Claudia T. Laird has enjoyed a dynamic management career providing operating, technical, strategic, and business leadership to manufacturing companies.
Experienced in both turnaround and highgrowth corporate settings, Laird has been successful in identifying and capitalizing on critical development phases, creating market-driven synergies, and generating revenue in diversified manufacturing environments. Laird is notably proficient in the management of multi-unit, international manufacturing operations.
The Bush Administration and the SBA recently appointed Ms. Laird to the National Women’s Business Council. The council serves as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress and the government’s Small Business Administration.
On November 3, 2003 Laird was invited to join Ability Center as Vice President. Ability Center is a full-service company dedicated to providing products and services to the disabled community. She has been asked to shepherd the growth of this small, growing company.
Ability Center is headquartered in San Diego with additional locations in Orange County and Las Vegas. Laird’s leadership and entrepreneurial spirit is steering the expansion, professionalism and growth. Ability Center is the West Coast’s largest mobility company with its “One Stop Shop” concept offering a full line of accessible vans, wheelchairs, adaptive driving equipment and home care medical supplies.
In 1979, Laird brought her innovative entrepreneurial spirit and manufacturing expertise to LIDCO, Inc., a subsurface drainage pipe manufacturing and construction company with over 100 employees in the U.S. and Mexico. Over a seven-year period, Laird increased sales from $2 million to $8 million by building a motivated sales team, designing operational systems to capitalize on market opportunities, and ensuring high customer satisfaction. Laird continued to drive revenue growth by establishing strategic relationships and identifying new distribution channels, including an unprecedented contract with Home Depot in which she negotiated a price structure 5% higher than that of LIDCO’s competitors.
As Chief Operating Officer of LIDCO, Laird was able to effect changes in the manufacturing process, resulting in a 52% increase in monthly production output. She further enhanced productivity and increased profitability by establishing legal, accounting, and environmental procedures in accordance with Mexican Law, and ensuring functional compatibility between the company’s U.S. and Mexican divisions. Laird’s operational experience gave her the opportunity to create a turn-key manufacturing facility for one of LIDCO’s customers-Argentina’s largest sugar grower-further developing and expanding a key business relationship.
Laird attended California State University-San Luis Obispo and the University of California at San Diego. She is a board member of various civic and non-profit organizations, the Past President of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and the recipient of the BRAVO Award in recognition of her service to the business community.