lauren-schleicherA part of our Getting to Know series--

Lauren Schleicher knows that a perfect cupcake can make someone's day. That's why she's famous among her TIC Gums colleagues for her cupcakes.

The secret is using the right combination of ingredients to make that perfect treat. The same know-how applies to Lauren's job as one of TIC Gums' technical service representatives.

"I'm the first line of response to our customers," says Lauren, who deals with a range of issues via the company hotline or live online chats. As one of TIC Gums' famed Gum Gurus, she relies on her knowledge of TIC Gums products and their application, and has to be prepared for anything, whether it's finding a match for a competitor's product or problem-solving a production issue.

"They're just looking for someone to help," she says, "and when you do get them the answer, you can hear the relief in their voice." Successfully "working the problem" requires that Lauren and her team become well acquainted with the range of TIC Gums products. "I learn something new every day," she explains. "I like to think I learn a little bit about everything."

Lauren has been on the job for a little over a year. When she started she was a familiar face, since she worked as a summer intern in TIC Gums' research and development department. After graduating from the University of Delaware with a degree in food science and technology and a minor in nutrition, she was hired full time as a technical service representative. "This job is completely different in a new area, but knowing the company made the transition a little less overwhelming," she admits.

Her interest in a career in food grew from her love of baking. From a young age, Lauren worked in the kitchen, making cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. "I've always loved combining different ingredients to make something new," she explains. As a baker, she also understands that the perfect cupcake isn't as simple as it looks. How you mix ingredients is as important as what ingredients you use, and the same goes for how gums and gum systems can enhance foods.