Lara joined the Center for the Support of Families in 2019 after serving for over twenty-five years in the IV-D programs of state and local governments. In her twenty-five years, Lara served as the IV-D Director of the Missouri Family Support Division, the First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Director of a multi-county prosecutors’ office in Springfield, Missouri, and as Assistant Prosecutor in Jackson County, Kansas City, MO.
Lara currently serves on several committees of the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) and of the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA). She is a co-chair of the NCSEA Emerging Issues and Leading Practices subcommittee of the Policy and Government Relations Committee and is a member of the ERICSA Honorary Board.
Lara is a past president of ERICSA (2014) and of the Missouri child support professional association, MCSEA (2007). Lara has presented to numerous conferences and events including MCSEA, ERICSA, National Tribal Child Support Association (NTCSA), Western Intergovernmental Child Support Engagement Council (WICSEC), NCSEA, the National Child Support Attorney College, the Missouri Bar, and several local bar associations.
Lara also currently serves as Immediate Past President of the Southern Missouri Women Lawyers Association and as a board member of the Good Dads non-profit organization offering parenting and relationship education and support to fathers in Springfield, Missouri.
Lara’s awards include the Jackson County Family Support Division Attorney of the Year (1997), Springfield Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award (2009), the MCSEA Honorary Life Member (2014), the Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly Women’s Justice Award for Public Service Practitioner of the Year (2016), and the Honorary Lifetime Member of ERICSA (2019). Lara received her undergraduate degree at Central Methodist College (now University) and received her J.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is a member of both the Missouri and Kansas Bars.