Laura Ownbey is one of the founders of the Lassy Project, a website and safety app that provides child abduction alerts, giving parents the ability to notify their community about a missing child within seconds. The project was started after the Colorado community was rocked by the abduction and murder of a 10 year-old girl.
The Lassy Project is a combination of GPS, crowd-sourcing, and SMS technology that works together to ensure that when a child is not where they’re supposed to be, you’re notified immediately, giving you the chance to send an alert and create an instant search and rescue team. It was selected as one of the Top 5 finalists in IBM’s #NewWaytoWork competition, a contest for social good entrepreneurs.
Laura has been instrumental in making sure the founders have everything they need to run the Lassy Project smoothly. As you can imagine, this is no easy task. A mother herself, Laura is also a firm believer in the importance of wellness, and integrating it into her everyday life. I believe that it is important to share these healthy habits so that other busy women find ways to prioritize their own wellbeing into their already busy lives. Here are Laura’s tips:
1. Tell us a little about your busy days and the Lassy Project. I am basically Chief Ball Juggler. In order to stay connected, I have a hand in all avenues of the business to make sure we stay on course and am able to give the executive team reports. My days are full of bouncing from one project to another; supporting the executives, tasking out projects, coordinating events, managing social media, overseeing system testing, and the occasional graphic design and HTML work.
2. How do you find time for fitness? Thankfully the founding team at the Lassy Project understands the value of fitness and how working out can actually help a person preform better at their job. So as an employee of Lassy Project we are able to squeeze in a work out any time we want. We don’t have to do it on our lunch break, we can exercise whenever we feel like it.
3. What is your favorite workout?Do you vary your workouts or stick with a program? My go to is walking. It’s the easiest form of exercise to squeeze in because I can still jump on a call if needed, or check a quick email while I’m getting my steps in. I also find it necessary, considering that sitting for extended periods of time is one of the worst things you can do for your health. I love varying my workouts since I’m the type that can get bored easily. I’ve done everything from Barre to Kettlebells to bike rides to playing tennis with my daughter!
4. What else do you do to make sure that you stay healthy with your busy schedule? One issue I have struggled with is stopping to eat lunch. It is easy to get overwhelmed by work or so focused I loose track of time. So what I have done is created baggies and containers of food in small pre cut proportions so I can easily grab a snack and get back to what I was doing. By having things like fruit, veggies, nuts ready to go it is easier to make a better choice than grabbing those chips or other junk food.
5. How did health and wellness become a priority for you? When I had my son, I became very ill. I was always so tired, had little to no energy, it was hard to focus, and my body ached. After years of tests and countless doctors, I realized that pharmaceuticals were not making me any better (in fact, they were making it worse!) After I turned my attention to what kind of nutrients I was getting, as well as how to incorporate plenty of natural supplements, I started to notice I had a lot less pain, was gaining clarity again, and finally had the energy to play with my kids again. So I know firsthand that in order to give myself, my family and The Lassy Project the best me possible, I have to watch what I eat and maintain fitness as a part of my life.
6. What are your goals for moving forward, in terms of health and wellness? In both my personal and professional life, I aim for consistency. My goal for personal health and wellness is to always keep my health as a priority when the kids’ sports, holidays, and life get busy. It has been so easy to let it slip during those times. My goal is to stay the course and remain active no matter how busy life gets!
7. What are your goals for moving forward with the Lassy Project? As we continue to grow the company and expand our staff, one of my main goals is to ensure the wellness, productivity, and engagement of our employees. We want to make sure out employees understand that they can give us the best work when they take care of themselves. I’ve noticed women are more inclined to putting themselves last, so I try to be encourage a work environment where they don’t feel encourage a work environment where they don’t feel chained to the desk; I encourage them to step away from the computer and go get some fresh air and sunshine.
Jessica Ridgeway was abducted on October 5, 2012 while on her way to school, and murdered by her then 17 year-old abductor. A recent video on Yahoo! Parenting showed a social experiment involving child abductions. Parents watched as their children were put to the test to see if they did, in fact, follow the “no talking to strangers” rule. Not only did every single child talk to a random stranger who approached them, but several trusted him enough to take him by the hand and walk with him. Jessica Ridgeway was told often not to talk to strangers too. Yet she was taken before she even had a chance to talk, or even to scream for help.
Every single day, over 700 children are abducted. They occur in different situations and in a variety of circumstances. And quite simply put, that is 700 too many.
To learn more about the Lassy Project, go to: http://www.thelassyproject.com. You can download the app via Android at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lassy, and on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-lassy-project/id695326511?ls=1&mt=8.