The president of Highlights' consumer business has created a refined retreat to work from home.

Lece Lohr took her new job as president of Highlights consumer business in the middle of the pandemic, which means her new work acquaintances have been introduced to her mostly through Zoom. Like many executives in Central Ohio she’s taking those virtual meetings from a home office these days as companies continue to let employees work remotely. 

A family room on the lower-level of her Blacklick home has been converted into an office that has a rustic vibe with unfinished woods, rich colors and several windows that give her views of a country landscape. The office also is a shrine to her dogs. Her mouse pad has an image of her 11-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever named Guido who weighs 120 pounds. There also are several other paintings of her dogs, including those she’s lost over the years. In addition to Guido, Lohr has two Bernese Mountain Dogs—Eva and Gabriel—who weigh 135 pounds each and are her biggest distraction from work each day, but also her greatest joy.  

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Lohr is a longtime retail veteran, most recently serving as president of Justice for Girls before she joined children’s media company Highlights in April. She built a Highlights library in the office “to remember who I work for and to bring the customer into my workspace.” She has a standing desk and works on a HP laptop with an extra screen for those Zoom meetings and to share documents. A big concert goer, she’s also decorated the space with memorabilia from favorite artists like Steely Dan, Jimi Hendrix, Jackson Browne and America. 

“It’s a pretty simple setup. I made it as function as possible,” Lohr says. “It’s a warm and inviting space I feel comfortable in and it makes it conducive to doing my role.” 

Lohr takes time each morning before she begins her workday around 8:30 a.m. to practice mindfulness and to exercise. She enjoys living in the country and often uses her lunch breaks to walk among nature and eat outside. When she returns to the office, it’s back to getting to know her team and to plan for the future.  

“I’ve learned so much about leadership from afar – how do you build relationships with people via Zoom?” she says. “I’ve learned that in these circumstances communication is critical and you can’t communicate enough so that people are on board – from visions and strategies and keeping everybody informed and close to me.” 

Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer.