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Lauren Garlapo Bailey, 2021 BN360 Spotlight Professional

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to present the 2021 BN360 Spotlight Professionals.

Each year, BN360 highlights up-and-coming young professionals who strive for professional growth and development, care for their community, and are passionate about the future of the Buffalo Niagara region.

Lauren Garlapo Bailey

Internal Communications Specialist | Nova Healthcare Administrators, Inc. 

Lauren Garlapo Bailey is an Internal Communications Specialist at Nova Healthcare Administrators, Inc., where she has served on the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee, the internal COVID-19 communication team, and Nova in the Neighborhood, the organization’s volunteer committee. From helping to produce virtual Town Hall events to adapting Nova’s annual volunteer opportunities to a virtual format, Lauren has consistently demonstrated her creativity, flexibility, and passion for doing things right.

Within her organization, Lauren helps new associates, and those new to committee roles, to cultivate their leadership skills and become their best selves. Through Nova in the Neighborhood, Lauren has worked to benefit FeedMore WNY, Child & Family Services’ Haven House, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY in their Cooks for Kids program.

First Job: 

I was a server in the dining room at Amberleigh Retirement Community in Williamsville. Not growing up with active grandparents, I truly valued fostering relationships with the elderly residents.

Greatest Professional Win:

Finding and using my voice to advocate for both myself and for others. Early in my career I was often seated at the table with physicians holding multiple degrees and certifications. It would take more than an ounce of courage to speak up and contribute my opinion and/or advice based on my knowledge of the program requirements to maintain accreditation. Over time, I learned that people contribute knowledge in various ways, each lending value to the whole.

Best Piece of Professional Advice:

Everyone has knowledge to share if you take the time to listen. Listen and learn from as many individuals as possible, even if the topic doesn’t seem like it applies to your field. And as you listen, look your educator in the eye and thank them for the knowledge they have imparted upon you.

Community Engagement:

  • BN360 Young Professionals
  • Nova in the Neighborhood (Nova Healthcare Administrators, Inc.’s volunteer committee)

Thoughts on Living and Working in Buffalo Niagara:

There is no place I would rather be than “The City of Good Neighbors.” When I am out and about exploring a new attraction, I have absolutely no hesitation asking a passerby a question or greeting someone; they are my extended Buffalo family. Buffalo has always and will always be my home.

On Being a BN360 Spotlight Professional:

I am honored and humbled to be selected along with the previous BN360 Spotlight Young Professionals.

2020 Takeaway:

This past year I learned to be still and wait. Writing the internal communications for an organization can be a little tricky during a new role and a first experience with a pandemic. News, regulations, and changes came fast, and drafts were written, red-lined, and re-written multiple times over. There were times for urgency and there were times for pause (and learning).

The Pandemic’s Career Impact:

Three months into the pandemic, I changed roles from an executive assistant position to the internal communications team. Transitioning roles during the height of a pandemic while working in a virtual environment was odd and yet enlightening. I now have a deeper understanding of the organization as a whole and how each team works together. I feel as though I am more ingrained in the company’s success. My opportunity for growth has also blossomed.

Top 5 Favorites: 

  • Favorite Mural: Magic Buffalo (Hertel/Colvin @ Joe’s Deli). I love the bright colors and playful folk-art style of the artist, Bunnie Reiss. It also ties into my Eastern European and Polish heritage. Time and again, I seek out this mural for inspiration and joy.
  • Best Buffalo-Niagara Hidden Gem: The parks; from the large and more popular (Delaware Park) to the smaller and humbler (Arlington Park) there is a park for every personality or mood.
  • Go-to Buffalo Food: Wings from Elmo’s or Gabriel’s Gate and Loganberry
  • Best Buffalo Activity/Hobby: Junior League of Buffalo’s Decorators’ Show House or various walking/architectural tours
  • Place you would take someone new to Buffalo:​ Outer Harbor at sunset (Flat Man or Wilkeson Pointe)

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