Greenpoint woman rings opening bell at Nasdaq

January 10, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Laura James was thrilled to ring the opening bell to at Nasdaq’s Times Square studio. Photo by Kelsey Ayres/Nasdaq, Inc.
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The Nasdaq Stock Market adopted a decidedly Brooklyn attitude on a recent morning, as a Greenpoint woman got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to ring the opening bell to signal the start of the trading day.

Laura James, chairwoman of the Advisory Board of Playworks New York/New Jersey, a nonprofit firm that works with schools to promote the emotional health of students by revamping recess and playtime activities on school playgrounds, had the honor of ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite Studio in Times Square on Jan. 2. 

James, whose day job is in governmental relations at UPS, not only had the honor of ringing the opening bell for the start of the trading day, but since Jan. 2 was the first trading day of the New Year, she had the unique opportunity to signal the start of Nasdaq’s trading for the year of 2018. 

She was joined on the dais in Nasdaq’s Times Square space by executives from the Playworks New York/New Jersey office, as well as officials from the firm’s national headquarters.

Playworks New York/New Jersey is the regional arm of a national Playworks network of sites.

The appearance by James and her colleagues was part of Nasdaq’s seventh annual Fit Week, which took place from Jan. 2 to Jan. 5 and was designed as a way for Nasdaq to celebrate companies that promote fitness and healthier lifestyles.

“Laura, Nasdaq is proud to honor you and the Playworks team for all the meaningful and impactful work you do,” Bryan Joyce of Nasdaq said as he introduced James before the opening bell.

Among its services, Playworks provides coaching, training sessions and consulting services to elementary schools, school districts and after-school programs. The company works to develop friendly, inclusive games on school playgrounds, according to officials, who said their goal is to help kids develop of the type of social and emotional skills they will need in the classroom and in life. 

“Playworks playgrounds are changing the American landscape for millions of American children, especially those who are returning to the playground today. We are proud to be part of an organization that works to make every child feel included and builds skills such as leadership and conflict resolution — and our programs have been proven to reduce bullying on the playground. Play has the power to bring out the best in our kids,” James said in a statement.


For more information on Playworks, visit the company’s website at


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