I found out yesterday, April 9, that I was born in the “Year of the Horse.” I don’t hold much significance in those type of things, but I do drive to win, and I do think I am a workhorse. I really try to show my appreciation for everything, from support to clients, to down time. By being in this business for almost 17 years, you go through many changes. Emergencies then, were career ending, so you thought.
Now, I can step back and evaluate the situation, and typically work through it. In the end you find out it may have not been as hot as you once thought. But, you take care of it quickly, and move on. If I could give anyone advice right now, about our chosen field, I would say, step back, think, reach out to those who can help, and resolve the issues. Pick up the phone, rather than sending an email. There are so many good things and experiences that lie ahead. Most of all, HAVE FUN!
One of my favorite quotes is from the play Auntie Mama. “Live, live, live. Life is a banquette, and most poor suckers are starving to death.”
Q. What was your first job?
A. Kmart Apparel Manager, how is that for full circle.
Q. What was your best job?
A. Besides now? Cold drink rep for Coca Cola. I got to spend my days trying to convince restaurants, bars, and schools to convert from Pepsi to Coke. In the end we converted the University of Illinois from Pepsi, for which they committed to a 10 year agreement. We feel we made a new generation of Coke drinkers.
Q. In addition to earning a paycheck, how else has your career created value in your life?
A. I am very blessed in everything I do. Some call it lucky, I call it blessed. My career has given me many opportunities to get out in the community to network and develop experiences through that networking. I am currently finishing my term as Ambassador Chair for the Fiesta Bowl. Without access to the freedom and contacts I have made through my career, I don’t know that I would have found such outlets to donate my time and energy. You would probably see me hanging at a Karaoke bar on the main stage nightly.
Q. What is your most memorable travel experience?
A. My grandmother was an over the road truck driver in the 60’s and 70’s. She and my uncle had a small farm implement dealership in N. Central Illinois. As a kid, my cousins and siblings, and I would take turns traveling with her. My junior year in High school, I was supposed to go to Univ. of Illinois for a Swing Choir camp, prior to which I went on a trip to Minnesota with my Grandmother to deliver some equipment. As we were driving through somewhere in MN, the transmission on the truck, pulling a 32’ Gooseneck trailer, decided to go out. And who do you think was driving. Yes it was me. We spent two days holed up in a small motel, where we watched TV and I decided I would gain the title of paddle ball champion in the Guinness Book of World Records. I got up to 106 consecutive paddles in a row, in 1 min. And my Grandmother was sane enough to cheer me through. I made it home for camp, but never did get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Now you know where I get that competitive spirit.
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. Paddle ball, not really, it would drive my husband crazy. I attend the arts, symphony pops, concerts, golf, Downtown Abbey, singing show tunes at any opportunity. I am an ambassador of many things, so I spend a lot of time doing that.
Q. What lessons has your work life taught you?
A. “Be like a Duck, let it roll off your back.”
Q. Do you have any favorite stories from your work life?
A. There are many stories, but one that stands out in my mind was a project that I lost, over 15 years ago. It wasn’t a very big project, and I was working with a husband and wife team. Mainly the wife, being our contact. She was all set to use our services, and then at the last minute, she was overruled by her husband, due to price. So I took it on the chin and moved forward. One week later, a gift showed up at the office for both me and my designer, from the wife. She felt so bad that they did not use us, after all of our hard work, that she gave us a gift. That client has been one of my very good friends for over 15 years.
Contact Laura, (602) 648-8102 or on LinkedIn.com