2022 Honorees

Lauren McLeod

Director of Product

“I fell into product management by way of caring too much about the consumer journey and solving problems.”

Rising Star2022

Tell us about where you work and what you do there.

I am the Director of Product for Athletic Brewing, a non-alcoholic beer company dedicated to making great-tasting craft NA brews. I run our product department and strategy, including the eCommerce sites (US and International) and any umbrella products within our digital domain — with exciting things coming soon!

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a curious, creative strategist at heart and fell into product management by way of caring too much about the consumer journey and solving problems. I make to-do lists in my sleep, over several cups of morning coffee, read at least one book per week, and lift heavy things (CrossFit). I’m an avid hiker, wine taster, traveler, and lover of furry animals. Currently planning some farm animals to add to our two resident dogs and cats.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Whew! 10 years is a long time from now at the warp speed we live these days, but I see myself leading product and strategy in some capacity, as well as consulting for other small businesses within eCommerce and product strategy. I’m hoping I also have a European villa to jet away to for several weeks or months out of the year.

What do you think has been your biggest professional success so far?

Understanding my value and worth, personally and professionally. I think we all (especially women) can suffer from imposter syndrome, or not advocating for ourselves correctly. Facing my fears and having the courage to leave a job I wasn’t happy with after seven years, and then going through the process multiple times until I found my niche, my worth, and the company that aligns with my values and professional goals is definitely my greatest success so far.

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What do you think is the next big trend in eCommerce?

Artificial intelligence, hands down. Specifically in relation to personalization and enhancing customer journeys and shopping experiences.

Name an eCommerce brand you admire and why.

Athletic Greens. There are very few companies in the world that have succeeded with just ONE product and grown as rapidly as AG1. They have been able to tap into a market and audience at a premium price point, without the need for offering discounts or heavy promotions, which is quite the feat. Everything about their product takes the customer through an experience and journey that feels luxurious… a first for a supplement company.

What do you geek out over?

Personality tests (INFJ, enneagram 9, anyone?), improving productivity and habits, travel itineraries and planning events, and A/B testing.