Noteworthy Women in Wireless Infrastructure – 2023

Lauren James

Project Manager, Primary PM for Ohio Rural Broadband investment Digital Access Ohio
Agile Network Builders

Lauren has been in the telecom industry for 12 years. Starting as a Tower Inspection Technician deployed throughout the United States, she adapted her focus over time toward engineering and construction inspection and gradually applied all of her personal and professional experiences to where she is currently focused as a Project Manager for Agile Network Builders as lead PM focused on bringing mobile and fixed broadband to underserved rural communities in Ohio (Home — Digital Access Ohio).

But that’s just a summation of Lauren’s wireless infrastructure experiences that does not provide a true background of her journey.  Lauren grew up around builders. Lauren’s father, an accomplished welder, exposed Lauren at an early age to experiences that fed naturally into her curiosity and aptitude for precision and accuracy as well as the creative possibility of building something from just a disparate bunch of metal pieces. Through training and education, Lauren achieved an associate degree in construction and then became a credentialed Certified Associated Welding Inspector (CAWI) D1.1 Structural Steel.

Lauren, by birth, is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and has cultivated a lifelong passion for rock climbing. She has executed climbs not only in her native North Carolina but across the United States and into Europe. Lauren has learned that rock climbing both provides opportunities for accomplishment and teaches you much about safety, rigging and rescue planning, all of which Lauren has used in her wireless professional career as not only an inspector but also as a Competent Tower Rigger and Competent Rescuer, two certifications that Lauren has attained. Tower climbing and telecom were a hand-in-glove fit professionally with her personal interests. By applying her focus on safety, Lauren has successfully used her precision and discipline to temper the inherent risks of rock and tower climbing. 

The wireless industry has continuously evolved over Lauren’s 12-year professional journey, including exponential industry growth and technology advances and, just as importantly, additional regulatory oversight and increased focus on safety and precision in planning and execution. Through it all, Lauren has evolved professionally, moving into roles with greater responsibility and impact to team and the community. In her current role as a project manager, Lauren uses a combination of her personal traits and experiences as well as her professional relatability (ranging from the tower dogs to the executive sponsors) and empathy nurtured during her past roles to efficiently and effectively manage her projects and safely deliver projects on time and budget.

Personally, Lauren has grown and adapted as well. Lauren is now a mom to an 8-year-old daughter. Just like her family before, she is encouraging with her daughter and constantly fostering her development of key life skills. Self-reliance, confidence and curiosity are just a few traits she will be able to lever regardless of chosen profession. A good teacher is also a good learner and Lauren is learning from her daughter. Their shared passion for creativity and artistic expression has pushed the introverted Lauren into the extroverted world of theater productions just to keep pace with her progeny. 

No matter where the industry grows, Lauren has demonstrated that she will grow with it – driving toward objectives, looking out for those around her and nurturing others, personally and professionally, along the way.