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Laura Dake

Name: Laura Dake
Age: 30
Job Title: Sr. Product Manager of LINQ
Company: AVB Marketing
Years in the Industry: 7
Education: Bachelor of Arts – Mass Communication

Dealerscope’s 40 Under 40 Honoree 2021

Describe your current role.
I’m the Sr. Product Manager for LINQ, which is the product merchandising interface for all of AVB’s websites. My role is to get new features to market, and I’m involved in every step of the process from concept to release.
I typically start out with stakeholder meetings and collaborate with the design team on UX (user experience). Once the design and user flow are solidified, the software development team and I scope out how we want to build the feature. From there, I do a lot of organizing and project planning until we have a prototype to test. This is the fun part! I coordinate beta testing groups both internally and externally to test out the feature and provide feedback. After we receive our feedback, we make adjustments and then release the feature to dealers.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
At the beginning of 2021, we released a completely re-skinned version of our LINQ user interface. I worked with a small crew of software developers and we took our functional legacy system to the next level. The pages were redone for ease of workflow and optimized to be used on any size device.

Rebuilding a UI is no small feat; my team and I poured countless ideas and hours into the project and re-envisioned something truly awesome!

What do you like best about your job?
AVB Marketing is a branch of the AVB Inc. buying group, which means we’re member-owned and not-for-profit. I’m not a cog in a giant corporation, but a valued partner dedicated to helping grow small business. Over the years I’ve built relationships with many dealers and it’s incredibly rewarding to see how the software my team creates makes a real difference in their businesses!
What technology are you most excited about at the moment?
My team has some new features in the pipeline that I’m really excited about. I can’t give the details yet, but some very cool new things are coming to LINQ in the next year!

Who in the CE or technology industry do you look up to, and why?
Whitney Wolfe Herd — CEO of Bumble. Among her many accolades, she’s one of the top female CEOs in tech, and the youngest woman to ever take a company public. Historically, tech has been a male-dominated industry. I love to see women taking on leadership roles and not only being successful but shifting the culture to help more women thrive in their roles.
What career advice would you give to people just getting started in the CE or technology industry?
Be curious! I think the best way to grow in tech is to learn how things work. To try out new technologies and master them, even if it’s just becoming the expert on a new software or product your workplace is adopting. One — you’ll make yourself invaluable to your colleagues, and two — you’ll gain an appetite for learning. From there, you become an innovator: brainstorming new ideas, solving problems, and creating your own technologies.

What, in your opinion, is necessary for the CE/technology industry to thrive in the next five years?
To be early adopters. Even in tech we can get a little too comfortable in the way we’ve always done things. Based on how the world has changed in the last year, it’s more important than ever to be open to, explore, and envision new technologies.