About Centauri

Founder, Lauren Lackey

Lauren is a proven global team leader, strategist and project manager. She approaches every project with an understanding of the current struggle, delivering a product or program with speed, cost, and quality in mind and then creating a long-term migration strategy of growth and strategic journey, always working to address the consumer struggle. This strategy has won her a variety of awards, such as the 1999 Kraft Innovator of the Year and the 1999 Best Product of the Year.

Through her consulting work with Centauri Innovations, Lauren has been able to take the skills, culture, and tools that she used towards a multitude of industries outside of consumer products. These methods have translated into the development of over 1,000 products within food product development, customer service projects, science, health care and medical device projects, education, electronics and even political campaigns. In the past year, she has improved supply chain service levels to 90% for a small apparel company and offered robust Design of Experiment training and execution to major food companies. Lauren currently sits as the interim VP of R&D for the Institute of Food Technology.

Lauren is passionate about shining a light on the importance of good product development, and her entire career has been dedicated to making the connection between good business, good science, and good art. These connections are not inherent in organizations nor do they teach this in schools. Teams must learn and practice how to prioritize good translation of consumer need to the product or service they will sell.


“Lauren is a natural people leader. She has excellent communication skills and builds bridges between the technical and business functions, including marketing, sales and supply chain. Lauren was instrumental in driving business growth through innovation at Wrigley and she will make a difference in any organization by accelerating business growth through innovative thinking, innovative products and innovative approaches.”

– Dr. Surinder Kumar, Chief Innovation Officer at TruEats Modern Baking Company and CEO at Arora Food Group

“Lauren is one of the most progressive thinkers with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work. She brings an open mind grounded in rigorous strategy to her projects which results in her being able to identify legitimate, game-changing growth opportunities. She’s collaborative, but still challenging. She’s not afraid to push forward when she sees a real opportunity, but perhaps more important, she’s also willing to pull the plug when an area proves itself to be a dead end, – regardless of how much momentum the direction might have within her organization.”

– Jean McLaren, Retired President Chicago Office and Chief Marketing Officer MARC USA

“Lauren is a true action focused leader. She is particularly strong when faced with complex interdisciplinary problems which she breaks down into clear next steps for all and then follows up with real drive.”

– Dr. Nigel Hughes, SVP Global Research and Development, Kellogg Company

“Lauren is highly knowledgeable in all the technical aspects of her work and combines that with a broad business and external focus that makes her a very rounded senior leader. She is principled, pragmatic and has a strong bias for action.”


– David Rennie, Deputy EVP Head of Nestle Coffee Brands at Nestle

“[Lauren] has a strong track record of delivering consumer centric innovation and has led numerous major programs. Her many accomplishments, diversity of knowledge, and strengths would be an asset to any organization. I highly recommend her.”


– Chuck Davis, Operating Partner at Arbor Investments and Retired EVP of Research and Development, Quality and Innovation at the Kraft Heinz Company

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