The Produce Marketing Association Chief Marketing Officer
Lauren M. Scott is Chief Marketing Officer of the Produce Marketing Association, a trade organization representing companies from every segment of the global fresh produce and floral supply chain. Lauren has over 20 years of experience in the consumer products industry. Prior to joining the PMA, Lauren worked at PepsiCo and Diageo in a variety of marketing roles with increasing responsibility including brand management, foodservice, activation, field marketing, national promotions, cultural branding, global innovation and strategy. Lauren began her career as a four-year Inroads intern and full-time hire in sales at Colgate-Palmolive. A believer in continuous education and development, Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Rutgers University, a Master of Business Administration(MBA) from University of Maryland and a Master of Science in Strategic Communication from Columbia University. She also actively coaches and mentors. Lauren has served on recruitment teams and held leadership roles in a variety of employee resource groups. A self-described foodie, Lauren’s civic passions include combating food insecurities and perpetuating arts and culture. Lauren enjoys her thespian hobbies of tap dance, music and choral singing, and is a founding board member of Tap Uganda. Most of all, she loves great meals and good laughs with her friends and family including her husband and son, affectionately known as The Allens.
I am Lauren M Scott and I like to say the ‘M’ stands for mom, marketer, manager and muser. I am passionate about ideas and inspiring people to help them grow professionally and personally. There is magic in the moment when you can see a connection happen – the “a-ha” lightbulb go on, the wheels start to turn, and the tumblers fall into place. I get to see that often in my work now at PMA, where connecting people, ideas and insights is a core part of our mission and vision to grow a healthier world.
I have always worked in consumer products. I was fortunate to land an internship at Colgate-Palmolive during the summer in college, driving around, carrying a sales bag and doing resets. That summer was instrumental in setting me up for a career working in consumer products. If you can be 17 years old and hold your own in the back room of a grocery store in North Jersey, you can you do anything.
I came to the produce industry through one of those divine intervention moments. A ex -colleague asked me what I wanted to do and, after rambling off what I liked to do, the next day she said a recruiter sent her a random job description for a Produce Marketing Association. It literally had everything I said the night before.
Moral of the story – 1. Put things into the universe. 2. Go to the after party!
I am fascinated by the trends of hyper-individuality and customization, while at the same time people continue to identify with their “tribes,” the combination of personalized experiences and community. Culture and humanity will always require us to be connected by some means. That’s what makes food so powerful. There is very little that can replace the visceral unconscious feeling of connecting with others through and among food. It’s what makes us feel alive; it always has and always will. If you think about it, the camp fire or dinner table were the original social networks.
Be excited for their opportunities and successes.
Get out of the way; don’t become a burden or a crutch.
Listen, be available and present as the sounding board or the pillow to scream into.
Tell them what they can’t see in themselves that will help them soar.
Marketing is strategy wrapped in a colorful potpourri of fun, flash and flair.
Never let lack of budget stifle your vision. As Emily Dickenson said, “Dwell in possibility.”
To learn and laugh every day.
Maintain the penchant for action, always see the difference between doing better and doing more and stay rationally demanding.
I can’t wait for it to happen.
When a manager made me believe I hit the ceiling in my career. I almost accepted my lot in life (ala C-3PO wandering the desert in Star Wars), then after 15 minutes I picked my head up, blocked that nonsense from my mind, and kept going.
Those in leadership need to be very aware how their words can land on their teams, and that moment has always been top of mind when challenges pop up.
Don’t vote yourself off the island.
There is always a way.
Creatives – free thinking, passionate people on the perpetual cusp of brilliance, exasperation and spontaneous exuberance.
My Daily Thoughts:
Goal of the Day: Be open
Thought of the Day: Always try to uncover what you don’t know you don’t know
Action of the Day: Keep it moving
Deed of the Day:
Tip of the Day: Be thankful
A Day in My Life:
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Athenian omelet (mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese) with crispy, buttery rye toast. I grew up in New Jersey so I love a good diner.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Making breakfast and chatting with my son, Allen.
10:00 AM – My favorite time of the day! When I started my career in sales, I always booked my sales calls at 10am. Not too early to be stuck in traffic, my brain is fully functioning, and the buyer was not hungry or too cranky.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
The famously fabulous Balthazar on Spring Street in NYC. That duck confit with frisée just calls me.
7:00 PM – Making/assembling/ordering dinner; checking homework; and of course, peeking at e-mails
11:00 PM – I love staying up late, but the reality is I am in la-la land by 11pm, I read a bit and then let the tv watch me.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
My anchor beverages : strong black coffee(decaf or reg) & seltzer
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Instagram, hands down.
What should everyone try at least once?
Whatever they always wanted to do but were afraid to.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
What Else to Know?
Produce Marketing Association is a global trade organization with nearly 3,000 members in 54 countries across the fresh produce and floral supply chain. (Yeah, big) PMA provides a wealth of resources for our members, the industry and the world. Our most notable event brings together our global community each October at the Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, that largest produce and floral conference in North America.
I am speaking around the world about PMA’s ground-breaking consumer research outlining why people eat food. It’s truly fascinating.
Why I Love What I Do
I have the opportunity to spend time with our members – growers, floral breeders, grocers, restauranteurs, truckers, business service providers – you name it. It is incredible to see their passion and to hear the personal stories that drive them to dedicate their lives to feed and delight us. They are committed to helping grow a healthier world, just like PMA is, and it’s my belief that we’re just getting started.