Meet Lauri Baker, SVP Of Sales And Marketing

Meet Lauri Baker, SVP Of Sales And Marketing

We're highlighting noteworthy employees that drive Odyssey's growth.
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At Odyssey, we are hyper-focused on culture— both in our creator communities and our full-time staff. It’s all about building a group of people and an environment that increases the team’s ability to achieve their dreams. We pride ourselves on our culture; it’s what makes us unique.

For our first employee spotlight, we’re featuring Lauri Baker, Odyssey’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

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In her career trajectory, Lauri has authentically connected brands with established platforms. From her start at BusinessWeek magazine to industry leaders like Yahoo and now Odyssey, Lauri’s journey can be summarized by one simple goal: to be “a disruptor to the status quo.”

“I take that with me everywhere I go,” she explained. Before joining Odyssey in March 2016, Lauri demonstrated expertise as an industry pioneer at The Huffington Post. She launched an entirely new business around native publishing through the HuffPost Partner Studio, which drove 30 percent of their revenue. In her time at Yahoo, Lauri developed content-driven experiences leveraging client-owned data with brands like Coke and Kraft Foods.

This week, we chatted with Lauri about her thoughts on our unique brand, our culture, and Odyssey’s future.

What is it about Odyssey that allows you to seek new perspectives in your career?

“The model. The vision of the leadership. The fact that we have a culture code. I have yet to be at a company with one. HuffPost had a cool culture, but there was no code. It’s really inspiring, the fact that we have one.

I pride myself on getting stuff done. Disrupting and building. I love to build. It’s funny, my son and I spend the majority of our time together ‘building,’ either on the floor with our Legos or digitally with MineCraft. I have always been a builder at my core, and now, I have the opportunity to start a business so disruptive on the ground level— to build the business and the monetization engines.

To come here and actually have my opinions heard and matter, I feel like that’s what motivates me in my career.”

How has your experience across teams at Odyssey been so far?

“Evan has done an amazing job keeping the entire company in the know every single week. The company is built in such a structured way with communication— bottom-up and top down. I am fortunate enough to get exposure across all departments, which is important and something we need to ensure everyone is exposed to.

I was lucky enough to be on Arianna Huffington’s exec team at HuffPost, so I was exposed to business, technology, and editorial on a weekly basis. I feel the same here. I would flip that and say what’s so impressive here is the speed at which we all move. Working with the other business units, we are moving so quickly; sometimes it’s hard to keep up.”

What is your vision for the future of Odyssey?

“Through my sales and marketing lense, there is a significant shift in the industry from reach to relevance. Everything that we do ties back to that shift. I think we are leading the change to where the industry is going, and it’s our opportunity to blaze that trail for all other media companies and platforms to follow.”
Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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I Should Have Asked You On Valentine's Day

Morgan, this one is for you.
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Dear Morgan,

February 20th, 2018 will be the marking point of two years since the day I asked you to date me. We were so young back then and to be honest, it feels like forever ago. You are still the big-hearted girl that stole my heart.

As a tribute to you, I added song lyrics from oldies that I think define my feelings for you. That and because you never let me listen to my oldies during car rides. Sure maybe it’s weird, but you knew what you were getting into when we started dating.

“Then I saw her face, Now I'm a believer, Not a trace, of doubt in my mind, I'm in love, and I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her if I tried” – Believer by The Monkees (1967)

First, I just want to apologize for not asking you out on Valentine’s Day, two years ago. Looking back, it would have been a lot more romantic to have brought you balloons and a teddy bear on Valentine’s Day and then ask you to be my girlfriend. Believe me, that was the original plan but I thought it was too cliché. Besides being rejected is scary as hell. Like I was really scared.

“I've got sunshine on a cloudy day, With my girl (My girl). I've even got the month of May, With my girl (My girl, woah)”- My Girl by the Temptations (1965)

What is even scarier is writing this article to you. Again, I was going to do it on Valentine’s Day but I thought it will mean more to do it on an even more memorable day, February 20th. I am writing my love for you, to the world, for everyone to see. Yes, there will be jokes and comments, but what I learned in life is that does not matter. What matters is that you will love it. You will think that this is sweet. This will make you smile and that is all that really matters to me.

“You have found her, now go and get her. Remember to let her into your heart, Then you can start to make it better” – Hey Jude by the Beetles (1968)

So, here is the part where I tell you how I feel. The nerves that are rushing through me right now is crazy. Writing about sports and politics are easy but to put yourself and your emotions out there is a whole different game. As you know, after these last two years, I’m not an emotional or personal feelings type of person but here we go.

“When you hold me, In your arms so tight. You let me know, Everything's all right. I'm hooked on a feelin. I'm high on believing, That you're in love with me”- Hooked On a Feeling by Blue Suede (1974)

Morgan, these last couple of years have been an amazing experience. Yes, we broke up for a couple months and had our issues. What great relationships don't? But we figured them out. I would not trade this relationship in for the world. The smile I get when I think about those old memories. How much we matured and changed. The warm feeling I get when you smile. Let’s keep making new memories for infinity and beyond.

“And every night and every day. I'm gonna get you, I'm gonna get you. Look out 'cause I'm gonna get you. And I'm gonna make...

"I'm gonna make you love me. Oh, oh. (Yes I will)” – I’m Gonna Make You Love Me by The Supremes & The Temptations.

"Cause baby there ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough. Ain't no river wide enough. To keep me from getting to you babe " - Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Diane Ross (1970)

Hopefully, Odyssey editors will have this released before or on the 20th or this article will be very akward.

I lied this song isn’t an oldie but you know why I had to include it.

“So I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you
And I'm gonna hold you like I'm saying goodbye
Wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted
'Cause we'll never know when, when we'll run out of time



So I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you”

-Like I’m Gonna Lose You

Mehgan Trainor and John Legend

Hey if you enjoyed this article and want to read more; follow me on Twitter @JMcCrayJones

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Porter

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5 Historical Comedies You'll Love Even If You Hate History

Who doesn't want to see a movie with a gay, dancing and singing Hitler?
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Whether you love history or not, comedy's something everyone can enjoy. After a long day at work or in class, sometimes you need a good laugh. While they're certainly not the most accurate, here are 5 hilarious historical comedies that everyone needs to see at least once in their life!

1. The Producers


Who doesn't want to see a movie with a gay, dancing and singing Hitler? This Mel Brooks movie about two producers purposely trying to force their own Broadway musical called Springtime for Hitler to fail is hilarious. Get ready to cry laughing with the Nazi playwright played by Will Ferell, and the producers played by Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller) and Nathan Lane (Timon from the Lion King).

2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail


This ridiculous comedy is considered a cult classic, and for good reason! It's all about everything that goes wrong on King Arthur and his knight's search for the Holy Grail. With a paraplegic knight that refuses to surrender, a prince trying to escape his marriage through song, and a vicious rabbit, this crazy comedy is nothing if not entertaining.


3. History of the World: Part 1


Another Mel Brooks work, this movie takes you from cavemen to the beheading of Louis XVI, and everything in between. History of the World: Part 1 makes fun of everything with no mercy, including the 10 Commandments, Moses parting the Red Sea, and the Spanish Inquisition, in musical form!

4. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure


Even though it's not my personal favorite, there's no denying that Bill and Ted's is another cult classic. It's pretty entertaining to watch Keanu Reaves and his friend time travel in an attempt to pass their history final. Watch this trippy comedy, but be warned: it might give you painful flashbacks about the lengths you'll go to pass your finals.

5. Blazing Saddles


Yet another Mel Brooks movie! (Can you tell I love his movies, yet?) This movie about an African American sheriff in the old west pulls no punches whatsoever, but it one of the best comedies ever made, and one of my favorite movies ever. Check out Blazing Saddles if you're ready for non-stop laughs!

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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