When president Scott Gates asked Laura Hahnefeld to make Western Window Systems’ monthly company gatherings “even more awesome,” he might not have imagined that would mean he and other executive leaders would be doing things like cracking eggs on their heads and getting covered in glitter during games which put them at the mercy of their employees.
But he probably wasn’t surprised – because that’s the kind of creative adventure Hahnefeld brings to Western Window Systems as vice president of marketing. “She has done an incredible job of bringing energy, excitement, and enthusiasm, and making these monthly gatherings different because she cares about you,” Gates said at the gathering in July.
Hahnefeld began working at Western Window Systems in February 2014 and has led a small but dynamic marketing department through an explosive period of company growth – and some growing pains. “When things get hard, tensions get high,” Gates says. “What Laura is so good at doing is cutting the tension – with humor, but also with candor.”
Her sense of humor and reputation for caring are two attributes that make her a great leader, Gates says. “We are busy, busy, busy at Western, all the time. But what we are first and foremost are people who come to work every day and work together,” he says. “And one of the things we expect from our leaders is that you always see the people before the job. She does that all the time.”
When it comes to her role as a strategic communicator, “We have probably the best marketing in the industry,” Gates says. “We project an image that is unlike anything in the market, and she’s the leader making that happen.”
Congratulations, Laura Hahnefeld, on being manager of the quarter for July!
Learn more about Laura Hahnefeld by reading her Q&A below:
Where are you from?
What song would you say best sums you up?
“Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill
What is your favorite sport to watch or play?
What are your hobbies?
Music, cooking, reading, biking, movies, and puzzles (crossword and jigsaw)
Who do you look up to/admire?
The great authors of the world
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
If money were no object, what would you do all day?
What is your favorite family recipe?
My grandma’s chocolate cake
What is your favorite movie?
What is your biggest success up until now?
Marrying my best friend
What’s your favorite part of working at Western Window Systems?
Learning about the remarkable people behind everything we do
What is one fun fact about yourself that almost no one knows?
My writing was published in a book (twice!).