Central MA Up + Comer: Vision Advertising CEO Laura Briere
Thursday, April 17, 2014
A conversation with Laura Briere
SW: What was your vision that led you to found your own company?
LB: The vision was to build something awesome that people wanted to be a part of—clients, employees and partners alike. Here I am 15 years later, and I think I’ve built what I set out to build. I get to work with awesome people that make every day great! Where to go from here? Buzz Lightyear said it best: To infinity and beyond!
SW: What do you feel stands Vision Advertising out from other ad agencies?
LB: Vision Advertising is a small company that changes with the market, and is in tune with ever-changing consumer behavioral trends. We help our clients stay ahead of the curve by providing innovative programs, products, and services that reach people where they are, giving a much-needed boost to revenues. We provide metrics and data to prove the success of each of our programs, and can change on a dime if/when needed. One example of our innovation is our own custom-developed application for our clients, which helps them have some control over their online reputation and influence star ratings.
SW: What are you working on now?
LB: I am always working on program efficacy, research and development, continued training and education, and most importantly, client satisfaction. In addition to this normal line-up, I am presently focused on expanding and creating jobs.
SW: What is on the drawing board for 2014?
LB: Quite simply, controlled growth. Expansion is exciting, but it needs to be tempered with a methodical and measured approach to ensure successful growth without it causing more problems than it can solve. The main goals of 2014 are to expand in a controlled pattern, officially launch our new product nationwide, and start to actually market ourselves (we always do everyone else’s and forget to do our own!).
SW: What led you to this career path?
LB: I was the little kid that liked to take apart my toys and see how they worked. I was also the kid that won top prizes for sales fundraisers at school. And I was the kid that won prizes for my artwork and creativity. How to combine all that into an actual vocation wasn’t immediately obvious, but I eventually figured out that science + art + sales = marketing. I started my business when I was 19, and with the help of a few wonderful mentors, I was able to refine my unique value to the world into a viable business model.
SW: Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life?
LB: My parents have been the biggest influence on my life and have largely shaped my values, ethics, and interests. They’ve shown me that the only limits I have are the ones I put on myself, and have never said I couldn’t do something. There’s no way I would be who I am or where I am without them. My parents have inspired me to become a person I’m proud to be, and I’m honored to be like them in so many ways.
SW: How do you spend your free time?
LB: I love to spend time with my husband, family, and friends doing all kinds of things. I enjoy taking classes and learning new things, as well as traveling and creating art of almost any kind.
SW: Are you involved in the community?
LB: Yes, I care a great deal about our community. I’m most passionate about my volunteer work for the Worcester Animal Rescue League and Vision Advertising’s ongoing contributions to their marketing efforts. They do amazing things for the community, and I’m honored to be able to help them do it.
SW: What is your favorite quote?
LB: It’s a tie between two: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” –Yoda and “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” –Bob Marley.
SW: What is a fact that few people know about you?
LB: I can’t swim very well! I nearly drowned when I was a kid during swimming lessons and (unfortunately) it really stuck with me. I couldn’t even swim without a kickboard until I was 22. How embarrassing! Now that I have a pool, I’ve forced myself to learn to tread water, and am getting more comfortable. Maybe by the time I’m 50, I’ll be able to open my eyes underwater.
SW: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
LB: I can’t tell you that! Why spoil the surprise?
Central MA College Standout is a weekly feature that profiles college and university students in Central MA. Join us every Tuesday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of today’s local college student. If you have suggestions for a profile, email [email protected].
Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.
Related Slideshow: Women Leading in Central Massachusetts
Who are some of Central MA's high-level female bosses? GoLocal takes a look at some of the leading women in the region in their respective industries, in the private and nonprofit sectors.
Piehler has been the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts since 1993, overseeing a regional area of 1.7 million people in over 200 cities and towns in Central and Western Massachusetts, and a staff of 30 and 400 volunteers.
Prior to working at the American Red Cross, Piehler was the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city or Worcester. Piehler received her bachelor’s degree in park administration from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree from Clark University with a concentration in non-profit management.
Waterman is currently the CEO of Girls, Inc, the non-profit organization meant to help girls navigate through the challenges of growing up female and to gain the skills and confidence to achieve their dreams. Waterman had previously been President of Leading Women Massachusetts, an organization that provides leadership development solutions for women in organizations.
Waterman, who has 20 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry in the marketing sector, received her bachelors of science in marketing from Bryant in 1985. Waterman's awards include the Stevie Awards Honoree for Women in Business in 2010 and the excellence in Board Leadership in 2012.
Penta is the Founder and CEO of Penta Communications, the regional integrated marketing, advertising, web, interactive media, and public relations firm.
Penta has helped senior level management teams develop shape strategic and effective marketing, advertising and public relations programs, and has served on the Board of Directors at Worcester County Food Bank, the Board of Directors at Worcester Regional Research Bureau, and the Board of Directors at Worcester Community Action Counsel. She received her bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College and her executive education from Harvard University.
Sen has been the President and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club for over 4 years, having previously over 20 years of experience with BJ’s, including having roles as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and logistics,Vice President of Logistics, and Senior Vice President of General Merchandise.
Prior to working at BJ’s, Sen has nearly 30 years of experience in mass retail, working with Zayre Corporation and Jordan Marsh Company. Sen has served on the board of Saint Coletta and Cardinal Cushing Schools of Massachusetts and has provided support to non-profit organizations including the Women's Inn at Pine Street, the Neely House and the Cardinal Cushing Centers Springtime Event.
Sen received her Bachelor’s degree from Boston College.
Stone founded Precision Engineering with her husband Peter in 1988. Located in Uxbridge, Precision Engineering focuses on custom metal sheet fabrication.
The company has grown to include 40,000 square feet of manufacturing, assembly and warehousing space, encompassing two physical plants within Quaker Industrial Park.
Stone is a graduate of Syracuse University.
Engelkemeyer was appointed the 7th President of Nichols College on August 1, 2011 and was officially installed on October 21, 2011, where she now oversees a student body of 1,500 students.
Prior to working at Nichols College, Engelkemeyer worked for Babson College, Ithica College, and the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Engelkemeyer received her Bachelors degree from Stephens college, her Ph.D in Industrial Management from Clemson University, and her M.B.A from East Carolina University. She serves as a peer review team leader for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and served on the board of directors for GOAL/QPC for 20 years.
Rooney, the 13th President of Dean College, as according to the school's website has overseen enrollment that has "more than doubled and overall retention has increased substantially, while new baccalaureate partnerships and programs have been launched to complement the college’s established associate degree programs.
In addition, campus improvements such as new building construction and renovation and Dean’s wireless technology environment have dramatically transformed the campus" -- and under Dr. Rooney’s helm, "Dean College’s financial status has been solidified as endowment has quadrupled from $7.9 million to $32 million."
President and CEO of GFA credit union, Sbrega has been Director of the Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation, Trustee for Mount Wachusett Community College, and Trustee of Heywood Hospital Credit Union and Freedom Credit Union, and acquired a credit union technology service in Rochester, New York.
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