Lauren van Loon
Lauren has been a full-time Truckee resident for over 20 years and is the founder and creator of Worktempl and its mission. She is passionate about work and has worked since the 3rd grade when she had a paper route for the Lansing State Journal in East Lansing, Michigan. She fancied herself as a really young entrepreneur and had a babysitting business with her sister, Karen, and a lawn mowing and snow shoveling business with her brother, Mark. She worked at a bookstore at the mall in high school and then waited tables and bartended during college. Work was a big part of Lauren’s childhood and she enjoyed meeting people and always having money to spend on candy, pop and baseball cards as a young kid, and gas and concert ticket money as a teenager.
Lauren has a 16 year old son and has tried to instill a good work ethic in him at a young age. Luke has worked for the Truckee Donner Public Recreation Department doing boat rentals at West End Beach for two summers and enjoys helping the neighbors out with dog walking, wood stacking, snow shoveling and watching their houses while they are away. Lauren is especially passionate about encouraging a strong work ethic in the youth across her community and teaching them that work can be rewarding and fun. You’ll often hear her saying something like “Hey, why don’t you get off your little screen and help someone with something, and make a little money?”.
Lauren started her career in San Francisco in her twenties and worked at a prominent law firm and then got into banking and financial crimes risk management, focusing on terrorist financing after 9/11, anti-bribery and corruption, and anti-money laundering. She has been fortunate to get paid to both research and write, which are her passions. Lauren would like to work more closely with people in her own community and focus her energy and love of work closer to home where she feels she has an impact. She would also like more time in her day to enjoy what she loves most -- hopping on her paddleboard, mountain bike, snowboard or cross country skis, or hiking -- alone or with her son, boyfriend, friends or pup.
Being a homeowner in Truckee since 1999, Lauren has hired dozens and dozens of local workers and contractors to help maintain her home and sanity. From dog sitters, babysitters, realtors, pavers, welders and chiropractors to landscaping, carpentry, electrical and plumbing, Lauren has used a variety of different techniques over the years to find good, reliable workers and contractors. She mostly finds these workers by word of mouth from friends and neighbors, but the housing crisis seems to have made it more difficult to find workers that live in our community, especially individuals for pet sitting and the like. Lauren looked on occasion at some of the larger national websites like Rover.com, Care.com, HomeAdvisor, TaskRabbit and others. While these sites have a handful of local workers connected and using them, they just don’t have that warm, community feel to them. And most of them also charge individual workers and small businesses for leads or even take a cut of their profit!
Never a big advocate of social media, Lauren occasionally viewed the strings or posted a question on Nextdoor and Truckee-Tahoe People Facebook. She quickly realized that, while both are wonderful forums for sharing information, it is very random and difficult to target your search. This gave Lauren the idea to create a website that focuses solely on the Truckee and North Lake Tahoe community and merely CONNECTS local workers and local businesses with local homeowners and local employers. And more importantly, Lauren’s business model would provide a free, basic service to support the workers, and not take a penny of their profits so they can afford to live and work here.
Lauren’s commitment to the local community is reflected through her drive to share a percentage of Worktempl’s net proceeds from membership and sponsorship fees with a variety of local non-profit organizations. She has been on the Board of Directors for Truckee Little League and the Excellence in Education Foundation, serving as their Treasurers. She has seen so much growth within Truckee-Tahoe through the generous financial support of Truckee-Tahoe’s non-profits and wants to continue giving back. She is hoping that this give-back element will provide a level of comfort for our homeowners, residents and businesses to become members of Worktempl and help support not only our local workforce, but our community’s non-profit organizations as well.