The SureID team knows that our people are our greatest asset. Today, we continue our series on the people who make SureID great.
Meet Lauren, our compliance consultant!
Lauren Leonard joined the SureID team in 2015. Since then, she’s worn many different hats, including acting as SureID’s FBI point-of-contact. Lauren has been integral in our ability to launch FBI departmental orders, authorized recipient capabilities, and FINRA fingerprinting. These days, she works full-time as a Crime Analyst with the Portland Police Bureau and lends her talents to SureID as a consultant with a focus on federal/commercial compliance and privacy standards.
Encouraged to Follow Her Passions
“I appreciate that SureID is a place where people are always considering ways to improve the customer experience and increase the positive impact we can have on people all over the country,” Lauren said. “No idea is too big, and everyone is eager to explore the endless possibilities that come with biometrics.” Her excitement at being part of the SureID team comes from not only tackling big ideas but being able to put her energies into projects she’s passionate about. “I’ve never felt hindered in my ability to grow and explore new avenues of interest,” she said.
When Lauren showed an interest in playing a key leadership role in privacy and compliance, the SureID team was happy to oblige. “They were unwaveringly supportive and worked with me to design a position that would provide value to the organization, improve the customer experience, and fulfill me in my daily job,” she said.
Not Exactly Indiana Jones, But …
While working at SureID, Lauren finished her degree and then went on to earn her MS in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis. But did she always know what she wanted to be when she grew up?
“I wouldn’t say I’ve always known that I wanted to work in the Criminal Justice field. Truthfully, I wanted to be Indiana Jones,” Lauren said. She developed an interest in criminal justice while serving five years in the US Army as an Intelligence Analyst before she came to SureID.
In fact, Lauren’s career path at SureID was what she describes as “a little unorthodox.” She was originally hired as a background screener, conducting NCIC, NLETS, and III (“triple I”) checks on people who needed to gain access to military installations.
“I chose this job because I was working on my BS in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration,” she said. “I felt it would give me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of Criminal Justice databases.” A few months after she was hired, SureID offered Lauren a Senior Project Coordinator position in the Vetting and Screening Services Department, a role that focused on process improvement and development. A year and a half later, she stepped into the Associate Product Manager role she holds today.
“I’m most proud of the work the team has done to create products that not only serve the public but do so in a truly compliant way,” she said. “Although it would be easy to cut corners to save time and resources, SureID has always been adamant that the only way to do something is the right way. I’m proud to have been a liaison between the organization and our oversight partners (FBI, FINRA, etc.) I can truly look back on our products and know that they were created with integrity.”
Cerebral and Outdoorsy
Lauren is often described as “cerebral.” She pours her energies outside of work into many hobbies and mental outlets. She loves writing and throws herself into creating new works and characters with writing partners from all over the world. She’s a voracious reader. “I go through an obscene number of books every year!” she said.
Lauren admits she’s not quite acclimated to the cold, rainy season in the Pacific Northwest, but when the weather is warmer she loves to hike and never turns down an opportunity to be on the water, whether it’s in a raft, kayak, or boat.
Aside from the natural beauty of the great outdoors, Lauren loves that Portland is a melting pot of people from many different walks of life. “Every time I travel,” she said, “I’m reminded just how accepting the people of Portland are, and how they embrace people regardless of race, sexuality, etc. I’ve met so many types of people that I likely would’ve never been introduced to had I not decided to settle in Portland.”
And like many denizens of the great PNW, she has a Starbucks order: a non-fat chai tea latte, extra-hot.