Lauren Bailey is the CEO and co-founder of Upward Projects, a restaurant development and hospitality company known for one thing – making people feel good. Spanning 20 restaurants and five brands over three states, Upward Projects has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies for four years in a row. Comprised of the Postino WineCafe, Joyride Taco House, Windsor, Churn Ice Cream and Federal Pizza brands, Upward Projects is renowned for first rate culture and adapting and reusing historically relevant buildings that are an integral part of the neighborhoods they serve.
Named to the Nation’s Restaurant News “Power 50” list in 2019 and 2021, Lauren serves on the Arizona State University Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Grand Canyon University Colangelo College of Business Advisory Board. A proud “big sister” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Lauren was also 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.
An Indiana native, Lauren graduated from ASU with dual degrees in Communication and Fine Art. In her spare time Lauren travels the world, chases her 6-year-old son, hunts for vintage treasures, creates art, cooks dinner for friends, and spends time with the most important people in her life.