A familiar face at ShowClix since 2009, Lauren Lippello has played an instrumental role in the growth and development of the company and a big role in developing the unique culture and vibrant work environment that are hallmarks of the company today.
After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, with a concentration in graphic design, Lauren landed a job as a Creative Coordinator at Heinz. While there, she assisted in design and development of a new product distribution website.
Looking for a start-up company where she would be able to grow her career, Lauren joined the ShowClix team as the 8th employee beginning as an Administrative Assistant. After a few years, Lauren established an opportunity to work on the more analytical side of the company. She transitioned into the finance department as a Staff Accountant in 2011. In 2014, Lauren decided to enhance her knowledge in business management by obtaining a MBA at her alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As a result of Lauren’s strong work ethic and ambition to take on any challenge, she has held roles in multiple facets of the organization as a Administrative Assistant, Staff Accountant, Finance and HR manager, and today as our Director of Human Resources. Lauren and her team provide expertise in employee relations and help evolve the organizational culture of ShowClix to support the achievement of our goals.
You recently began a new role as our Director of Human Resources (HR), what aspects of HR at ShowClix are you most excited about being a part of?
There are many exciting challenges being the Director of HR, it allows me to have the ability to positively impact and support ShowClix and the lives of the employees who work so hard make this organization so successful. I look forward to further developing the culture, work environment, and continuing to make this organization a place where employees are motivated and performing at their highest ability.
From starting out as an Administrative Assistant, to a Staff Accountant, to a Finance Manager, before going down the HR career path, how do you think your diverse history with ShowClix will assist you in developing your career in HR?
Traditionally Finance and HR departments at organizations have been separate, often having very different perspectives. For Finance the adage is often “Cash is King” and for HR it’s “employees are the greatest asset,” which are usually two ideas of opposition. What’s unique about ShowClix is, these two departments have always worked closely together and it has created better collaboration when making Financial and HR based decisions. I have experienced this collaboration each year when assisting in executing benefit renewals and weighing the effects of benefit changes to our employees and cost structure of the organization, this is always a delicate balance. Working in Finance for the past four years under the VP of Finance and HR, Mark Riley, has afforded me the opportunity to learn and develop an understanding of how HR costs affect our financial statements, while still keeping focus on the human element of business. I believe I benefitted greatly from having a talented mentor like Mark who has been extremely generous to share his knowledge and working under this structure of one department.
You’ve been with ShowClix for over 6 years, can you share one of your favorite memories?
Some of my best ShowClix memories involve meeting some great friends who just happen to also be my coworkers and working with talented professionals who have taught me valuable business lessons and attributed to my current success. ShowClix will always be special to me because it has been a place where I matured from a 24 year old that was unsure of the direction of my career, to a 30 year old with aspirations that never end.
One thing I will carry with me always from my years at ShowClix is how the company started with friends and has always in some aspects felt like family, even through the evolution of its employee base. When I started at ShowClix there were about eight employees in a small closet sized office in Oakmont. I started about a week before the Christmas holiday in 2009 and the ShowClix Holiday party committee planned a Secret Santa exchange, which happened to be my second day at the company. I was still feeling the nerves from the first few days at a new job with new coworkers and then it hit me on how awkward I would feel to be the only one who would not have a gift to give or receive. I remember trying to clean up a lot and look really busy during this party, so that people wouldn’t notice the uncomfortable look on my face. To my surprise, the team went out of their way so that there was a present under the small Charlie Brown like Christmas Tree for me. In that moment, I realized that this was not going to be like any other company I worked for. They wanted me to feel like part of their team from the moment that I accepted the job offer.
Now as Director of HR and one of the first ShowClix team members that a new employee encounters, I want to be the leader that returns the favor and makes them feel as I did on my first days. This team started out as the foundation of this company and continues to be the root of our success. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to our team to cultivate and be a true embodiment of our company mottos: everything matters, take responsibility, challenge and listen, work fast and most importantly, win together! If I can achieve this even in a small way, I can feel proud that I have passed on the original sentiment of ShowClix.
You always come up with fun ways to boost team morale and collaboration. Do you think you can give us a sneak peek of some ideas?
The co-founder of ShowClix, Josh Dziabiak, challenged me from my very first day at the company to develop an exciting culture and environment where everyone wanted to work. He usually accomplished this by presenting some of the most extreme and outrageous ideas possible that I was never exactly sure how I was going to bring them to life. Some examples of these include: an entire wall of cereal of various varieties, parties for a large number of people on a tiny budget, fish tanks that hang on the wall with live fish, and an installation of a fully functioning movie theatre complete with popcorn machine in a new office.
Today, I think back on those ideas and realize that because of quick creative problem solving and hard work, they were all became real. I thank Josh for putting me up to those challenges and trusting me with the responsibility of helping to build a company culture from the ground up.
Now as the Director of HR, I plan to continue our innovative company culture. So far, our HR team has reinvigorated our community volunteer initiation with different monthly projects, threw a company breakfast where we cooked and served pancakes and eggs in our lobby, created a birthday wheel of fortune game, and implemented an initiative to improve the health of our employees with a company Fit Club competition. In the future, I foresee company exercise classes, bowling nights, educational seminars, many more volunteer projects, a karaoke sing off, and possibly a “customize your own grilled cheese” lunch, but…you never can tell.
We know you are an avid runner. Do you have any advice about staying motivated while training for half marathons?
I approach setting goals in my personal life and in my career by looking at challenges that I initially could never imagine myself having the ability to accomplish. Part of that mentality is really wanting to test myself to see if I have the hard work and dedication to make this goal come to fruition.
Running fits into this same goal setting process for me. 13.1 miles always seemed like an unfeasible running distance to attain, but last spring I picked a race and signed up so I couldn’t back out. I set a plan, I did my research, and I committed a ton of time to training. As a result, I ran my first half marathon in September, and though I certainly did not come in first place by a long shot, I accomplished my goal by finishing the race and the bonus was it was in a better time than I anticipated.
This year, my new goal is to run at least two separate half marathon races and eventually, in the future, a full marathon. My advice: Pick a goal, (even if it seems crazy) set a plan into motion, work hard and stay committed, remember to have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself, and finally, believe in yourself. You have the ability to do more than you could ever imagine.