Global Community Manager, Laura Kelso
Laura Kelso joined Community in October 2010 as the Global Community Manager. Laura is a seasoned Community Manager, having launched three communities for leading-edge consumer businesses. As a social media expert, she has also conceived and run high-ROI social marketing campaigns, leveraging Community, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and targeted email. At heart, Laura is a content curator and writer; she has developed versatile content skills honed from years of experience writing and editing for consumer print magazines and newspapers, as well as a variety of online publications, and T.V.
Laura joined HomeAway in 2006, tasked with creating our traveler newsletters and building content for our family of websites. Since then, Laura has also worked on the HomeAway Real Estate team, serving as the Marketing & Social Media Manager. Throughout her tenure, Laura has developed a strong knowledge of both sides of our business – travelers and homeowners – and has put her passions for writing and travel to good use.
In addition to her role as Global Community Manager, Laura has taken on another new role – as a mom! Her son Hart was born on July 14, 2010, so Laura got to enjoy some much needed time with her new baby before joining our team. Since coming back to work, Laura has hit the ground running, researching everything she needs to know about the past, present and future of the Owner Community. Considering all the changes in her life, her focus is truly staggering!
Laura has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Master’s of Economics from the London School of Economics. She lives in the heart of Austin with her husband Jamie, their son Hart, and two Golden Retrievers, Jake and Cooper. When she’s not playing with the newest love of her life or catching up on sleep, she enjoys reading, writing about food and travel, practicing yoga, and eating chocolate.
Kristen Keys joined the Community team in January 2010, armed and ready to contribute her knowledge of online communities.
Her previous experience working on web content and strategy was at a hunting and fishing magazine. (Although she does love meat and Texas barbecue, she’s far from a burly outdoorsman.) Despite the subject matter, Kristen’s experience at that magazine has fueled her passion for writing content, designing websites, and improving the overall experience for her readership.
Since joining the team, Kristen has mastered the OC website and helped us get all of our content up-to-date. She was also extremely valuable in the preparations for Owners Summit, handling all the design needs and employee involvement to make the event such a success.
Although Kristen has a love for design and all things artsy, she is a numbers-geek at heart. She won us over in the interview process by confessing to checking her site traffic before she went to bed at night. Her attention to detail and extreme dedication has been truly staggering from the start.
Kristen is a graduate of Bard College with a B.A. in Art History. She lives in Austin with her husband Kell, and her two dogs, Maggie and Lucy. She enjoys traveling, visiting museums, watching Lost, eating donuts at 3am, and wearing scarves – we haven’t seen her neck to this day.
Meredith signed on as Online Community Coordinator in April 2010. She’s been at the company since November 2008 and is well on her way to becoming a HomeAway veteran.
Meredith joined our team in the midst of preparations for our first ever Owners Summit. With her past experience in running large conferences, she jumped right in handling registrations, assisting with the timeline, and even moderating her own panel. And for those of you who attended, she also wrote those hilarious door prize descriptions (a la Price is Right) that made you want to get your own margarita machine and make your vacation home an “official chill out zone.”
Since interviewing homeowners for our Best Photo series and podcasts and meeting over 200 owners at the Summit, Meredith has quickly become familiar with the priorities and challenges of our vacation rental owners. Need help with key and lock solutions for your vacation rental? Meredith is our go-to expert on all things lock-related, not to mention any time we need some out-of-the-box resourcefulness around the office.
Though she’s only been part of the OC for a short time, it feels like she’s been on our team forever. Her take-action attitude is always refreshing, and her quick wit and smart sense of humor keep us laughing even at the busiest times. Believe it or not, she’s had no previous theater training— she’s just a natural ham!
Meredith graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a degree in English Literature. She spent 8 years living in London but currently lives in south Austin with her boyfriend Patrick. She enjoys arts & crafts, thrift store shopping, and frozen yogurt.