Hello, Adworkers. It’s an honor to be here.

Thursday January 29, 2015

written by Laura Gainor

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Happy 2015, Adworkers! I am beyond honored to be able to call myself the Executive Director of United Adworkers, and I hope I make you proud.


It means a lot to have been asked by Heidi Sterricker to lead a club of some of the most successful and talented people I know. Just the fact that she thought I would be able to continue to build up the legacy she created over the last 7 years with Adworkers, is incredible. I absolutely love the advertising industry and United Adworkers. Out of all the jobs I’ve held in my career, this has got to top the list.

My path to today has been filled with learning from some of the most incredibly smart and talented people I know. I received a dual degree from UWM in fine arts-photography and journalism-advertising. In college, I got the opportunity to intern for United Adworkers and BVK. At the end of those internships, I didn’t have a job lined up, so I thought what the hell am I going to do now? I’ll move to Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ve never been there in my life, but sounds like an awesome idea. So I did.

Networking and ad clubs have always been a strong passion of mine and I make sure to tell students to get out there and meet as many people as possible. When I got to Charlotte, I did just that and went to an ad club event and immediately got a job at Greenspon Advertising. And later moved onto Yodle, working in online marketing.

I met Brian Gainor at a bar in Charlotte, and immediately discovered we both had a huge love for marketing, and each other. After we got married I made another crazy decision and took the leap to launch Blue Wheel Photography with the wickedly talented photographer, Brent Gulledge. Shortly after launching the brand, GMR Marketing asked Brian to move to Milwaukee. An opportunity to go back to the advertising community I love, be near my family, but at the same time, miss the amazing friends and city we grew to love.

Off I was to create a social media campaign to get myself hired at Comet Branding, led by Sara Meaney and Al Krueger. Comet was one of the most transforming parts of my career, where I learned a lot and had some great laughs. Which then brought me onto GMR Marketing to work under the digital king, Bryan Rasch. I had an opportunity of a lifetime to work on some of the most admired brands, became a fan of NASCAR, connecting fans from the track to online, and was inspired every day by co-workers.

Today, I am fortunate to call myself a mom to two full-of-life kids, Clara and Garrett, who make Brian and I extremely proud every day. I currently work as a social and digital marketing consultant, managing marketing and communications for Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, among other brands.

It has been an exciting journey. I hope to one day be able to say I helped Milwaukee students achieve their career dreams, created unforgettable moments for local professionals in the industry and tremendously grew the best ad club in the nation, United Adworkers. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with your ideas for the club or how you would like to help in our efforts to strengthen the organization. This club is for everyone.

My Top 5 Adworkers Goals for 2015:

  1. Get the opportunity to meet and connect with as many Milwaukee advertising professionals, and students, as possible.
  2. Strategize and amplify the Adworkers student mentorship program, creating valuable resources and networking opportunities for our Milwaukee up-and-comers.
  3. Work with our outstanding Adworkers Board to bring some of the most innovative, talented and inspirational speakers to Milwaukee for Adworkers speaker events.
  4. Make the Adworkers website and blog a top destination for Milwaukee advertising professionals to find valuable resources, idea-sharing opportunities, promote local talent, highlight agency achievements, member spotlights, and overall, bring more value to our Adworkers members
  5. Continue to follow in the success that Heidi Sterricker and the Board have built, and host another kick-ass Milwaukee 99 Awards Show, the best showcase of creative talent in the nation!

Now, after that novel of a biography, I hope to see you soon or connect online!

Laura Gainor

Connect with me on LinkedIn

One last special thank you to our almighty President, Lucian McAfee, for taking the time to capture some fun portraits! He’s extremely talented, folks.

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