2019 Women in Print and Promo: Alexandra DeCenzo Lowe, Hotcards
ALEXANDRA DECENZO LOWE
Senior Account Manager, Hotcards, Cleveland
How she got her start: I had been in the print media sales industry, and was looking for something new, which is when I found a position in the business development department of the Proforma Support Center. Working with Danny Kane and Bill Petrie and learning from them, really gave me a solid understanding of the industry, and it became super exciting. One day, a friend that I had met at Proforma, Greg Schwartz, asked me if I would be interested in becoming an account manager for a small distributor called Hotcards. He said they were developing a new sales team from scratch, and he thought my energy would match the culture perfectly. Turns out, he was 100 percent correct!
What she does: As a senior account manager, I work closely with the sales teams’ largest clients in print and promotional strategies. Clients contact me directly from the beginning of the sales cycle all the way to the end, giving the sales team the support to venture out and find new business. Newer clients, who work closely with the sales executive, utilize my support after the sale has been made. The sales executives and I work as a team, so the clients never feel as though they are forgotten and receive the best experience we can offer.
What brings her joy professionally and personally: The most joy I feel in my professional life is when I know that my hard work made someone else’s day better. We certainly aren’t saving lives here, but we are making someone’s day that much better by providing quality items on or before their due dates. I’m a people pleaser at the end of the day, and helping someone else is what motivates me.
In my personal life, the most joy I have is spending time with my family and six-month-old son. They are my everything.
Her proudest career achievement: The position I accepted at Hotcards was an experiment, and my success and value to the company were being monitored by our CEO, John Gadd. The most proud I felt is when he said, “I am putting a ‘senior’ in front of your title and asking you to train more account managers.” To me, that meant that he recognized that I am a success, and what I do matters to our company and our clients.
On working in a traditionally male-dominated industry: Hotcards is a culture full of forward-thinking individuals that base their judgment on positive attitude and the work you do, rather than gender. Even through a difficult pregnancy and being a new mom, I feel the support of our entire team and never once felt as though I was being passed over due to my “mom” status. Working for a company that values culture and family has been the biggest blessing.
Her job advice to women: Learn from your mistakes, and grow from them; don’t allow them to trip you up. Be sensitive to the culture you are working in—if it is positive and full of support, it will show in your work.
Who she turns to for career advice: I turn to my mother for any and all career advice. She started in the marketing industry as an assistant and recently retired from a glass ceiling-shattering career as a Fortune 500 company executive vice president. Of 25 executive vice presidents, she was the only woman. Her word is gold! How she maintains a work/life balance: As someone who takes her work very seriously, sometimes I find it difficult to shut down at the end of the day. However, a work/life balance is something that is super important to me, so I made rules for myself:
1. I do not have email notifications on my phone.
2. I do not check my email at night.
3. I make sure to take a vacation and totally check out. Following these rules has helped keep me balanced!
Her upcoming goals: Professionally, I hope to continue to grow through my experiences. Every day presents itself with new and exciting challenges, and getting through them and reflecting is how I continue to grow. Personally, I want to soak up every moment of being a new mom and everything that comes with it.
Final thoughts: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you do, own them and learn from them.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.