Pushing boundaries, looking for more

By Victor Paul Alvarez
Contributing Writer
Lauren Conway boldly goes where no other chief financial officer has gone before. More

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Pushing boundaries, looking for more

PROVIDING CARE: Lauren Conway, right, chief financial officer of UnitedHealthcare of New England, leads the budgeting of a company that reports more than $1.1 billion in local revenue. In her spare time, she volunteers for Big Sisters.
By Victor Paul Alvarez
Contributing Writer
Posted 4/9/12

Lauren Conway boldly goes where no other chief financial officer has gone before.

So says her boss, UnitedHealthcare of New England CEO Stephen J. Farrell, describing Conway as a CFO who embodies the values and virtues of a true business and community leader.

“Lauren’s enviable enthusiasm and spirit make her one of the Rhode Island business community’s greatest ambassadors,” Farrell said.

Conway has been in the position for six years. Based in Warwick, she has transformed the traditional role of CFO into one that goes above and beyond the bottom line, personifying the company’s stated mission of helping people live healthier lives.

Of course, she’s still a CFO, with the duties you would expect in a company that serves 1.4 million people in New England. Conway leads the budgeting and reporting of more than 450,000 members and more than $1.1 billion in local revenue. In the last six years, she has helped expand the New England market by more than 20,000 members.

She has performed so well, in fact, that the company decided to send her back to school. It’s called the Executive Development Program.

United sends outstanding employees to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia for an intensive, six-month curriculum that broadens and enhances their skill set. The talent she developed and connections she made became invaluable for Conway, and she values and nurtures them to this day.

“The networking experience alone is something I never would have had without the program,” she said. “There were seven of us that developed a closeness that is not very common in the work environment. We still have a conference call once a quarter to stay in touch with each other’s lives,” she said.

Conway speaks of bonds that are traditional to the business she is in and some that are not. She is committed to the job and company in more ways than just bottom-line success and shared philosophy. Conway is not one to say “that’s not my job,” but just the opposite: she seeks out new areas in which to learn and lead.

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