Lauren Thomas

Manager, Talent Initiatives

Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas serves as Manager, Talent Initiatives at the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, a collaboration of economic development partners in the South Bend – Elkhart region, which encompasses 47 communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The organization serves as a single point of contact for regional communication and seeks to advance economic opportunities for all partner members through collaborative promotion, marketing, and capacity building efforts.

As Manager, Talent Initiatives, Lauren is responsible for managing and implementing the Talent Attraction and Retention strategies, including the WE+YOU regional brand. These initiatives are a part of the region’s economic development strategy, led and coordinated by the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership. Lauren works closely with South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership staff and dozens of cross-sector partners to implement projects and events while engaging diverse communities and stakeholders.

Prior to joining the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership in 2023, Lauren served as the Channel Marketing Manager at Lippert Components. Before that, she was an Assistant Omni Merchant at Chico’s FAS, Inc. in both the sweaters and fashion accessories divisions.

Education and Professional Accreditations

  • MBA in Marketing, Indiana University, South Bend, Ind.
  • B.S. in Apparel Merchandising, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

Fun Facts About Lauren

  • Lauren and her husband both come from large families, and they spend a lot of time with them!
  • Lauren has a Golden Retriever named Bogey and six chickens.
  • One of her life aspirations is to step foot on every continent in the world.
  • To date, Lauren has ran two Marathons and hopes to run at least one in another country
  • She loves ice cream!

Regional Favorites

Restaurant: “I am 100% a foodie! Whether I am cooking or baking at home for friends and family or trying a new, local restaurant, it is one of my favorite things to do in the region. Some of my favorite spots include Roselily, Rocco’s, Cloud Walking Café, and Ironhand Wine Bar.”

Outdoor Activity: “A few of my favorite outdoor activities include - hiking at a nearby park, taking a walk around the neighborhood with my dog, going on long runs, or taking a day trip up to the Warren Dunes. During the Spring and Summer, I spend a lot of time in gardening and in my backyard.”

Shop: “Supporting local businesses is very important to me! Some of my favorite shops include Vintage Charm, Birds Gotta Fly, and any of the popup artisan markets, such as Madison Road Artisan Market.”

Cultural Activity: “There are so many festivals and art fairs in the region! Some of my favorite include the Leeper Park Art Fair and Art Beat.

Best Way to Spend a Saturday in the Region: “A perfect Saturday in the Summer includes waking up early and heading up to the Warren Dunes with my husband and dog, to sunbathe, go on a hike, and swim. We usually stop in Three Oaks or Sawyer for food and shopping. A perfect Saturday in the Fall includes, again, waking up early, going to the South Bend Farmers Market and then visiting one of the many Pumpkin Patches in the region.”