5 minutes with: Lindsay DiRuzza

5 minutes with WB Mason's Lindsay DiRuzza.


Describe what you do in fewer than 20 words.

If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me!

If you weren’t doing your present job, what job would you like to be doing?

I would love to get back to teaching aerobics classes and personal training, as getting a workout while working sounds like a pretty good deal! I am all about finding ways to kill two birds with one stone.

What is your best piece of advice to a colleague?

Colleagues who have a work hard, play hard mentality thrive in this industry. I encourage peers to make an investment in their work and embrace challenges, but try to be light-hearted about it and have fun while doing it.

What business book would you recommend as essential reading? 

The Discipline of Market Leaders is a fantastic book. I like to have all of my new employees read it so they can gain some insight into different business models that exist and the pros and cons of each.

What has been your most embarrassing industry-related experience?

I always bring the wrong pen to a writing instrument vendor meeting and I always get called out on it. I bring a BIC pen to a Sanford meeting, a Pentel pen to a Pilot meeting and so on.

What’s your favourite event on the OP circuit? 

I am biased because this is an event that is my baby, but I love our annual WB Mason Sales Convention and Trade Show! Bringing all that energy into one place, filling five days with rich industry and strategic content, all the while spending it with people who are passionate about office products. It is more invigorating and refreshing every year.

What has been the biggest change in the industry since your career began? 

The shift to transacting business via the web has been the most dramatic change. I still remember (and laugh) that I did not have a business email address when I started my full-time career!

What do you think will be the biggest single issue affecting the OP industry over the next five years? 

Dealers need to evolve and focus on the emerging markets, or as we like to say here at WB Mason, the ‘emerged markets’. The marketplace is changing and it is mission critical to adapt by selling products outside OP standards.

What do you like least about the OP industry? 

There are not enough women in leadership.

What were your childhood ambitions? 

I always wanted to be a businesswoman in a power suit! I’ve always been fascinated by the self-confidence and poise that radiates from successful women. 

What things do you begrudge spending money on?

Anything behind the walls in my house – I can’t stand it!

Do you have a tattoo? Details, please! 

Yes, it was a dare by a friend that I did not have the guts to get it – so I did. I don’t react well to dares…

If you had one day to live, what would you do? 

I would take more risks. I play things pretty safe, so living on the edge would be fun for one day.

What is the most memorable travel experience you’ve had in the OP industry?  

This would definitely have to be the moment when I was called on stage with Penn and Teller at Vision in Las Vegas. They levitated me in front of 2,000 people… and I had a dress on! I was red in the face for days to follow. 

Lindsay is a founding board member of Office Products Women in Leadership (OPWIL). Find out more about the organisation at www.opwil.com.