Biography and Background:
As the Director of International Sales, Laura skillfully articulates Logicalis' worldwide solutions and services capabilities both directly to customers and through country-specific marketing materials. She also coordinates RFPs between Logicalis US and its global counterparts, identifies areas of potential strategic growth, and reviews and communicates international processes and procedures to Logicalis' global sales organization. With a 17-year history with Logicalis, Laura is an extremely valuable part of the team focused on providing customers with a seamless global sales and services experience. Her aptitude for international business proved instrumental in Logicalis' 2017 achievement of the Cisco Global Gold certification, a stringent partner certification that acknowledges a solution provider's expertise across all regions and geographies, authenticating the solution provider's ability to plan, design, implement and operate Cisco solutions without borders.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
To serve multi-national clients effectively, it's critical for Logicalis to provide consistency in the services and support we bring to global engagements. Together with other Logicalis employees - including Renae Johnson who is also being nominated for WOTC - I helped secure Logicalis' Cisco Global Gold certification in late 2017, making Logicalis one of only six organizations worldwide to hold this elite certification. Earning this certification required an arduous five-hour audit of our global commerce readiness, including our understanding of global processes, procedures and legal regulations, and a demonstration of these skills through customer success stories. Achieving this milestone, however, demonstrated the seamless nature of our international business transactions, something which has resulted in new multi-million-dollar sales wins and RFPs. Earning the Cisco Global Gold certification proves that the hard work and dedication of our Cisco sales and support team has been recognized and validated both by Cisco and our own global customers. It also provides a reliable benchmark that tells prospective customers, when they choose Logicalis as their multi-national IT solution provider, they will receive unprecedented consistency and quality of work in every region of the world, something which makes their global projects significantly easier to manage and implement.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Promoting our Cisco Global Gold status among multi-national customers and prospects will be my top priority this year. When Logicalis secures a multi-national account, our global capabilities help us quickly broaden our sales footprint with additional OEMs and services as well. Therefore, I expect to see significant YoY sales growth in our global Cisco business as well as an expansion of opportunities with other partner solutions. I also plan to simplify our operations and processes with new internal tools and global education initiatives that will allow us to pursue a more proactive - rather than reactive - global sales strategy.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
As noted above, I was instrumental in helping Logicalis earn its Cisco Global Gold certification, a significant step in documenting the seamless nature of our international business transactions. We earned the certification in late 2017 and became one of only six solution providers worldwide to hold this elite designation. Additionally, I've been on a personal health journey this year after a diagnosis of breast cancer and the discovery that I test positive for the BRCA2 gene. Following a 30-day radiation regimen, I received a certificate of completion, and I've never felt more satisfaction or elation than on that day.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire Rosann Cavallaro, Organizational Effectiveness Director in Apple's HR department. Rosann takes "leaps of faith" in her career that, because she's a divorced mother, make me appreciate her fearlessness, courage and confidence even more. After 20 years in VP-level retail positions with Gap and Children's Place, when Apple approached Rosann about building its Western retail presence, she took the leap, despite having no technology background. Later, to become the best version of herself as both an executive and a mother, she took a second career leap from the field into Apple's HR department, once again demonstrating her unwavering self-confidence.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Life is a journey that takes many unforeseen turns. The roads you think you want to travel at 16 will change in the decades ahead - and that's ok. So, lighten up, enjoy and be present in the moments you are given. Believe unwaveringly in yourself. And gather around you a "tribe" of people you trust implicitly. They will be your strength when you lack confidence; they will give you advice if you will listen; and they will provide all the smiles and laughter you need to stay young at heart.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would one day like to master a foreign language and speak it fluently. While English is a universal language and I can communicate with customers and colleagues worldwide speaking only English well, as the director of international sales at Logicalis, I have come to believe that being able to converse fluently in another person's native language builds a level of trust and credibility that can be a valuable asset. I admire people who are multi-lingual and would encourage anyone who has taken a foreign language to nurture that skill - you never know when you might need it.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Permission to Screw Up by Kristen Hadeed. This is the true story of one woman's journey from student entrepreneur to successful businesswoman. Hadeed's journey began in college when she launched "Student Maid," a cleaning service that employed strictly college students. Though she made many mistakes along the way, Hadeed credits the business' ultimate success to those mistakes and the lessons they taught her, admitting her achievements are "all thanks to the extraordinary amount of screwing up I've done over the years." While entertaining, the book has a serious message about overcoming obstacles along the road to success.
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