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Meet Lauren, Yelp Seattle Community Director

Yelp Elite Event at Princess & Bear Wines. (Photo: @brndagrayphotography)

Community Managers (CMs) are Yelp’s local experts in cities throughout the US and Canada. In the Greater Seattle region, Community Director Lauren P manages Yelp happenings from Tacoma to Everett (and all points in between) while Senior Community Manager Jennifer J (that’s me!) handles all things Eastside. We work closely together to highlight the best the Puget Sound region has to offer.

As CMs, our job is to connect the local Yelp community with cool businesses by planning Yelp Elite Events, sponsoring larger community festivals, and sharing delicious food and drink pics on @YelpWashington.

Born and raised in the Tacoma area, Lauren joined Yelp in 2016. She currently lives near south Seattle with her two kids. I recently caught up with Lauren for a behind-the-scenes look at all things Seattle and Yelp.

Jennifer J: Lauren, what do you love about Seattle?

Lauren P: Honestly, what’s not to love?! There’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re a foodie, on the hunt for the best craft beer, a fan of local music, or always itching to be in the great outdoors, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Aside from that, I truly love how we have all four seasons in Seattle. And, as any Seattleite knows, we have the best summers. 

Lauren and kids checking out the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

JJ: What’s your favorite thing about being a Yelp Community Manager?

LP: Hands down, all of the great people I get to meet. I’ve built the most amazing network with local business owners, and their stories are always the most inspiring and exciting to hear. And of course, getting to know local Yelp Elite Squad members is an absolute highlight. I consider many Elites personal friends of mine, and get so excited to see all of them at our events! Believe it or not, I actually met my daughter’s godfathers through Yelp. Being a CM is so much more than just a job and it has brought me to some really amazing individuals.

JJ: What do you love about Seattle area Yelp Elites?

LP: How passionate they are about supporting local businesses! I feel like the last few years have shown us all how much local businesses mean to us, and the Seattle Elites do a fantastic job of showing out and loving on local businesses now more than ever. I seriously love reading every single review and checking out foodie accounts on Instagram spotlighting local adventures.

Hanging out with San Juan Seltzery owner Katy E at a Yelp Elite Event. (Photo: @brndagrayphotography)

JJ: What does your typical Yelp work day look like? 

LP: If it’s an event day, it’s a full day indeed! I start the morning off by connecting with Elites who will be in attendance for the Elite Event. I’ll send along a friendly reminder about the event with any pertinent details. I’ll also check in with the business owner, the band, the photographer, and any other key players for the event, then I’m off to create handwritten name tags for every Elite on the guest list. After that, I’ll load up my car with plenty of Yelp swag to give away to attendees, then I’m out the door. I like to make a full day of event days, so I’ll scope out businesses I haven’t been to before near the event venue so I can grab a drink or a bite to eat before we’re in full swing. Then I’ll head to the event venue, meet with the team, and get to setting up. After that, it’s party time! 

JJ: What’s on your local foodie bucket list?

LP: How much time do you have?! Ha, but really, to name a few: Matts in the Market, Cascina Spinasse, Nirmal’s, STELLA, and Maneki. Seriously, I could go on forever. 

JJ: What are your top 3 places to take someone from out of town?

LP: My absolute first recommendation is always the Smith Tower Observatory Bar. It’s the oldest skyscraper in the city, and has the original elevators to boot! The bar is speakeasy themed, and has amazing 360 degree views of the city. I even will go as far as saying to check out Smith Tower before the Space Needle. Next up, the brunch at Super Six can’t be missed, and if you’re looking for a solid burger in a fun environment, Loretta’s Northwesterner is where it’s at.

JJ: Speaking of food, where was your last great local meal?

LP: Asado in Tacoma. It’s an Argentine-themed steakhouse and my boyfriend introduced me to it a few months ago. I think about their pollo frito fettucine on an incredibly regular basis. 

JJ: What’s your dream Yelp Elite Event?

LP: I know we just talked about it but, honestly, the Smith Tower Observatory Bar would be my dream spot for an event. I’m picturing Seattle’s most influential Elites, cocktails flowing, live music, and amazing bites—all while sharing the Instagram love with 360 degree views of downtown and the Sound. 

Enjoying at beer at Rhein Haus in Leavenworth after a day of hiking.

JJ: What’s your favorite thing to do on a sunny PNW weekend?

LP: Hike! Hiking is a huge part of my life and if we have decent weather, I’m more than likely checking out a new trail. If I’m not hiking, you can probably find me at Point Ruston with my kids. We love it there!

JJ: What’s your superpower?

LP: This is a tough one because I typically don’t like to brag about myself… but I feel like just being welcoming is my superpower. We’ve all heard about the Seattle freeze, and I definitely don’t ever want to put off that vibe. Elites are often surprised when they walk into an event and I already know their name and make a point to chat with them about what’s been going on in their life lately. More than anything, I just want to make sure everybody feels included and really immersed in this great community we’re building.