Outfit Styled and Provided by Ashby's Boutique • Denim Lab
Photo by Matt Douglas
Marketing & PR Director, English Management
What motivates Laura Head is pretty easy to surmise—she simply loves downtown. “I love the sense of community, the eclectic environment,” she says. And that’s a good thing, since she is the president-elect of the Downtown Springfield Association and the marketing and public relations director for English Management. “You get the best of everything downtown,” she says. “Even when I’m not working, you can still probably find me downtown.”
English Management is the company behind Big Whiskey’s American Bar & Grill, Parlor 88 Lounge & Eatery, Dublin’s Pass and even the booking for the Gillioz Theatre, so you can certainly say Head is pretty invested in the success of downtown. Additionally, the Missouri State grad volunteers with Killuminati, H.O.P.E. Sertoma and the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch.
Working with such an array of businesses takes someone who likes to face unique challenges each day. “I like thinking differently, outside of the box,” Head says. “I’ve been fortunate enough with my job now that there’s always a new opportunity, a different way of doing things, a new spin to put on something. That is what drives me, the challenge behind it, whether we’re opening a new place, or we’re putting on a new event.”
What does a person who loves daily challenges do when she’s not working? Sit on the couch? No, she runs road races, of course. “I do a lot of local 5Ks and different runs, it’s kind of my ‘me time,’ my escape from work,” she says. —J.H.
417 Magazine: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
Laura Head: Great happy hours! (Ha!) I work with an amazing group of people, and love having the opportunity to shape and influence the community I live in.
417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
L.H.: By literally sticking my foot in the door! I had just recently moved back to Springfield after living three years in Minnesota and was doing freelance website design. Big Whiskey’s downtown was a favorite hangout spot with me and my friends… I stumbled upon its website, and thought I could do a better job! So, I took it upon myself to build them a new website, and managed to land myself a job.
417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
L.H.: Community involvement. All of the brands I represent are active in so many local aspects. I love being part of Springfield, and love getting to organize and participate in so many community events.
417: Are you single/married, and do you have any kids?
L.H.: Single. I have 3 black labs–all rescue dogs. Briggs, Dakota, and Bentley.
417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
L.H.: I love to run. I love to volunteer. I love happy hour. I love to take my dogs outside and play. I love to cook.
417: Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
L.H.: Killuminati, Good Samaritan Boys Ranch and H.O.P.E Sertoma
417: Are you a member of any professional organizations?
L.H.: Vice Chairman, Board of Directors for Downtown CID (Community Improvement District) & CID Image Enhancement Committee Chair; President-Elect for DSA (Downtown Springfield Association) & Events Committee Chair; Chamber of Commerce Ambassador
417: How would you define the secret to success?
L.H.: Knowing that there is always time for the things that are most important.
417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
L.H.: Great happy hours! Ha! I work with an amazing group of people, and love having the opportunity to shape and influence the community I live in.
417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
L.H.: There is ALWAYS something to do! I love our seasons, our festivals, and our amazing selection of local restaurants!
417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
L.H.: Don’t be in a hurry. Life happens at just the right pace.
417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
L.H.: A ballerina
417: List three traits that define a successful career:
L.H.: A lot of hard work, a passion for what you do, and a mutual respect for people you work with.
417: Why are you a 20 under 30?
L.H. I think I’m one of the hardest working people I know. I believe in the businesses I represent and am very genuine with all my efforts at both work and in the community. I definitely want to be a game changer.
417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
L.H.: M.E. Gillioz presents, “A Grand Affair”—a new annual event we’re working on for the Gillioz Theatre; Downtown Wine Week/Celebration, A new community event coming this fall to Park Central Square.
417: What completed project are you most proud of?
L.H.: A new annual event I helped develop last year, Springfield Craft Beer Bash!
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
417: _____ makes life worth living
L.H.: Patio season
417: A day at work wouldn’t be complete without _____
L.H.: coffee and a spelling error
417: Ten years from now, I hope I’m _____
L.H.: still having this much fun.
417: If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would _____
L.H.: be on the beach
417: The best part about being a 20 under 30 is _____
L.H.: knowing I’ll be invited to the 417 List Party!