The Hill House Community Center recently appointed Lauren Hoops-Schmieg as their new executive director, so we decided to sit down with Lauren in order to find out more about her past experiences as well as her future plans for Hill House. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she earned a B.A. in English and minored in History, Economics, and Anthropology, Lauren brings with her years of youth program management experience. Her most recent experience coming as the VP of Communications and County-Wide Services at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County, including serving as the organization’s Camp Director for Camp Grosvenor, supervising the Unit Director of their three clubhouses during the school-year, overseeing the Aquatics Program, and managing facilities as caretaker at Camp Grosvenor among other titles. Lauren’s experience is not limited to youth programs, however, as before her time in Newport she compiled an extensive marketing background, spending the first fifteen years of her professional career in various senior marketing roles at scientific publishing houses Reed Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, and Wellesley Information Services.
Lauren first heard about Hill House during her time as Director of the Boys & Girls Club in Newport, where during one of her camp accreditation visits she met the former executive director of Hill House, Ian Moorhouse. The more Lauren learned about Hill House, the more she thought of it as “a great opportunity for her and her family to contribute to and be a part of a close-knit community like Beacon Hill.” That great opportunity became a reality when Lauren was named executive director of Hill House a few months later, and Lauren hasn’t wasted any time developing goals for her new job. Lauren first wants to make sure that all the programs offered by Hill House are “of the highest quality” and in order to do so Lauren wants to address some fundamental questions such as “are we offering the best programs, and is there a way to make them any better?” Besides focusing on the programs themselves, Lauren also stresses the importance of maintaining and strengthening strong relationships with families and the community as a whole. This includes building strong collaborative relationships with local schools, non-profits, and other local businesses, all with the goal of “really making sure we are a closely knit collaborative partner with the community.”
As executive director, Lauren has numerous responsibilities she needs to balance, but Lauren feels confident that with “strong organization, a great staff, and a very committed board it will in fact be a great adventure.” Lauren is confident that her marketing background will also help her, as she believes that a “strong positive image in the community is very important, and we need to shout out and let more people know about our wonderful Hill House programs.” Lauren is fully embracing the challenge of her new position; with her diverse professional experience and passion for creating a cohesive community, she is sure to excel at Hill House, “after walking around Beacon Hill for the first time after realizing I will be part of this community now, it has just been really fantastic because you can feel the energy around here, it is going to be very exciting.”