Unity Foundation of La Porte’s new Marketing and Program Manager Lauren Varga’s long career of communication and community outreach has taken her from La Porte to Washington, D.C. to South Bend over the years. Now, she is back in her hometown sharing Unity Foundation’s message and mission—one that helped her when she was in high school.
“I remember learning about Unity Foundation back in high school,” Varga said. “I had applied and received a scholarship through Unity in high school. Oftentimes, that’s how people first learn about Unity, though there is so much more, and it’s been interesting to learn more about the organization.”
Varga was born and raised in La Porte. After graduating from high school, she attended Indiana University in Bloomington. Varga’s career in communication and development has brought her unique opportunities working in different capacities. Before Unity, she worked for an engineering firm where she did business development.
“Before I started that job, however, I worked for former U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly in a couple different capacities,” she said. “For a few years, I worked in his Washington, D.C. office doing legislative work. Then an opportunity came up for me to work for him here in Indiana. I was eager to get back home, so I worked for him as a regional director for the North Central part of the state.”
Her previous experience put a heavy focus on customer service and community engagement, something that has been vital since starting at Unity in early January, and Varga sees informing the best ways to communicate and engage with her community.
“There was a focus on community outreach and forming relationships, and I feel that is key to success in my new role, both working internally with the folks at Unity and with our partners, and the public to make sure the word is getting out about the work Unity is doing,” Varga said.
Varga’s expertise includes marketing and public relations, social media and web management, and project management. From drafting press releases to project management for plans like Unity’s Vibrant Communities to being involved with the scholarship program (applications are currently open) and teacher grants to gathering data and topics for Unity Foundation’s weekly radio show on WIMF President Maggi Spartz hosts every Thursday, every day is a little different.
“It’s a really great team,” Varga said. “It’s a smaller team than people who are familiar with Unity expect, but it’s a very talented group of people with whom I’m excited to work alongside.”
Varga has been married for a year and a half and currently lives in Michigan City with her husband and cat. She explained that a month before they got married, they bought a house in Michigan City, but due to the craziness of starting that journey, they have not gotten the chance to tackle some projects.
“In those early days, we didn’t have a lot of time to do things around the house, but now that we’re home a lot on the weekends, we’ve been catching up on painting and exciting projects,” Varga said.
She and her husband are avid outdoorsy types and have recently gotten into the RV life. Last summer, their favorite place to go camping was Potato Creek State Park in St. Joseph County.
For more information about Unity Foundation of La Porte County, please visit their website at https://uflc.net/.