My Mission (And I Choose to Accept)

Two years ago, 7 August, my position at Radian6 was announced, I married the same day and made Boston Podcamp our honeymoon. In fact, August 2009-August 2010 was filled with every possible life change. What can I say? When I choose to go all in…I go all in. Adaptation was the name of the game.

These past two years have felt like 20. Don’t get me wrong…this is not a negative statement. As I look back, I cannot believe how many people I have met and what we have accomplished together. Transitioning to Radian6 after working in the DoD for eight years was anything but simple. Ask David, I still call him Sir. Having a formal communications style was both a strength and a weakness. Over time, I think I managed to lighten up a bit. Just a bit.

Thank you to David Alston and Amber Naslund for taking a chance on me and giving me the wonderful opportunity of working for Radian6. It has been an adventure! Very rarely did either David or Amber tell me no. They let me explore and grow into the position. The entire Radian6 family is quite close and I am thankful for the support of all of them. You couldn’t ask for a better set of folks to work with each day.

To my community team-this parting is bitter sweet. Each of you has so much to offer and both Radian6 and the community have much to look forward to because I know you will blow their socks off. Living the life of a community manager is rough. There are times when you are lonely, frustrated by the lack of too many people, or just frazzled by how quickly our world moves. At the end of the day, though, I knew each of you would always be there doing what you do best. Thank you.

This Monday, 8 August, I will begin a new adventure as the Community Management Strategist for Aetna. Thank you to Chuck Hemann who invited me to participate on a panel at Blogworld NYC. He set this ball in motion and inadvertently played matchmaker because he also invited Jim Storer to participate on the panel, who brought Dan Brostek of Aetna to the panel too! And just like that, lightening in a bottle. Thank you, Chuck and Jim for introducing me to Dan.

And just while I am saying so many thank yous, I cannot forget to say thank you to you. And you. And you.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me over the years, challenged me, and accepted me just as I am.

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  • David Alston

    Vargas you are a rockstar and we are gonna miss ya.  You’ve accomplished so much in your two years and have brought so much to the community team, the Radian6 family and the community as a whole.  You are one of the world experts in this biz and really hope @danbrostek:twitter  knows what a tremendous asset you are going to be at Aetna.  I know you won’t be far and we look forward to working with you as a customer of course.  You will always be a rockstar in my books.

    Good luck with the new adventure.


    • Lauren

      Thank you, David. You have always been apatient with me and endured my redbull moments. I will miss you, but won’t be far away!

  • Chel Wolverton

    Congratulations lady!  I hold to what I said, you’re definitely going to rock them.  I can’t wait to see it!

    • Lauren

      Thanks, Chel. Totally excited.

  • cloverdew

    Congratulations, Lauren. I’m sure this new venture will be amazing and I can’t wait to see what you do with it! Aetna is gaining an amazing individual.

  • cloverdew

    Congratulations, Lauren. I’m sure this new venture will be amazing and I can’t wait to see what you do with it! Aetna is gaining an amazing individual.

    • Lauren

      Thank you, my friend. I expect to see some great things from you this year too.

  • David B. Thomas

    Congratulations, Lauren. I hate to see you go but I’m very excited to see what comes next.

    • Lauren

      Thank you. I am excited to see what you and the team will do next to shake things up!

  • CarissaO

    Congratulations, Lauren. Having been at that BlogWorld panel in NYC, I feel like I witnessed the beginning of what will no doubt be another exciting and rewarding chapter of your career. As if your incredible fashion taste and sassy spirit weren’t enough, your commitment to community was a big part of why I’ve come to trust the Radian6 brand. You’ve left an indelible mark there, and they’ll have their hands full picking up where you have left off. 

    I’m excited for your next steps and welcome you with open arms to the world of social health! I look forward to having you play in our sandbox. Talk soon!

    • Lauren

      Thank you, Carissa. You can rock a hat and the color red like no other! Looking forward to learning and having fun in this new space.

  • adelemcalear

    Lauren, I can’t think of anyone who’s worked as hard as you have to overcome obstacles and build a new life and a new career after leaving the DoD. I’m so  happy to have gotten to know you and am thrilled for the new opportunities that Aetna brings. You are going to leave a void at R6, but you should be very proud of what you accomplished there and the team that you built. Here’s to the next phase (for both of us). *cheers!*

    • Lauren

      What a week, Adele! Definitely cause for celebration. Thank you for all of your support.

  • C.C. Chapman

    Super psyched for you and your new adventure!!

    • Lauren

      C.C., you have been an essential key to this next step. Thank you for all of your support.

  • jaybaer

    Congrats LV. You are at the forefront of an emerging industry that’s changing the way companies and customers interact. You know what sucks about that? Nuthin. 

    • Lauren

      Isn’t it amazing how much changes over such a short period of time? Thank you!

  • Michael G Cohen

    Go kick some butt at a new opportunity Lauren!

    Congrats and wonderful job @Radian6:disqus 


    • Lauren

      Thank you…looking forward to doing just that.

  • Melanie Thompson

    Lauren, it has been such an incredible pleasure working on a team with you! I look forward to a continued friendship and am so excited for you on this next step in your journey. Congrats! =)

    • Lauren

      This is only the beginning for us, Mel. Thank you fo always kicking butt and keeping your chin up in trying times.

  • Amanda Nelson

    It’s been an honor to have worked with you. I can’t believe how much I learned from you in just a short time, but I am so fortunate to have experienced it.

    Congratulations on your new opportunity and let’s meet up in Hartford soon. There are lots of amazing restaurants. My treat. :)

    • Lauren

      Amanda, you have a deal. I wish we could have worked together for a longer period of time too. You have a lot to offer the company. Never doubt yourself.

  • Shonali Burke

    Congrats, Lauren! And the side benefit to me is that any time I get irritated with Aetna (my insurance company), I’ll know whom to complain to. ;)

    • Lauren

      Thanks, Shonali. You know how to get in touch with me…for whatever you need. Always listening!

  • DJ Waldow

    I honestly had the chills reading this,  @vargasl:disqus . You honestly, self-reflection, and ability to take the plunge are 3 things that I admire about you most. Tell Dan I said hello. He’ll remember me from 100 push-ups & 250 crunches…

    • Lauren

      Oh man…I don’t know if I can keep up! Thank you, DJ.

  • startabuzz

    I am absolutely thrilled for and proud of you. Your ability to stand at the precipice and take a leap of faith is nothing short of inspiring, and something for which I truly admire you. While I’m sure R6 is sorry to see you go, I’m just as sure that AETNA is delighted to have you (as they should be). Congratulations on taking the next step!

    • Lauren

      I learned from you, my friend. Thank you.

  • bethharte

    Congrats Lauren! You are an asset to the Aetna team… I hope they know that! ;-)  There are no doubts that you will be majorly successful. 

  • Mike D. Merrill

    Congrats Lauren!

  • Ricardo

    I like the post.  I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!

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  • Amber Porter Cox

    Apparently behind the news curve, but just read that you are joining Aetna and wanted to wish you all the best. Can’t believe it was two years ago that we met! Time flies! Congrats!