048: Just getting out and networking with Laura Gainor

Laura Gainor is the Executive Director of Serve Marketing, the country’s only all-volunteer, non-profit advertising agency, whose mission is to give under-served charitable causes a stronger voice in the community. She also serves as the Executive Director of United Adworkers, Milwaukee’s premier advertising club.

She has experience working with companies in various industries, including non-profit organizations, sports & entertainment, food & beverage, telecommunications, retail, and more. In addition, she has appeared in several magazine and news articles from PR Daily, Milwaukee Business Journal, published in a Sports Marketing book and has been a featured speaker at multiple conferences.

Laura is a proud wife to Brian Gainor and mom to Clara and Garrett.


What is your most favorite campaign you’ve worked on?

·         “I love all the hidden social issues that we help in the local community. We donate over a million hours to groups like The Milwaukee Health Department, The Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee, and The United Way.”

Tell us about United Adworkers.

·         “United Adworkers is one of my big passions, I started there as an intern while I was at UW-Milwaukee and I don’t even remember how I was introduced but it was a great experience and I got my foot in the door all around town.”


What advice would you offer to someone looking for that job that really makes them happy?

·         “I’ve had a lot of interns that aren’t particularly happy with what they’re doing and they just don’t quite know what they want to do. For me, it was when I found this position with United Adworkers and Serve where it doesn’t feel like work, I do it because I love it.”


Share with us one of your best networking stories

·         “I think it’s been United Adworkers in general. That’s why we create the club, so everyone can have a space to network.”


How do you stay in front of your network or community?

·         “It’s a lot of reaching out. I have 14 board members that I’m excited and thankful to have. I always try to stay in contact with people through United Adworkers through the awards that we distribute and we get to connect when they enter or are in the process.”


What advice do you have for business professionals looking to grow their networks?

·         “Go to as many events as you can, there’s always different community events and volunteer events. To really network, you need to reach out to people connect with them. Always be looking for other opportunities.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

·         “I think it’s a mix of both, I’m not as active on Twitter as I used to be. I always connect on LinkedIn but I only connect with people I’ve physically met or been introduced to.”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

·         “I would’ve shared more of my work. I wish I had taken more time to pull together my portfolios and display them digitally.”


Who would you love to connect with and do you think you could do it within 6 degrees?

·         “I’ve recently been very intrigued by Sheryll Sandberg and all the things she’s been through. I’ve been listening to her book ‘Option B’ on the way into Milwaukee and she’s very motivational.”


What book are you reading right now?

·         “Apart from listening to Sheryll Sandberg’s ‘Option B’ I really like mystery books.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

·         “Just get out there and network. You’re never at a point where you should stop networking. It’s fun to have a chance to know so many people and always have a wide variety of friends.”


You can get in contact with Laura at:

Visit servemarketing.org and adworkers.com


Email her at Laura@servemarketing.org