Team Ovation's got a new kid on the block, and we'd love for you to meet her! Get to know a bit about Lori Free, our Director of Business Development, in our new Employee Connections series. With an extensive background in sales, training, and more, Lori is a welcome addition to the team. (Did we mention she did stand-up comedy for a while? No?! Read on...)
Team Ovation: Hi Lori! Tell us a little bit about your time P.O. (Pre-Ovation!)
Lori Free: Most of my career was spent in sales and sales management in the trade show business. I worked for several exhibit marketing firms designing and developing three dimensional marketing solutions both domestically and internationally. I have spent many hours on a trade show floor!
Once my children were on their own, I took the big leap and moved to my vacation home in South Carolina. I spent some time re-evaluating my skills and talents; where I could best utilize them and still have fun.
During my career, I participated in, and sent several employees to, professional development training. I focused my direction on becoming a certified corporate trainer. Over the past five years, I have trained thousands of people in the areas of assertive communications, leadership skills, conflict resolution, and stress management to name a few.
T.O.: What drew you to Ovation?
L.F.: Well, do you know Kerri Garbis? She’s pretty charismatic! Actually, I met Kerri, the President of Ovation, while standing in the omelet line of a hotel in Winston-Salem. And
now, we work together. Moral of the story: You never know who you will meet or where you will meet them. Always take the time to meet the person on the side of you.
I truly believe in life-long learning. I think everyone can improve their communication skills. Effective communication is the essence of our personal and professional growth.
T.O.: Complete this sentence: When I’m working with a client or a potential client, I get most excited when______________________.
L.F.: There is a real connection between information being presented and actual life situations. In the training room, I refer to them as "AhHah" moments. You can actually see it in a person when it happens. And, I love when we can laugh about it.
T.O.: What’s one thing about you that might surprise us to know?
L.F.: In my early years, I dreamed about being an entertainer; just ask my family how many times I practiced on them! There were many singing acts on the stairs leading to our living room. All through high school, I took every opportunity to be in front of an audience; theatre, dance, cheerleading, pageants, and class clown — my favorite. But, the hardest act I ever did was stand-up comedy. They either laugh, or you cry!