Lauren Ward Larsen is a storyteller, writer, speaker, advocate, and former corporate and nonprofit executive. As a professional speaker, Lauren has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses at corporate meetings, conferences, nonprofit events, and fundraisers in the U.S and Europe.
She has also appeared in numerous public service announcements and video narratives to promote volunteer blood donation, and has given hundreds of media interviews to shed light on the medical causes that have personally touched her life.
Lauren is the author of the memoir, Zuzu’s Petals: A True Story of Second Chances (In The Telling Press, 2011). She also wrote a humanistic column, The Blue Platelet Special, for an international medical organization for several years. She is currently at work on two narrative nonfiction book manuscripts and continues to publish a variety of personal stories to her blogs, Lauren Larsen’s Love Light & Laughter and Becoming Bionic.
Drawing on her vast experience as a storyteller and marketer, Lauren also enjoys “packaging and promoting” others who have an important message or content to share with the world, be it through workshops, keynote addresses or books.
Prior to working independently, Lauren spent sixteen years in the corporate world, focused largely on youth and young-adult marketing. Past management roles include vice president of marketing for The 3DO Company (a video game publisher); vice president of marketing for Cengage; director of marketing for Pearson; and brand manager for The Pepsi-Cola Company. Lauren is also the immediate past president of the Foundation for America’s Blood Centers in Washington, D.C., on whose board of directors she also served two terms.
She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and an M.B.A. from U.C.L.A., where she was later named one of the “100 Most Inspiring Alumni” in the 75-year history of the program.
Because helping others is a core value of Lauren’s, she and her husband, Jeff, have spearheaded several philanthropic endeavors, such as drilling clean water wells in South Sudan in conjunction with Project Education South Sudan and chairing two gala benefits (SF in 2006 and NYC in 2011) for the Preeclampsia Foundation.
Lauren and Jeff, daughter Clare, and giant doofus poodle RuPaul, live in Boulder, Colorado, where they have taken to eating copious amounts of organic, free-range, gluten-free, fair-trade kale. (Well, truth be told, RuPaul prefers King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.)