Lara McCulloch

A renowned, results-driven marketing expert with over 20 years as a Brand Consultant for multinationals like Cadbury-Adams, Unilever and Shell, Lara brings ‘Big Brand Thinking’ to small business.

Her consulting firm is focused on building growth, reputation and evangelism for companies around the world. She’s been touted as a pioneering force in the marketing revolution, founding one of the world’s first twitter communities. She’s travelled throughout the world as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, changing the way that companies think about their brands. The culmination of Lara’s passion and experience has heralded leadership posts on numerous industry Advisory Boards, a monthly column for an international magazine and recognition with three National Awards for dedication, spirit and leadership as well as the esteem of Industry Innovator. She has graduated from Ivy Business School’s prestigious Executive Program, but it’s the title of Mom that brings her the most pride.

 

TIME MACHINE

1982: Learned a valuable (and delicious) lesson that summer. The world has a lot of traffic, but not a lot of ice cream trucks. Since the latter bring so much joy and excitement, her quest in life became: create more ice cream trucks.

1993-2005: Begins love affair with building brands. Works as a strategist for global branding agencies, consulting Fortune 500 corporations and leading kick ass teams.

2005: Gets head hunted by her own family business. Fights the idea…until one day she realizes she’d get to build a brand for one of the most important companies in her world. Delivers $3.4MM in new business to a $8MM company, while working with a $40K budget.

2005: Starts blog. Gets laughed off of a tradeshow floor when she tells exhibitors she wants to interview them for her blog (which has now gained a steady readership). No one knows what a blog is.

2006: Blog gets an award and is recognized by revered industry publications…and quickly rises to the highest ranked independent blog in the event industry.

2006: Delivers her first talk at an industry conference titled: “The New Way to Win Friends & Influence People”. Her goal? To convince the industry that social media isn’t scary, isn’t foreign, isn’t for kids and isn’t a weird technology…it’s simply a new way to communicate. Gets a standing ovation.

2007: Plays for a few months on a new site called Twitter. Recognizes a huge opportunity. Starts Eventprofs, one of the world’s first Twitter communities, featured by Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media in his, ‘The Twitter Book’. Creates the first community of its kind for event professionals.

2007: Receives ISES Leadership Award in Toronto.

2008: Honoured with the Spirit of the Industry Award by the Canadian Event Industry Awards. It was a surprise. Had no speech prepared. Bumbled her way through her thank you…forgetting to thank her husband (now ex-).

2009: Gets asked by one of the world’s most revered brands to do some consulting for them. Decides at that moment that her calling is to be an entrepreneur. Launches her company (to the sounds of bells ringing and angels singing). Mentors one of her first clients to triple their revenue. Decision to become an entrepreneur confirmed.

2009: Receives ISES Dedication Award in Toronto.

2009-2012: Travels the world – Asia, Australia, the US, Canada and the Caribbean – teaching businesses how to become ice cream trucks, not traffic.

2010: Invited to write for a number of industry publications, sit on boards for associations and judging panels.

2011: Receives call from Bizbash. They want to feature her in their inaugural edition of the Industry’s Innovation List. She’s asked to wear a dark colored outfit for her cover photoshoot. To this day, she wonders what she was thinking when she selected that wardrobe.

2012: Very, very pregnant. Accepts an award from CSE for Best Industry Blog. Waddles up to the podium to accept.

2012: Has a beautiful baby boy and realizes what life is really all about.

2012: Featured in Connect Magazine and Rejuvenate Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 lists.

2013: Built a side project, named Unpackaged – helping busy women learn how to make their own body, baby & home care products using natural ingredients. 1 Youtube video received over 20,000 views in a year, another over 8,000. Lesson learned: Women like making their own products.

2013: Became a yogi, learned to meditate and got restless for a challenge…all in the midst of tickle fights and diaper changes.

2014: Launches Start Some Shift, a podcast dedicated to helping small businesses do just that. In the first day it was featured on iTunes’ New & Noteworthy charts and remained there for months.

2016: While in tree pose, asked: ‘how are you a Mom, entrepreneur and still manage to work out every day, travel and enjoy life?’. Launches a mentorship to teach women entrepreneurs (business coaches, strategists, consultants, copywriters, graphic designers, etc) how to build a lifestyle business.

2017: Delivers first talk about Boycotting the Hustle in Toronto. Match is lit and ideas are sparked (more to come). Attends MasterMind Talks. With an acceptance rate lower than Harvard, it’s as close as she’ll get to an Ivy League education.

 

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