After 18 years in the live events/rental and staging side of the business and a subsequent move into integration two years ago, salesperson Alexis B. La Broi, MBA, CTS® — now a systems consultant for Sterling, Virginia-based Avitecture — set herself a new target: to finally try for her CTS certification. She felt motivated and encouraged after attending the inaugural Women of InfoComm Network Breakfast at InfoComm 2015 in Orlando.
“At the WIN breakfast we talked a lot about the importance of certification for women in the industry, so I gave myself a goal to get my CTS by the time InfoComm rolled around this year,” says La Broi.
And then the planets started to align. In October 2015, she was elected to the InfoComm Leadership Search Committee (LSC), a group that finds and mentors volunteers to serve on InfoComm committees and to appear on the InfoComm election ballot; at the first meeting she was again encouraged to get her CTS certification. Then, during a sales meeting, her VP of Sales recommended it as a goal, too.
“These three things happened in a six-month period, so I said, OK, I really need to get it together and reach my one-year goal!”
La Broi began studying in November, and took and passed the test in February 2016. “It was a bit of a learning curve for me, because my experience was so heavily skewed toward live events and I had to translate that to integration. But I used the study guides and the online practice exams and they made all the difference,” she says.
While pushing herself to achieve more has been a primary focus for her this past year, La Broi has spent much of her career guiding, leading and mentoring others. Her mantra is “each one teach one” — “You’re supposed to teach someone you know, so they can move up,” she explains. Her appointment to InfoComm’s Leadership Search Committee is the pinnacle of that mindset.
“It was a real honor to be nominated for the committee. LSC is responsible for helping to identify people to be on the board of directors. Obviously I am a diverse person. I am very often the only black woman in the room.” Plus at almost 6 feet tall, she stands out even more, she says. “I’ve used that to my advantage, and worked hard to prove that whenever someone has taken a chance on me, it’s going to work and it’s a worthy risk.”
La Broi feels she can help recommend people who maybe wouldn’t have been as visible, but who are equally well qualified to be on the InfoComm Board of Directors. “Of course, I’m not only interested in bringing people to the table who are women or people of color, but there are a lot of people like that in my circle. I think it’s great that InfoComm is interested in bringing diversity to the leadership.”
In her downtime, La Broi enjoys mentoring children and youth — she has 6 nieces and nephews, who she takes guardianship of during their summer breaks. She introduces them to the newest technological gadgets that can help them find their way in life. “I really think it is important that we get our younger people interested in technology, and help them harness it to their advantage,” she says.
Although little has changed in the few weeks since receiving her certification, La Broi hopes that having CTS after her name will provide more opportunities for business development and networking within the industry.