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November 8th, 2022
Located in Los Angeles, California, at Crozier, she leads a team of architects, engineers, and artists who box up, move, securely store, and later reinstall artworks within the walls of airports, museums, and dining rooms across the globe.
As a team leader, she actively promotes an environment where people respect each other and are constantly learning-a work environment that hasn't always existed for Lauren.
"At a very young age I knew I wanted to go into art as my future. I didn't really know what that meant, but I liked painting," Lauren said with a laugh.
Her childhood love for arts and crafts eventually led her to pursue an art degree in college, but once she graduated, instead of standing behind an easel, Lauren found herself behind the wheel of a twenty-two foot long Crozier truck, packed full of the type of art she had just been studying in school.
"It can be a very intimidating industry," she explained. "I was pretty young, and I was the only woman at the time on the crew. I had never studied engineering or anything like that. [This kind of work requires] a lot of [technical] knowledge and I was just like, "I like art!'"
Early in her career, she recalls being too afraid to ask her teammates the most basic questions and risk being seen as weak or incapable. "I went to open the back of the truck and I just stared at it and it was like a foreign contraption to me. Now I know you just lift up and pull, but it was just beyond my understanding on day one. I was so intimidated, some of it was in my head, but I don't want anyone to feel like that."
But she was determined to learn and soon swallowed her imposter syndrome and threw herself into the work. Through observing her teammates, she taught herself how to do the job well, and eventually worked up the courage to ask her coworkers to teach her new skills for rigging and art handling. She quickly moved from the newbie on the team to a multi-skilled projects manager.
"I kept moving on to different positions in all these different departments so I could gain more knowledge in order to give back one day," says Lauren. "It all starts with the crew, the ground floor. They deserve so much more attention. That's why I kept wanting to grow in the company, to support each other the way they supported me."
Lauren's most recent position is one she helped to create for herself: Training & Development Supervisor on the West Coast.
As so many coworkers helped Lauren grow in her role, now she has a chance to give back by training and equipping new members with the right skills they need for any type of job. And in her training, she actively works to cultivate respect amongst team members so that questions are not seen as weakness but as an opportunity for clarity and growth.
"For my crew members that I'm the supervisor for, I'm always checking in with them. I want to get their feedback. I want to hear from them. I want to have them involved in making the decisions and everything like that, because I know how helpless it felt when I wasn't able to do anything in certain positions."
"I think being a leader is respecting and understanding that you're not just a singular person up there. You grow from your team."