Name: Laura Gale
Job Title: VP Marketing
Company: United Stationers
Describe what you do in less than 20 words. I help our customers drive more revenue for their businesses and sell more stuff.
What was your first full-time job? Managing a political campaign.
What has been your worst job? Scooping ice cream.
If you weren’t doing your present job, what job would you like to be doing? Writing a novel about life in corporate America.
The best moment in your career? Being inducted into the Production Executive’s Hall of Fame for my work in the publishing industry.
The worst moment in your career? Being thrown out of a customer’s office for being ten minutes late for a meeting.
Your best piece of advice to a colleague? Listen more than you talk.
What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? Sitting on my deck in the woods watching the sunset.
What is your greatest strength? Leading change.
What’s the most memorable travel experience you’ve had while in the OP industry? I travelled to Israel to visit a vendor and that was incredible. I took a couple of days to see the country, and Jerusalem, and it was an unbelievably moving experience.
Your favourite event on the OP circuit and why? The City of Hope Gala Dinner. Everyone turns out and are really into helping CoH. It is always an extraordinary event.
Any annoying habits? Interrupting people when they talk – I am always thinking ahead and have to work at not being rude.
What do you think will be the biggest single issue affecting the OP industry over the next five years? Growing customer intimacy and driving the personalised experience.
What do you like best about the OP industry? The people – I have yet to meet any ‘stinkers’.
The biggest change that has taken place in the industry since your career began? The realisation about how the internet will change customers’ purchasing habits.
Your childhood ambitions? To be in the Ringling Brothers Circus.
Have you got a claim to fame? I was one of the last journalists to interview singer Harry Chapin. I have one of the last videotaped interviews with him.
Which character from a film or TV series do you think most resembles you? Joan Wilder (as played by Kathleen Turner) in Romancing the Stone. She is a good writer, resilient, smart and a hopeless romantic.
How would you like to be remembered? As someone who treated others with kindness and helped them realise their potential.
What is your favourite karaoke song? Que Sera Sera. It is a happy tune and in my key!