AV Spotlight: Alexis La Broi, Director of Sales at VER
Q: What is your current position and what responsibilities does it entail?
A: I am the Director of Sales for VER for the Mid-Atlantic and New England. I began with VER in October 2019. I manage teams in Laurel, MD and Boston, MA, and we are responsible for business development and account management of our B2B rental and staging, and hotel event technology customers.
Q: What made you choose or transition to the career path you have today?
A: I worked in live events for 19 years. I decided to transition from live events to AV integration when I was laid off from a company in 2014. I was introduced to a world I never knew about and enjoyed learning all the new things (new to me). I consider myself a lifelong learner and I was sad to lose my job, but I tried a different path because I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain with the new experience.
I transitioned back to live events this past October because I missed events! There is no other feeling as good as walking into an empty ballroom, and 8 hours later it is transformed into a SHOW!
Q: Did you meet anyone along the way that made an impact on you and your career path?
A: There are so many people that have helped me along the way! One such person was Beverly Madden, who I worked with at PSAV. She taught me the difference between having a Mentor and a Sponsor. A mentor can help point you in the right direction and give you guidance, but a sponsor is influential and willing to speak positively on your behalf when you’re not in the room. A sponsor will recommend you for a promotion in a position you didn’t even know existed.
Since then, I have tried to be a sponsor for others when I thought I could help move them forward in their careers.
Q: What was the first job you had and what did you learn from it?
A: My very first job at 16 years old was as a gift- wrapping associate at Montgomery Wards. I learned customer service there! At Wards, the customer was always right. Because of that, we wrapped, for free, anything from shirt boxes to large armoires. As an adult, I know that the customer may be “right,” but I have to explain what the consequences/ expectations that may result when we move forward with a project the way the customer wants to do it vs the best approach to give them a solution that will ultimately be what they are hoping to achieve.
Q: To remain competitive in the job market, what is one critical skill an employee should have?
A: To remain competitive in the job market, you must continue learning. If your organization doesn’t offer training, find training that you can do on your own to sharpen your technical, management, writing skills, etc. Employees are hired for their previous experience as well as their potential. What potential can you show a potential employer when you give an air that you know everything already?
Q: What advice would you give to the you job seekers as they start their careers?
A: Stay in touch with your classmates and co-workers from previous jobs. These are the people that know you well, will recommend you for job opportunities, and will connect with someone in their networks that can help you when you need assistance. Always return the favor when someone you know needs help and you can help them by introducing them to someone in your network.
Q: What is a lesson learned you can share that someone reading this may benefit from?
A: Try very hard not to burn your bridges. In these days of constant M&A, the person you clashed with at company A may become your boss at company B after an unexpected merger or acquisition is completed.
Q: What is something that folks would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I am originally from Gary, IN and after college, I worked as a stage hand at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, IN. It was very hard work and after my first day, my body ached, and my hands were ripped to shreds from unloading/ loading the road cases off and on to the semis. I saw so many great acts like George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic. I saw the “Mother Ship” take off and land from the wings of the stage! The theater no longer exists, but I think it was one of my favorite jobs.
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