Laurie Benson co founded Inacom Information Systems in 1984 and ran it for 25 years. She grew the startup to $80M with 150+ employees. She successfully exited the company to CoreBTS in 2009.

She served on 7 corporate boards and founded LSB Unlimited where she advises CEO’s, Presidents and Entrepreneurs.

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What will you learn in this interview?
-What are some of her biggest lessons in business?
-What helped her to become more courageous?
-What lessons did she learn as a child that helped shape her?
-How did she learn to keep herself open to new opportunities?
-What is the biggest lesson she learned early on as it relates to generosity?
-What leadership qualities should we all embody?
-Why you should always move forward with a sense of urgency?
-What are the two types of leaders she discusses from a Chinese Proverb?
-What does she do to nudge people to create a sense of urgency?
-What does it take to be a great listener?
-How does she manage the hiring and training processes?
-What were some of her lowest points?
-What is her proudest personal/business moment?

FUN FACT:
She loves to keep a low profile if possible and doesn’t even have a website.

Business Mentors, Tools, Books mentioned:
Loren Mortenson
Gary Hoffman

A little background about Laurie Benson:

Laurie Benson is an accomplished corporate executive, entrepreneur and corporate board director. She has served on seven Corporate Boards in the Technology, Finance, Insurance, Manufacturing and Services industries. Additionally, she has expertise and is actively engaged in the Healthcare Industry through board service, executive leadership and innovation roles. As a successful CEO of an IT consulting company, Ms. Benson grew revenues from startup to $80M with 150+ employees across 3 offices.

Currently, she is CEO of a board and strategy consulting company, LSB UNLIMITED.
Ms. Benson serves as a C-Suite Advisor to CEOs, Presidents, and Entrepreneurs on complex issues including board governance, strategy, business growth, innovation, high performance teams, human resources and succession planning.

She developed this capability through her 25 years as CEO and Co-Founder of Inacom Information Systems (1984 – 2009), where she grew this IT systems integrator to $80M at time of sale to Core BTS. The company was recognized as Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner of the Year for client-centered implementations and for being one of the largest Microsoft Education Centers in the US. In addition, the company consistently achieved high-level national industry partner rankings with Cisco, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and EMC.

Through her entrepreneurial success, she was selected by Ingram Micro executives to represent technology industry peers through VentureTech Network Council, an industry peer group representing aggregate revenues of $1.2B, where she served as Council Representative (2000 – 2005) and Chair (2002 – 2004).

Currently her nonprofit board leadership includes:

American Family Children’s Hospital Board of Advisors, Madison, WI
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing
WWBIC (WI Women’s Business Initiative Corporation)
UW-Madison School of Business, MBA Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

Over the years, Ms. Benson has received numerous awards. She was honored with the UW Madison Distinguished Alumni Award 2013; UW Madison Chancellor’s Entrepreneurial Achievement Award 2013; “In Business” 2011 Executive Hall of Fame; ATHENA Award 2010; and National SBA Women Business Champion 2009. In addition, she was recognized in Directors & Boards Magazine, “Directors to Watch” 2013.

Ms. Benson’s ongoing leadership and involvement in healthcare organizations originally stems from her University of Wisconsin-Madison Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She is a Member of US Women Business Leaders in Healthcare (WBL).

She demonstrates leadership in board governance as an active Member of: National Association Corporate Directors (NACD); Women Corporate Directors (WCD); and Global Board Ready Women. She regularly attends board seminars and conferences including Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA), NYSE/Euronext “Moving the Needle,” and SAIS Global Summit. She is an accomplished Speaker and was a Subject Matter Expert at the American Express OPEN Inaugural CEO Boot Camp, NYC in 2013.

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