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Getting to know: Lara Foxon

Lara Foxon loves it when a plan comes together. 

As a Senior Project Coordinator at Zeroseven, Lara is involved with every stage of a project’s development, from conception to completion. From consultations with the client to the workshop, design and testing phases, Lara plays an essential role by ensuring that everyone else knows their role. 

“I’m the glue between the client and our team,” Lara explains. “I’m the facilitator. I take the brief and organise who’s working on it where; I determine the budgets and the timelines; and often, I’m the translator. I take the techie jargon that our developers give me and put it in plain terms for the client so it all makes sense for them.” 

Lara has no formal project management training. Instead, her position is a culmination of decades of on-the-job experience in publishing, graphic design, advertising and digital production, during which she developed her eye for detail and knack for people management.

After a long stint at a multinational advertising agency, Lara was looking for a role with a smaller, more agile team that put all of her skills to use – and she found it at Zeroseven. 

“I like that Zeroseven feels like a family business,” she explains. “Chris [Thompson] and Margaret [Lipinska] started the company, they own it, they let us know what’s happening and they’re always open to new ideas – we don’t have to go to some committee in Sydney or overseas to get approval to do anything. The knowledge and expertise of the developers is second to none; there’s a great sense of community and a willingness to help each other; and, of course, I love having Pablo the office dog around, too.

“I appreciate that health and wellbeing is a priority at Zeroseven. When we were all still in the office, we’d do yoga and PT sessions together, and now we’re all taking part in a friendly walking challenge, logging our kilometres each day, which is a great incentive to get out and go for a walk at lunchtime. It’s just a lovely team to work with – it makes coming to work, or logging on to work from home, feel so rewarding.”

The calibre of Zeroseven’s clients is also part of the role’s appeal. Since joining the team in December 2018, Lara has had the chance to work on a wide range of projects for a variety of clients, but there are three that truly stand out for her. 

“One of the first projects that I worked on when I started here was for Australian Red Cross,” she remembers. “We built a whole new donation process and implemented a new payment gateway for them, and their donations have increased significantly since then, which gives me a great sense of satisfaction. 

“The GIVIT project was another really rewarding one – they’re a not-for-profit organisation who connect charitable donors with support organisations that need the items people have to donate. That was a fascinating project because Margaret did a lot of research into donation flows and how you can improve them, and then we were able to take that research and apply it to their new site. It’s had a big impact – leading to a surge of items being donated, as well as an increase in their financial donations. 

“The other one that stands out is Priceline. We built their Click & Collect functionality so that users could order items and pick them up from a specific store, instead of waiting for the item to be delivered from their central distribution centre. Then when COVID-19 hit and a lot of their stores had to temporarily close, Click & Deliver became a priority for them, and we were able to turn that around for them very quickly, too. They’ve had a great result, in terms of increased sales.

“Getting a good result for a client, making sure they’re getting their money’s worth, and building something that their target market enjoys using… that’s what motivates me. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. 

“When you’ve ticked off all your quality assurance checklists, and the project goes live and the client is pumping it out across social media… it’s like when I used to work in print media and you’d see your billboard on the side of the road. It’s the satisfaction of seeing something you’ve worked on, that you’ve put your heart and soul into, out there in the world.” 

Of course, life isn’t all work and no play for Lara. She’s also a keen snowboarder, although COVID has put a dent in her travel plans this year. Closer to home, she enjoys stand-up paddle boarding, and she spends her Saturdays volunteering with the RSPCA as an adoptions counsellor. 

“I’ve always loved animals,” she says. “I started off just doing some volunteer dog-walking, and then I got into dog behaviour, helping out rehab dogs who hadn’t had a good life. Now I do adoptions, and this year that’s become a virtual process, going through the whole adoption procedure with people over the phone before they come in to meet the animal.”

Whether it’s for dogs or people, Lara has a gift for smoothing out the process and making life easier for those around her – and it’s a gift we’ve all benefited from at Zeroseven.