40 Under 40 2018 | Lara McCauley

Lara McCauley, senior director of internal communications and community engagement at Mars, is known as a tour de force at the confectionery powerhouse. McCauley is constantly redefining the role of comms by delivering breakthrough thinking in social, digital, and content integration, while simultaneously acting as senior counselor and trusted advisor to the company’s most senior leaders.

In her years as a consultant and staffer at Mars, McCauley has proven herself to be indispensable to both senior leaders and peers. She is constantly consulted by the company’s C-suite on approaches to communication strategy and known as an incredibly high performer who is consistent, yet unafraid to take risks.

While consulting at Mars, McCauley sold and led projects across finance, research and development, manufacturing, and corporate affairs. Her work led to a full-time role in the global corporate affairs function, where she built the functional college with Mars’ internal learning and development platform, allowing associates to learn and grow without having to go outside the company. As the corporate affairs college director, she developed the function’s talent strategy that is still in place today and led organizational change and design through functional reorganizations.

McCauley built the corporate affairs function from the ground up at Mars Food, creating a strong team and developing community engagement, sales communication, and stakeholder engagement strategies that were eventually rolled out across the globe as best practice.

In her current role, she revamped the company’s internal comms practice, delivering world class support for the leadership team, building a community of practice, driving integrated communications, and leading organizational change communications for large scale transformations, including the buyout of Berkshire Hathaway and acquisitions such as VCA and Kind.

McCauley’s rare combination of organizational skills, creativity, work ethic, strategy, authenticity, and leadership make her the go-to for advice and collaboration. Colleagues praise her "reputation as a tireless, thoughtful, and strategic communicator" and her "unparalleled drive for quality results."

- In consulting roles, McCauley delivered training solutions for NASA and the Department of State.

- She drove a successful Food Health and Wellbeing Ambition launch in 2016, including establishing a partnership with Partnership for a Healthier America.

- McCauley is a sought-after mentor within Mars associates.

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