Lauren Blake donates her time and talent to a diverse list of organizations including the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce (GWCCC); Chester County Family Academy, West Chester; Daemion Counseling Center-Taste of Berwyn; 100 Women Who Care Chester County and Denison University, Granville, Ohio.
The expertise Lauren provides is as varied as the organizations themselves. She may be creating or conducting a fundraiser; recruiting sponsors for a restaurant festival or prospective students for her alma mater; re-vitalizing a long-standing committee or helping to found a new entity.
Whatever the organization or endeavor, Blake, of Downingtown, views volunteering as an integral part of her life.
“I only feel complete when I am giving back,” said Blake, Marketing Director for Krombolz Sheets Insurance of West Chester. “Selfishly, it enables me to breathe every day.”
For her ongoing willingness to give so generously of her energy, enthusiasm and expertise, the GWCCC named Lauren Blake its 2016 Volunteer of the Year. The award will be presented at a luncheon on Oct. 26, 2016 at Concord Country Club.
“In addition to her tremendous volunteer spirit, Lauren is remarkable for her ability to take the initiative in determining what an organization needs and then planning and executing a course of action,” said GWCCC President Mark Yoder. “The GWCCC is grateful for Lauren’s willingness to share her many talents and honored to name her its 2016 Volunteer of the Year.”
Lauren, a Berwyn native and graduate of Conestoga High School, attended Denison University where she double-majored in Communication and Educational Studies (Secondary Schools, English). She pursued a career in business after graduating, working initially in New York as a Marketing Director for CIGNA.
She began working at Krombolz Sheets Insurance in 2011, and was introduced to the GWCCC in 2013 when Board member, Marjorie Wentz, of Trinity Wealth Management, LLC, invited her to attend an Executive Women’s Round Table, a presentation series designed to empower women.
“I found this event to be like nothing else I had ever been to,” Blake explained. “This was strictly for women, an intimate and trusting environment where women could share ideas and suggestions to help and support each other. I knew if these women were members of the GWCCC, this was something I wanted to join.”
With Lauren’s encouragement, Krombolz Sheets Insurance soon joined the Chamber. Lauren didn’t hesitate to ask Dave Fairman, GWCCC Director of Membership, how she could best serve the organization as a volunteer. At Dave’s suggestion, she joined the Ambassador Committee, becoming its chairperson in 2014.
“The Ambassador Committee was a natural fit given Lauren’s outgoing and vibrant personality and her ability to share her enthusiasm about the work the Chamber does,” said Fairman. “Under Lauren’s guidance the committee has grown, become more engaged and improved communications to new Chamber businesses and to longstanding members.”
Lauren and her husband, Tom, have two adult children, Elizabeth, of Downingtown and Christopher, of Williamsport, and daughter-in-law-to-be, Erica Kuzio.
When she isn’t working or volunteering, Lauren enjoys traveling, exercising and spending time with family and friends. An avid cook, she is proud to have participated in an Iron Chef Competition in Pebble Beach, California.
When told she had been named Volunteer of the Year, Lauren was honored but surprised… she didn’t know there was an award given out each year.
“I was honored to give back to GWCCC because the Chamber gives to so many in our community,” she said. “Working with Mark, Dave and Bethany (Kopp, Events & Programs Manager) is simply a pleasure. I’m proud to be part of this dynamic group.” ◆