Jo-an Lantz, MAS
Executive Vice President, Geiger, Lewiston, Maine
Years of experience: 36
An average day: I travel a lot so if I am working in the office ... get up at 4 a.m., leave the house (I live south of Boston) and commute about 2.5 hours. When I get to the office I try to park at a different door each time so I enter at a different entrance. I speak to as many associates as possible, so it takes about 45 minutes to get to my desk. My day is full of face-to-face meetings and email.
Leave for my return drive around 3:30. Phone calls are stacked [during the three-hour drive home] between 3:30 and 6:30.
Home, dinner with the family, and then I squeeze in a run. (I am training for the Boston marathon so I train six days a week.) After my run, more email, then bed.
If I am traveling, I work out at 5 a.m. My day is full of being with people. Email and phone calls between periods or after-dinner meetings.
How she got her start: Geiger was the first full-time job after college. I had no intention of staying, but ... I fell in love with my colleagues and the industry.
Her advice to women just starting out in the industry: Find a career path in this industry you love, whether it is sales, customer service, IT, finance or HR. Work hard and network. Your relationships will help tremendously. Have fun. Join your local regional association or PPAI. You will receive far more than you give.
President/CEO, Leaderpromos.com, Columbus, Ohio
Years of experience: 21
An average day: Always crazy-busy, but a lot of fun.
How she got her start: I started in college selling promotional items to fraternities and sororities, and then branched out corporately. This ended up as a full-time career when I graduated.
Her advice to a woman just starting out in the industry: Head down and don't look back. Women are good at achieving the goals they set, so it's important to know where you want to go and to make a plan on how to get there.