Lauren Winans

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Lauren Winans is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal HR Consultant for Next Level Benefits, an HR consulting practice offering clients access to HR professionals for both short-term and long-term projects. With 20 years of human resources and employee benefits experience, Winans possesses a deep expertise of HR best practices and what resonates with employees. She founded Next Level Benefits in 2019, offering HR teams access to former corporate HR professionals on-demand when they need them most. Winans’ experiences at various global, multi-generational, geographically dispersed organizations have prepared her well for assisting clients of all sizes and from any industry.


Prior to becoming CEO of Next Level Benefits, Winans served as a senior HR leader and responsibly managed all aspects of health, welfare, absence management, and retirement at General Nutrition Centers, American Eagle Outfitters, and CONSOL Energy. While working for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Winans acquired an extensive knowledge of the health insurance industry. Throughout her career, Winans has been focused on improving culture and enhancing the total rewards offered at the companies she has worked for and provided guidance to. She is strategically focused yet tactically proficient and brings a holistic perspective to each client project.


Winans is a member of the Forbes Business Council, Business Journals Leadership Trust, and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). She has been featured in several media outlets such as BBC News, Forbes, USA Today, and Yahoo Finance. Winans is a non-profit board member and an active volunteer for patient advocacy. She is also a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management and Robert Morris University with a Master’s in Business Administration.

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