WiAF Spotlight: Laura Rideout
SG - December 2, 2021 - Featured Content Area
Laura Rideout, Senior Manager National Sales: TD Business Banking, Equipment Finance
What brought you to the asset-based finance and leasing industry?
Many years ago, I started my career at Pitney Bowes Leasing. Through a family friend I was brought into the leasing world. I quickly enjoyed this fast-paced business and excelled to more responsibility. I felt this industry was both exciting and challenging and every opportunity was different. I also was extremely fortunate to have a fabulous mentor guide me, Pat Opie, who was a legend in this industry!
What do you wish you had known when you started out in this industry?
When you are young you might not have the confidence to ask questions and speak up. Successful people speak up and they don't hesitate to ask questions. I wish I would have learned earlier that asking questions is necessary. Clients love to talk about their business and understanding their needs through questions is key, then speaking to a solution. You are in fact building a relationship as a trusted partner.
What do you like about working in this industry?
I really enjoy finding the right solution and structure for clients. Listening to what their business needs are to grow and being able to deliver exactly the solution that will help. Each client and business are unique and have different needs to fulfil, listening keeps me learning, which is so important to my personal growth.
What motivates you?
I am very competitive by nature! As I lead a sales team, it is their wins that keep me motivated. I want to assist my team with my experience and best practices, to help them be successful and win more opportunities.
What is your greatest achievement?
Honestly, my greatest achievement would be that while building a successful career for myself I was also able to become a Mother and raise along with my husband, two wonderful young men. I am so very proud of both my sons and all their accomplishments.
How do you feel the industry has changed since you began your career?
Oh goodness, this industry has certainly evolved since I began my career. Technology has made it possible to reach more customers faster, which means more sales. From credit applications to documentation the digital age has changed so much. One Salesperson can cover a much larger territory and certainly bring more opportunities. I believe we are already evolving forward here at TD Equipment Finance as we are very involved with TD's Environmental Green Focus, which includes Clean Transportation, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Pollution Prevention and Environmentally sustainable management. All very important areas as we evolve to improve environmentally.
What do you feel you still want to keep working on?
I want to keep working on giving back. I have been very fortunate that some terrifically talented mentors and coaches supported and encouraged me throughout my career. At TD Equipment Finance we have an Associate program that I am very involved with, we find young talented individuals, mentor, and coach them to learn our business. They are our rising stars for the future in the leasing industry.
How do you overcome the challenges you face at work?
Challenges need solutions and I try to find them, sometimes several! That is what makes our jobs interesting, if there was nothing to solve it would be quite boring. Trying to keep emotions at bay is truly the challenge but a wise woman once told me, come prepared, come with the facts. The facts say everything!
What industry is your favourite industry to finance and why?
I have had the pleasure of financing a lot of different industries and equipment along the way. I would say the bus industry I quite enjoyed. The busing industry, from school bus fleets to coach tour buses, understanding this world of scheduling, maintenance, and operations. It is quite amazing how many people and children are transported safely everyday!
What is your number one travel destination and why?
Well, I'm going to say Jamaica because for the last two years we have been trying to get there. Unfortunately, the pandemic has had us cancel twice. We are rebooked for January, so hoping third time is a charm!
What is one of your favourite books and why?
I'm reading right now, "The Power of Moments" by Chip and Dan Heath.
It is an interesting read, takes you into the mysteries of experience, your best and worst moments. Why we feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they are not.
What sports do you play and why is it important to you?
As a competitive person I have always enjoyed sports and being part of a team. I played quite competitive softball for over 30 years. Just great exercise and being part of a team helps people in life situations to work together and accomplish more! Only in the last few years hanging up the glove so I could save my knees for golf!
What do you like to do when you are not behind your desk?
I enjoy many social gatherings with my husband Jon, lots of sports events (Big Michigan Wolverines football and Blue Jays fans) We also have two Labrador retrievers Benny and the Jett, with a new female puppy on the way coming to the Rideout family end of January! We love to take the dogs for lots of walks on the Bruce trail. It's a good life!