It's News to Her
Experience in multiple industries hones perfect skill set for leading sales marketing efforts for a division of CNN
Monday, May 2, 2016
Lauren Boles at CNN news desk

Lauren Boles '97, B.A. Business Administration

Lauren Boles has dabbled in a lot of industries. Curious and persistent by nature, she keeps exploring new ones, learning a lot, and enjoying every additional opportunity.

Coming to Trinity from West Palm Beach, Fla., Lauren was surprised to discover country

Lauren Boles

music and "real" Mexican food, both of which she liked, "especially the food." Learning to write in writing workshop and first-year seminar courses has proved "invaluable" in her career. Studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain, "really opened my eyes to other cultures and taught me the importance of independence and self-reliance." She smiles as she recalls how economics professor Roger Spencer "always found a way to make economics interesting and relatable." And thanks to a memorable role-playing exercise in one of business professor Don Van Eynde's management classes, Lauren "learned so much about relying on the expertise of your management team and the tough decisions that company leaders must make with limited information. It was a real eye-opener to the real world."

Before entering the "real world," however, Lauren earned an MBA and a Master of Health Care Administration at the University of Florida. Less than a year after joining Ernst & Young in Atlanta, she became a casualty of a merger. "It was quite a lesson to receive in my first post-MBA job," she says.

Bouncing back, Lauren moved on to a series of positions that broadened and amplified her marketing skills. At a bank she built various B2B and B2C applications during the emergence of "e-business." At a credit card company she built up the acquisition marketing team and learned the various ways to acquire new customers and the costs associated with each channel. Next came ad agency experience with a digital marketing and advertising firm. "I loved that gig," she says, "because I got to start up and run the strategy and marketing consulting division as well as lead a project at Disney. Flying out to Orlando every week for over a year and becoming immersed in the Disney culture was really fun."

Anticipating the birth of her first child, Lauren decided to seek a job that kept her closer to home and found it at Accenture, where she led marketing for North America for their banking consulting practice. Having a boss who lived in Germany and working with people around the globe, meant Lauren could work from home and travel only when necessary.

Ready for more action, Lauren joined North Highland Consulting as director in their digital marketing agency and was "happily trucking along there when CNN came calling." Because she had no broadcast industry experience, Lauren initially thought they had the wrong person until her future boss explained how her skill set -- attained from multiple job experiences -- could complement the team.

Today, as senior director of sales marketing, she works for a division of CNN called Newsource, which delivers news services to more than 1,100 local news providers across the globe. "The worldwide power of CNN's newsgathering operations (43 bureaus across the globe) means that we get the stories out fast and often have differentiating elements that our clients appreciate," she explains. Newsource also offers its partners access to CNN reporters and crew during key news stories along with a wire service and digital video for clients to use on their websites and mobile properties.

"Before taking this job, I had never thought about how local news works and the role that an organization like CNN could play in it," admits Lauren. "But it's absolutely fascinating. I still get a thrill when I walk through the newsroom at CNN Center. It's like a stock trading floor—full of energy and excitement and coffee, especially on big news days." Lauren says it is always eye-opening to visit clients and see how local news is produced and the challenges they face as well as the opportunities ahead of them, especially in digital and social media.

Outside work, Lauren competes in triathlons and just completed her first Half Ironman in Augusta, Ga., last year. She also enjoys riding horses when time permits. Now that her two children are getting older, she and her husband look forward to traveling with them more often and "showing them the new experiences and excitement life can bring." Regarding future career plans, she says, "I trust that if I keep doing things that interest and engage me, opportunities will come along." That has been a winning strategy so far.

You can contact Lauren at lauren.boles@turner.com

Mary Denny helps tell Trinity's story as a contributor to the University communications team.

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