Alumni Profile: Laurel Delaney Author and Founder of Delaney Foods Manufacturing

Lake Effects Blog

Friday, August 01, 2014

We dare you to try to spend five minutes with Laurel Delaney (an alumni of Lake Forest) and not be infected with her energy and entrepreneurial passion. “You can be brilliant, but if you don’t have the confidence and tools to take action, your ideas won’t achieve reality,” she says. This philosophy for professional development is what lead Delaney to pursue her MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.


Delaney began her career at a small manufacturing company which she remarked was ahead of its time in terms of expansion into global markets. The experience broadened her insights into every aspect of the manufacturing business niche and fueled her passion to pursue her business interests internationally. Soon afterward she launched, a consulting company helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, sell and expand to new markets overseas.

Despite her successful trajectory, Delaney had a nagging feeling that she lacked the tools and skills she needed to take her firm to the next level. She became determined to expand her horizons, build skills and grow her business network, and Lake Forest Graduate School of Management provided both the opportunity and the solution.

According to Delaney, once she arrived at LFGSM, she felt that ‘doors sprang open’. Despite her business success, she had a fear of public speaking.  By working with her fellow students and peers, she was able to hone her professional presentation skills.  Delaney has now completed dozens of speaking engagements  and interviews as a result of her newest book, “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.”

Within months of her earning her Lake Forest MBA, Delaney started Delaney Foods Manufacturing, a food-export manufacturing company; launched “Borderbuster,” a successful newsletter on going global; created ‘The Global Small Business Blog’ to help entrepreneurs and small businesses go global; taught International Marketing at Loyola University Chicago; and she began work on what would become her first book, “Start & Run a Profitable Exporting Business.” In all, this has led to more than a half million dollar revenue increase for her business.

“Lake Forest Graduate School of Management enabled me to acquire a new set of skills, become more focused and disciplined, develop exceptional organizational skills, and obtain a wealth of knowledge on big picture aspects of managing a business,” she says. “The Lake Forest experience helped me realize I truly can create value, choose my future and make an impact in our world.”



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