The Interview: Lauren Odom

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Briefly describe yourself and what you do/did.
I am the Senior Executive Director of Newnan-Coweta Boys & Girls Clubs. Friends and Family call me “Helpful Hannah” because of my huge heart. I care greatly about the well-being of others and when it comes to youth, I often seek to give back what was given to me.

Best piece of business advice you’ve received.
The best piece of business advice came from Chris Perkins. He advised me not to take business calls while driving as it would be a recipe for over commitment. He shared that without time to focus, jot down notes, and check my calendar, I could be at a greater risk for double booking and mismanaging my time.

If I had it to do over …
I would redo my college career! It was the best four years of my life!

You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?
Album wise, I would take:
Solange – A Seat at the Table
J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book

As for books, I would take:
A Piece of Cake – Cupcake Brown
The Last Black Unicorn – Tiffany Haddish
Dare to Lead – Brene’ Brown

Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know
Few people know that my undergraduate degree is in Music Business.

You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why.
I would invite:
My Grandfather: I’d like to know how he felt about the accomplishments of my brothers and I. It would be a great comfort to me to know that he was truly proud of us.

Ruby Bridges: I’d like to converse with her about her innermost thoughts about her experiences. I’d want to know what gave her the strength to continue in the face of so much adversity, as well as how she perceived the support from the community. I’d also like to know her sentiments on the current state of education and what recommendations she would have.

Harriet Tubman: I’d like to converse with her about her strength as well. I’d want to know how she confronted her fears to free not only herself, but others. I’d also like to hear first-hand what the journey was like for her as she returned to free others–including those who were reluctant to escape.

My Brother Jackson: Not only would he be the life of the party, but he would keep the conversation flowing in a manner that would keep everyone engaged and entertained.

Oprah: I’d like to know about the journey of creating her own path. Although she shares this information often, I would want to hear about the triumphs and hardships on her professional journey that aren’t often shared publicly.

Name an as yet unfulfilled dream.
I have always wanted to backpack through Europe! (I will be making that a reality this summer!)

If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …
Traveling for a living!

Your go-to food.
I love battered fried chicken wings from Magic’s!!

Favorite movies(s).
My all-time favorite movies are The Color Purple and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Dogs or cats?
Currently I don’t have the time to care for a pet in the way that I would like, however if I did, I would want a dog. Dogs are much more friendly, dependable, interactive, and loyal.

Your favorite quote and why.
“You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is a part of his divine plan.” – Anonymous

This is my favorite quote because it reminds me that regardless of how stressful my day may get, the results will be worth it.

Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished.
I am extremely glad that I went back to graduate school to obtain my Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Obtaining this degree has given me the tools needed to be highly successful in managing the daily operations at both Boys & Girls Clubs.

What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own?
I would give my younger self two main pieces of advice:
1) Listen to your mother. She really knows best!
2) Save your money & travel more!

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