Lauren Beale

She's got this. A positive force, a busy team member, an energetic explorer who seems to be everywhere all the time. Meet Lauren Beale, Consumer Services & Tourism Programs Manager at Dutchess Tourism (and other hidden talents!). She's a young professional on the move. Blink and you'll miss seeing her whiz by.

Tell me about your business or specialty.

I am a traveler and explorer and a champion for my community here in New York’s Hudson Valley. This theme has echoed throughout my life and is currently reflected in my role as Consumer Services & Tourism Programs Manager at Dutchess Tourism, as well as in my passion project travel page of @hidden.hudson.valley on Instagram.

How'd you get to where you are now?

Community has always been one of my greatest passions. As a Hudson Valley native, I take enormous pride in this seemingly small corner of the world that I am privileged to call home. My childhood was spent exploring my own surroundings with frequent trips to local historic sites and parks, towns and festivals. I watched through our car window in awe as we would pass through farmlands and over mountains, along the mighty Hudson River and through vibrant villages. And my love of my community has only continued to grow, as I have.

My career path has taken several (sometimes unexpected) twists and turns through the years. I graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany with a degree in English and minor in communications that *surprisingly* did not unlock the endless doors of employment opportunities that I had expected. So, instead, I began my post-college career working a hodge-podge of seemingly random part-time jobs around Dutchess County. My first full-time job was working for a local nonprofit organization (Hudson Valley Community Services), where I worked my way up from receptionist to operations manager over the course of eight years. In doing so, I realized that, though I enjoy the rhythm and routine of admin work, my real forte is working with people directly to help them and their businesses flourish.

In 2022, I left my job and entered into a “fun-employment” period of time, where I transformed the little Instagram page that I had started as a creative outlet for my own local travels (@hidden.hudson.valley) into a successful content creating side hustle. I had the exciting opportunity to work with several local artisans and business owners all throughout the Hudson Valley region and saw my page take off from a few hundred followers to nearly 5,000. It was through this Instagram page that I came across the posting for the Consumer Services & Tourism Programs Manager role at Dutchess Tourism, a role which I have now been occupying for nearly a year.

Though I still enjoy connecting with my community through social media, I love the opportunity I have now to work regularly with the people that make Dutchess County and the Hudson Valley as a whole such a special place to live and visit.

What surprises you in your work, now or in the past?

I never saw myself as a teacher until I began my work at Dutchess Tourism. In addition to traveling the country to share about our area at travel shows and attending local events to promote our county, one of the biggest facets of my job includes teaching the Certified Tourism Ambassador™ class that we are able to offer as a workforce development program. Through that class, we help local business owners, frontline workers, volunteers and residents alike to connect with each other and help each other thrive by teaching how important tourism’s impact is for all of us, and how we are all interconnected as a community. Teaching this class has been a surprising experience for me, as its unlocked an aspect of who I am and a skillset that I did not know that I possess. It’s been fun challenging myself to grow more comfortable with public speaking and educating others on a topic I am particularly passionate about.

Any other interests or pursuits (big or small)?

Outside of my work day, I love listening to and creating music and currently help lead worship at my church (Reach Out Church in Hyde Park). I am an avid nature-lover and enjoy meandering along our beautiful local trails, often with a camera in hand. I also am a self-proclaimed wine aficionado and have visited over 100 wineries at this point – most of which are in New York State!

What drives you crazy?

The mindset that “there’s nothing to do around here.” This is one of those phrases and ideas that genuinely irks me. One of the things that makes our area so unique is the diversity of experiences you can have here: from taking in sweeping mountain vistas to wrapping yourself in smalltown charm, from descending into hidden wine cellars to enjoying an elevated global culinary scene, from delving deep into our nation’s history to expanding your horizons at a modern sculpture garden. There’s just so much to see and do here. I firmly believe that you could spend your lifetime exploring the Hudson Valley and still not see it all! I know I still have only scratched the service.

Who inspires you? (it can be anybody you know, or don't know)

I am grateful to have so many amazing women in my life who are deeply inspirational to me. I have a friend in her 70s who travels the world and loves a good cocktail as much as she loves quilting. I have close friends in their early 30s who have purchased their own homes as single women and are thriving. I know women who have overcome cancer and divorce and the loss of loved ones, and still hold their heads up high and embrace the beauty in life. My own mother is a testament to me of perseverance and unshakable faith no matter what adversity pops up. Each woman that I know has a story woven through with heartbreaks and setbacks and struggles, but also with a ferocity to keep pushing through and keep loving people around them and keep pursuing their purpose. These women inspire me.

You're a trailblazer - what are some career highlights to date?

Each role I’ve been in has had its own milestones that have propelled me to where I am today, and I am grateful for each of those defining moments. Beginning my career in human services really defined the way I see the area I live and work in – that it is made up of so many different people, some who are in the spotlight and others in the fringes, and they are all integral to who we are as a society. When our community thrives as a whole, we all get to benefit from that. We are able to take better care of each other and help each other succeed, which makes this a more beautiful place to share with the world at large. The journey from human services to working with local businesses to now helping draw in new visitors has really given me a unique bird’s-eye view that I am so grateful for.

Some personally exciting highlights in my career include:

- Organizing and emceeing the all-staff events we held at Hudson Valley Community Services

- Exceeding 4700 followers on Instagram Teaching over 275 people through the Certified Tourism Ambassador™ program in 2023

- Being a part of the Leadership Dutchess 2023-2024 class, which I was given the opportunity to do through my job

- Also being a tour guide for Hudson Valley Bucket List – this one is just fun, as I get to combine my love of the area with accompanying bachelorette parties to local wineries!

Words of wisdom or thoughts?

Explore the world around you! You never know what new adventures are on the horizon, even in your own backyard. I’ve traveled to many beautiful places all over this Earth, and some of my absolute favorites are just 15 minutes away.


Lauren Beale is currently the Consumer Services & Tourism Programs Manager at Dutchess Tourism, Inc. based out of Poughkeepsie, NY. She also is the creator of Hidden Hudson Valley, an Instagram page dedicated to sharing the unique places, people and experiences that make up this historic area in New York State. Her love of exploring is not limited, however, to her own region, as she also enjoys traveling around the country as well as abroad. Lauren is actively involved in her community and volunteers frequently at Reach Out Church in Hyde Park, NY. In her free time, she enjoys getting lost in nature or in a good book, spending quality time with loved ones, and dabbling in portrait and nature photography. Lauren graduated from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY in 2011 with a BA in English and minor in communications and finds ways to work her love of the English language and writing into both her professional and personal life. | @hidden.hudson.valley (Instagram)

(published 2024)