Meet Lauren Dunnaway
Lauren is a connector. As she says herself, one of those “can’t sit still people”, always on the move to the next place, person, or experience. She loves life and tries to cram in as much as possible, taking pictures of everything as she goes! She’s mother to the most amazing five year old – who she considers her ultimate teacher.
With over 20 years of experience in the meetings and event space, Lauren’s career includes working in hotels, CVBs, as an events professor, and with a full service agency. She currently works for Reach Meetings & Events as President & Chief Sales Officer. Lauren is also passionate about volunteering for organizations, such as SITE, where she currently serves as President of the Texas Chapter.
In school, she says she was bored by traditional subjects such as Math, English, and the broader business disciplines, so went into Marketing as a degree at Texas A&M. She focused on marketing and recreation, as well as parks & tourism studies, and knew early on that tourism spoke to her heart.
She loves this industry, saying that as human beings, we crave experiences that remind us we are alive and part of a world much bigger than ourselves. We seek to be mind-blown and ignite a sense of wonder. Lauren believes that travel brings those experiences to us, validating the beauty of life itself.
Recently, much like for her peers, it has not been easy. Covid has devastated her livelihood. She experienced being furloughed and was reduced to a place she never imagined - on unemployment and uncertain of her future. However, she says that this temporary gift of humility has now become her greatest driver - rocket fuel to the next amazing chapter of her life.
She joined SITE in late 2016 when the current President, Jenn York, asked if she would join her board. By simply being asked, Lauren felt needed, igniting a desire to volunteer and really contribute to SITE. She urges new members to be as proactive as possible. SITE, like most associations, is built on volunteers, so identify a way to serve that plays on your strengths and passions and dive in! You will gain a sense of belonging and incredible networking opportunities, all of which offer an amazing return on investment.
Lauren speaks from absolute experience in saying that an incentive professional's journey is incapable of reaching its full potential without the knowledge, connections, and resources that are afforded by SITE Global. She maintains that whether one is already at a high performing level in their career, or at entry level, SITE unlocks the next level of opportunity. For her, this has meant opportunities for certification and employment as well as introducing her to contacts that have been pivotal in her growth. She says that the investment in SITE membership is nominal for such a long-lasting and far reaching return.