Ladies of the League: Leading Change and Changing Communities

The Junior League of Tulsa  provides women the opportunity to network and build bonds with other women. Members support one another and encourage individual passions and goals, both personal and professional. JLT members are always working together to build a better community.  Recently, three members of the Junior League of Tulsa (JLT) were honored for their career achievements. 

Lauren Landwerlin  

Recently named one of Tulsa World Magazine’s Women to Watch

Where are you from?

New Orleans, Louisiana

Do you have any pets?  What are their names?

I have a parrot named Doc. And yes, he talks. 

What is your current occupation? Why did you choose this profession?

I’ve been with Saint Francis Health System for more than 17 years. For the past seven years I’ve had the pleasure of serving as our Executive Director of Corporate Communications. I didn’t necessarily choose communications, marketing, and PR as my profession, but I knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare arena. 

I moved here after college to work with Laureate Eating Disorders and attend graduate school. What I thought was going to be my career path took a sharp turn when Hurricane Katrina hit. I ended up staying in Tulsa and was fortunate to be in a system that supported my growth. From Laureate, I moved to the Children’s Hospital Foundation, then to seven years as our system’s physician recruiter which prepared me well for my current role. 

What contributions to your profession have you made that are most meaningful to you? 

Within my organization, one of the contributions that I am most proud of is the work I have done around culture building and brand awareness within the organization. Generally, we spend more than half of our time at a place of employment–the environment, culture, and reputation of that company should add to your life, not just be part of it. 

Instilling the awareness that every employee—or for Junior League, every member—is an ambassador of the brand is an important strategy. Marketing guru, Seth Godin, said, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” 

The downstream benefit of internal brand awareness and pride can be very impactful. Knowing how you fit into your company’s overall mission helps drive your internal motivation. Personal commitment supports a company culture and this culture becomes a brand. For me, I am extremely proud to be an ambassador for both Saint Francis’ and the Junior League of Tulsa’s brand. 

What experiences from your career have made an impact on your life?

Where do I begin? I feel like if your career doesn’t have some impact or influence on your life, you may not be in the right one. Where and who we choose to spend our time with for 8+ hours of each day should enrich our lives. To me, success isn’t about a title, position, or salary. It’s about knowing that I’m in a place where I find joy and satisfaction in what I do every day; it’s about working in an environment that feeds both my mind and my soul—and it’s being at a place where I believe in the mission and have the ability to be an ambassador for it every day. 

Over the past 17 years I feel like my career has taught me to be more self-aware and how to slow down and assess the big picture before making even small moves. It has also taught me that kindness isn’t weak, influence isn’t aggressive, and leadership isn’t loud. 

At work, I know that very few people that I encounter in our halls and walls are at the hospital because they are having a good day. With the exception of occasions such as the birth of a child or routine visit, the people I meet are often suffering, mourning, or anxious—for themselves or a loved one. I always go out of my way to make them feel seen and valued. And while outside of the hospital the percentage of people having bad days is ostensibly less—I still make an effort to go out of my way to be attuned to the needs of others.  

Katie Groke 

Recently named to Oklahoma’s NextGen Under 30 – Nonprofit Category

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Newport Beach, California. I went to college in San Antonio, Texas and ended up in Tulsa after graduation.

Do you have any pets?  What are their names?

Back home in California, I have a dog named Gus. Here I get my doggie cuddles from my boyfriend’s dog, Gann.

 What is your current occupation? Why did you choose this profession?

I am the Communications Manager for Pathways Adult Learning Center. We are a small nonprofit that serves adults with special needs. We help them continue their education, volunteer in their community, stay active with fitness classes, and more. I volunteered a lot with this population in high school and this position was a chance to go back to my roots serving a largely underserved population.

What contributions to your profession have you made that are most meaningful to you? 

Since joining the Pathways team, I have helped significantly increase our fundraising to help serve more students. I launched a mentorship program that matches our students one-on-one with a volunteer mentor who helps students reach their individual goals and have matched half of our 65 students with mentors since the launch of the program in 2018. It has been amazing helping this population learn and grow and become the best versions of themselves.

 What experiences from your career have made an impact on your life?

Since working at Pathways, I have seen myself become more patient and aware of the challenges that other people face. It is so much fun coming to work and knowing that I have a room full of friends excited to see me.

Loree O’Sullivan 

Recently named to Oklahoma’s NextGen Under 30 – Media Category 

Where are you from?

Originally born in New Orleans but I’ve lived 14+ places. 

Do you have any pets?  What are their names?

I have a large half-Great Dane / half-Weimaraner named Jupiter 

What is your current occupation? Why did you choose this profession?

Currently, I am the Marketing Manager at a software company in downtown Tulsa. I chose marketing because it allowed me to be creative and fast-paced while also being a good anchor for my ambition. 

What experiences from your career have made an impact on your life?

I’ve gotten to speak publicly on topics I love: customer delight and retention, social media for sales, and bringing digital marketing to a more “traditional” industry. 

Failure. It is so crucial to be in a place where you are able to fall down, scrape your knees, and pick yourself back up to learn and to grow.