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October 9-11, 2024
Omni Nashville HotelNashville, TN

Lauren Bailey
CEO + Co-Founder at Upward Projects


Lauren Bailey is the CEO & co-founder of Upward Projects, a restaurant development and hospitality company known for one thing – making people feel good. Spanning over 30 restaurants and five brands across five states, Upward Projects is comprised of the Postino WineCafe, Joyride Taco House, Windsor, Churn Ice Cream and Federal Pizza brands. Selected to the Nation’s Restaurant News “Power 50” list of people who represent the best in restaurant leadership, Bailey and Upward Projects are regarded for developing first-rate culture and adapting and reusing historically relevant buildings that are an integral part of the neighborhoods they serve. The company has also been named to the Inc. 5000 list for multiple years as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. In 2022, Lauren was awarded the TrueTrep Award from The Elliot Group, recognizing entrepreneurs who have successfully built a brand with inventive vision, relentless persistence, and a focus on purpose and people. Also in 2022, Bailey joined the board of Brand USA, a federally mandated private organization dedicated to marketing the United States as a premier travel destination globally, after being selected by the sitting Secretary of Commerce and in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security. Bailey serves on the Arizona State University Foundation’s Board of Directors, the Experience Dynamic Advisory Board, is a proud “big sister” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central spanning nearly a decade, was inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame as “Restaurateur of the Year”, has been honored as a “Food Pioneer” by the Arizona Restaurant Association, was selected by the Phoenix Business Journal as an “Outstanding Women in Business” and selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Texas born and Indiana raised, Lauren graduated from ASU with dual degrees in Communication and Fine Art. Drawing upon her degree, Lauren is also intimately involved in the design and décor of each Upward Projects location, from guiding the design direction to concepting and executing the custom ‘art walls’ that adorn each and every Postino WineCafe. In her spare time Lauren travels the world, chases her son around, hunts for vintage treasures, creates art, cooks dinner for friends, and spends time with the most important people in her life.