ACW is home to a vibrant community of channel professionals from across the country. We enjoy getting to know them at our in-person events and are happy to introduce you to them in this recurring Membership Matters Q&A. This month we’re getting to know ACW member Laura Gibbs, a regional channel manager and sales trainer at Vivial Media, where she helps grow relationships with channel partners and coach new hires to be successful.
Gibbs has a strong background in outside sales and sales training. She is a quick study of new technology and has an aptitude for building strong relationships with clients and coworkers alike. She uses her talents to contribute to the success of her fellow team members at Vivial Media.
Gibbs joined the channel just last year to introduce the company’s digital marketing solution to the channel. She also co-runs a Leadership Development Program at Vivial.
Why did you join ACW?
I joined ACW to be part of a diverse group of motivated women. I’m a huge advocate of women helping women. The technology space and technology sales space, especially when it comes to management and leadership, is vastly male-dominated. ACW provides a space for women to lift each other up and share their experiences – I love that.
What do you hope to get from and to give to ACW membership?
I hope to learn and pull from the experiences of the other strong, successful women in this group. I’d also love to get more involved locally and help grow our local chapter.
Are you a committee volunteer?
Not yet, but I am hoping to get more involved in my local chapter.
What difficulty have you overcome that impacted your career for the better?
I’m going way back on this one, but it’s so much a part of who I am. My mother raised me, and we struggled financially for most of my childhood, so much so that we even qualified for government assistance. My mother eventually decided to go out on her own and be her own boss, pulling from years of experience working for other people. It was not easy, but watching her journey has taught me several invaluable things about life that have helped me immensely in my career.
- First, I learned that persistence and determination are essential to be successful.
- Second, I learned that being strong does not mean doing everything on your own, but that true strength means recognizing when you need to ask for help.
- And lastly, to be kind.
The kindness and generosity of those around us helped my mother start her business and helped my siblings and I grow into the strong, capable people we are today. My mother’s experience also instilled in me a strong sense of compassion. I feel for business owners, and their success is not only critical but personal to me.
If you were to give yourself advice when you graduated from high school, what would it be?
I would tell myself not to be so hard on myself, trust my instincts and follow my intuition.
What’s the best book – fiction or nonfiction – that you’ve read recently and why?
This is a difficult question as I read a lot, especially during quarantine. I recently finished “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins and was moved by it. It follows a mother and son on their treacherous journey to America after narrowly escaping a Mexican cartel. It was raw and real and takes place during the present time. I enjoyed it for many reasons but primarily because I think it’s important to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. A word comes to mind from “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” by John Koenig: “sonder.” Sonder is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as our own. While I don’t think many of us can relate to the struggles of the main characters in “American Dirt,” I think it’s essential that we try. Understanding where another person has been and what they’ve gone through is the first step to coexisting peacefully.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love being outside. I’m an avid hiker and love exploring new trails. I also love to read and, under normal circumstances, travel. I recently purchased the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass and intend to use it as much as possible in the next year.
What is one personal and one professional goal you have in the next five years?
I want to expand my network and help as many business owners grow their businesses as possible. I genuinely love seeing business owners reach their goals and be successful. On a personal level, I want to start investing in real estate, and I hope to purchase my first property by the end of the year.