- Research Analyst
As The Giver, Lauren is focused on the needs of others, especially when it comes to seeing the potential in them. The “F" (Feeling) part of her personality naturally lends itself towards genuine concern for humans as well as a remarkable ability to connect with a variety of people. She cares for them. There’s an authenticity in how she communicates which proves to those who meet her for the first time that she is genuine in her intentions. But coupled with her compassion, charisma, and warmth, is a counterbalancing dose of “T" (Thinking) that provides her with the organizational resources to turn well-meaning intentions into action. She combines her satisfaction from helping other people become better with an extraordinary ability to organize people to take part in educational activities. That’s evidenced in her volunteering with Village Launch, which serves under-resourced, aspiring entrepreneurs. In these sorts of environments, it’s easy to see Lauren's energy and drive to help others flourish and accomplish things that matter. She is remarkably responsible, acutely aware of others, and full of encouragement and support to everyone she knows.
Lauren was in born in Atlanta, but moved with her family back to Greenville, SC when she was 5 years old. Interestingly, she has a brick with her name on it in Atlanta’s Olympic Park. She considers her parents to be an amazing gift who modeled altruism for both her and her sister, Sam. "Everything I’ve learned has started from my mom. How to love people. How to organize things. How to host events. She’s been a close friend for a long time.” Lauren describes her dad as a "strong quiet individual” and she credits him with being her example of how to help others develop. Not surprisingly, Lauren went on to graduate from North Greenville University with a degree in Outdoor Leadership which gave her the tools to accomplish her heart’s desire to see others grow and thrive.
Ironically, her deep love of the outdoors has steadily grown ever since a 5-day canoeing and backpacking at Lake Jocassee where she unfortunately contracted Lymes Disease. "It totally changed my life, but instead of making me scared of the outdoors, it had the opposite effect on me…I guess because of my faith, and because I’m stubborn.” That love of outdoor adventure also translates to a love for road trips (particularly out West) and backpacking trips to Europe which helped to form her perspective that home is not a single location. In her travels, she wasn’t trying to find herself or figuring out her calling. She was simply amazed by different cultures in America as well as abroad. “For me, it was just a good reminder that home isn’t one place. For me, heaven is my ultimate home. Even in Greenville, here isn’t my final destination."
Besides being an adventurer, connector of people, and entrepreneurial enthusiast, Lauren is a supportive wife to her husband, Chad, and a devoted mother to her young daughter, Bella. She loves anything arts/crafts and most especially loves gardening.
Q&A with Lauren
WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF YOUR STORY SO FAR?
Having the opportunity to be Bella’s mother. It may be a cliche. But it’s true. It’s gut wrenching (because we got thrown into parenthood with a honeymoon baby), but it’s also the biggest joy to be a parent. I’m responsible for raising this other human, who could either be a drain on this world or could be a great addition.
WHAT ORGANIZATION OR COMPANY INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
Circuit Board Medics (in Greenville). They help repair appliances, electronics, and a bunch of other things. They are trying to save people from wasting a whole unit. It was kind of an accident in starting. But they’ve been flourishing. There are high quality folks working there and it’s an interesting niche as a business.
WHAT ASPECT OF IPSO'S CULTURE RESONATES WITH YOU THE MOST?
Seeing everyone as individuals and trying to pull on their strengths. There’s a lot of freedom but honesty. It’s high character.
WHAT DOES FLOURISH MEAN TO YOU?
Making something better than you found it, which can mean growing uncontrollably sometimes.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU FEEL MOST LIKE YOU?
Helping lead the business class. I love connecting people. I love to see them move in a developmental way and helping them work towards their dreams.
IN AN ALTERNATIVE LIFE, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO GIVE A TRY?
It would be fun to take care of animals in the circus and get to travel to all of these great cities by trains (trains are my favorite). I’d love to take care of the animals and get to hang out with all of these misfits. I understand why circuses stopped (particularly with regard to the animals well-being), but it would still be amazing.