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SouthData Spotlight: Lora Southard

SouthData Spotlight: Lora Southard

Nov 02 2017

Lora Southard is the Vice President of Sales for HOA, Government and Utilities Markets at SouthData, Inc.  She’s in her 13th year with SDI, and here she talks about growing with the company, her proudest accomplishment thus far, and what she’s most excited about looking ahead. She also reveals what she looks for in a new hire and—get ready, locals—her favorite spot to eat in Mt. Airy.

Talk a little bit about how your role has evolved at SouthData.

I was hired as an analyst looking at declining and lost businesses. After about a year as an analyst, John Springthorpe [President and Chief Operating Officer of SouthData who recently retired] decided that I had a knack for sales and moved me into the sales department. I started in sales in the government arena as a sales representative, then from there I went onto become an Account Executive, Regional Sales Manager, National Sales Manager, and now I’m the Vice President of Sales for HOA, Government and Utilities for SouthData.

What are you most proud of that you've accomplished here?

Turning the utility and government market into a profitable vertical. For the first probably three years, it was undecided if we would even keep those two markets. In the last nine years, I’m happy to say that we’ve made those markets a valuable part of what SouthData does. So that’s been my greatest accomplishment, thus far.

What are you most excited about that’s happening at the company right now?

I’m most excited about what we are doing right now in the HOA industry. We are redefining our turn times, reorganizing, putting an emphasis on customer service, and expanding our product line.

When you're putting together a sales team or hiring someone new, what do you look for in people?

The ability to think outside the box. Someone who has lots of energy and enthusiasm and is willing to go above and beyond.

When you talk to prospects about SouthData, what are some of the things you tell them about the company that distinguishes it?

Our integrity of doing the right thing. We genuinely want to develop services and products that help our customers. The people here are invested in what they do which truly makes a difference. There’s a writing on the wall in the manufacturing area that says “SouthData, a unique combination of technology and talent” and I truly believe that. I also think the company’s dedication to invest in the equipment and the processes and the talent to keep up with today’s marketplace really sets us apart from others.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Be yourself.

 

Lightning Round!

Morning person or night owl? Night owl

Lunch at desk or lunch out? Lunch out

Favorite place to eat in Mt. Airy? Mill Creek General Store

What's the best Halloween costume you've ever done? The Peanuts gang that the Sales department came up with this year

I can't start the day without:  Good morning kisses from my daughters