With a keen eye for fashion, Lauren Kozlak enjoys helping others dress comfortably and look good. She volunteers one morning a week at Rise, primarily working in Michael’s Closet as well as helping out with other special projects when needed.
“I like meeting with people one-on-one to find out a little about their background, where they are going, and how they want to dress for it,” said Lauren. “It’s fun to help them find a special outfit or two to wear to an important job interview or to work in a new position.”
Michael’s Closet offers business dress clothing, shoes, and accessories which individuals and corporate groups have donated to Rise. When it moved from Rise’s Northeast Minneapolis location to its administrative offices in Spring Lake Park, Lauren tackled the huge sorting, organizing, and categorizing project to get it ready for “customers.” She continues to maintain it as additional donated items come in.
Lauren read about the volunteer position in an Anoka County newsletter. “I had used Rise’s services in the past and always thought that if the right kind of position ever opened up, I would love to work there.”
“Lauren is always a bright face in the morning and does a great job interacting with the individuals and team members coming to Michael’s Closet,” said Zoe Leonard-Monrad, Rise’s coordinator of volunteer and recruitment. “She is really enthusiastic about finding the right outfit to meet the needs of the people she is working with. She helps make everyone look good.”
The volunteer position seemed like it was made just for her. Lauren also enjoys assisting with Rise’s Art Speaks program or doing special projects to help Advancement team members.
“Lauren is also always ready for new things or jump in to any project that needs to get done, which frees up essential time for our team members,” Zoe added.
Lauren earned a degree in business education from Minnesota State University, Mankato and worked for many years as a certified public accountant (CPA) and as a legal secretary. She also taught gymnastics for the Minneapolis Park Board. Lauren does accounting work for her husband’s restaurant equipment and design company as well as helps out with some rental property he owns. The couple lives in Lino Lakes and has two grown sons.