Scholar. He was also president of his Residence College and Drum Major, UNC Marching Band. He is currently in private legal practice, specializing in corporate and business law. From 2002 to 2004 he was an adjunct professor at the School of Business at Georgia Tech. He has been on the part-time faculty at Dalton State College School of Business since 2006. He joined the full-time faculty in 2010.
From 1986 to 2001, Mr. Laughter served as Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Shaw Industries, Inc. He was responsible for spearheading the corporation's acquisition program, growing from $600 million in sales and 5,500 employees to over $4 billion in sales and 35,000 employees, including operations in six foreign countries. He was responsible for all securities filings and compliance with the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and The New York Stock Exchange. He was also responsible for litigation management and risk management, seeking to prevent as well as defend lawsuits. He was Chairman of the industry steering committee on international trade issues with Canada and handled all legal aspects of $900 million syndicated revolving credit facility.
Mr. Laughter was first admitted to practice for the State and Federal Courts in North Carolina, in 1976 and has subsequently been admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Illinois, Georgia and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court. He has been recognized in Who's Who in International Business.
He and his wife, Lynn, have been married for over 37 years. They were married while still at Chapel Hill. She has her Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. They have three children, all of whom are through college and married. They have two grandchildren, "Princess Kate," and a new grandson, Joe.
Mr. Laughter has served in his community as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Dalton Development Authority. He is now on the City of Dalton's Ethics Board. He is also on the Board of Directors and Legal Counsel to Ross Woods Adult Daycare Facility. He and his wife are both heavily involved in their local church where he currently serves on the Staff Committee. He is also a former member of the Executive Committee, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Foundation, Louisville, Kentucky.