The Value of Clients


Clients have played a huge role at Lages – well beyond the obvious revenue generated. Clients have been a source for inspiration, trusted advisors, connections and joy. They, of course, have caused frustration and at times bewilderment…but that’s a story for another time.

Today’s client story is about making a critical introduction – one that would provide an unshakeable grounding for the future. It was 2000 and we were in the midst of the Dot com boom. Never before had we had so many clients and the phones kept ringing. I desperately needed to hire someone that could handle a wide variety of client activities, who had a steel trap mind for details and the management skills to rally our team into a highly efficient force that would continue our stream of successes and keep clients and media happy. Oh yes, and that person had to be smart — very smart and someone who knew and loved tech…and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt how to communicate engineering speak into compelling story lines.

Tom Fedro, entrepreneurial tech executive, and our client, was charting new territory for electronic payments at his company, eCatalystOne. We’d just had an input session and I knew he was busy — and I certainly had my marching orders as there was much to be done to gain traction for their innovation. But Tom always took the time to ask how I was doing and how the agency was doing. And he sincerely wanted to know how things were beyond the bounds of his account. It was at that moment, that I shared with him how I really needed to hire someone to help manage the business. He paused and thoughtfully offered the name of a woman that he thought would be an excellent match. She was a software product marketing manager from Colorado who had recently relocated to Southern California.

Kerry Schneider entered my door at the agency with a big smile, portfolio under her arm and carrying Starbucks coffee for the both us. I thought … well if the interview doesn’t pan out, at least I got to have a good strong cup of coffee. She sold me. She was good, very good. 13 years later, Kerry Fedro (yes …she married my former client Tom) is my VP and most trusted partner.

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