GSer Spotlight - Lauren MacKinnon

What is your role at GS?

Chief Operating Officer

How many years have you worked here?

7 years

What made you choose this career path? 

I love working with people and creating a workplace where people flourish. We spend a lot of time at work, and it’s important that our work inspires us, challenges us, and is an environment we wake up excited to be part of.  Glotman Simpson has one of the most incredible cultures I’ve seen.  There are numerous elements that make GS great but putting our team first is the cornerstone of it all.

What is your favourite thing about working at GS? Why?

Hands down, it’s the people. We have a high-performing, creative and innovative group that truly wears GS on their sleeve. I’m inspired by our team every day. Their dedication, passion, commitment, and energy are infectious and it’s just an atmosphere you want to be around.

What is your most memorable GS project/moment/experience and why?

There are many, but the most memorable has been being involved in the Glotman Simpson Cypress Challenge. Our annual fundraiser with BC Cancer and the GS Cycling Club raises funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer research and care, and it’s the kind of event that brings the whole community together. To date, we have raised over $3.6 million for pancreatic cancer research. Over the past 15 years, the event has grown from 50 riders to more than 800—a huge accomplishment.

Cypress Challenge is now one of the most prominent biking events in our city and is Canada’s largest fundraiser for pancreatic cancer. Our whole firm gets involved, whether riding, volunteering, or donating – it’s wonderful.

What makes GS special?

The innovative and iconic projects we get to work on are one thing, but I think our secret sauce is the passion we exude in everything we do.  From our design team to drafting, accounting, admin, and marketing, everyone takes great pride and honour their work. It has a lot to do with our “family vibe”. You don’t come to Glotman Simpson for a job, you come here for a career, and we make sure you feel part of the family as you grow not only professionally but personally.

What is your favourite part of your day at GS? 

I’m an early riser, so my favorite part of the day is the morning. I love getting to the office early, there’s a calming atmosphere before things get going, and I find it my most productive time of day.

How do you stay organized? What advice can you share on staying on top of your daily to-do’s?

Some might say I’m an organizational fanatic, but I just enjoy being organized, planned, and prepared. There are a lot of moving parts in my role, so I stay on top of priorities with a structured calendar.  Taking a 10,000-foot look at any given month, I make sure I strike a good balance of tactical and strategic time, time with our team, operations, and time to rejuvenate.

What is your favourite thing about working and living in Vancouver? Why?

I’ve experienced many other cities, and nowhere quite compares to Vancouver. In any given day, you can be atop a snowcapped mountain, hike in a beautiful forest, visit a beach, bike seamlessly around an urban metropolis, and stop for an incredible meal at any one of the fantastic restaurants as part of our food scene. I’m lucky to have grown up here and try not to take any of it for granted.

What’s your favorite GS project?  

We have so many highlights, but my favorite is the Vancouver Convention Centre. It’s an iconic landmark and leader in sustainable design as the world’s first double LEED Platinum convention centre. I especially love how such a massive structure can tie so seamlessly into the nature and landscape around it, and it’s truly remarkable.