I grew up sitting at my father’s feet while listening to him on the phone "closing the next deal". I have always loved business; the art of it, the challenge of it, the energy! My great uncle, Henry Rosenfeld, was a prominent fashion designer and dressmaker. His offices took up two floors of the Empire State Building. My father would often recount stories of the New York elite, famous people and the mob — all of which were part of the scene at Henry Rosenfeld’s. My uncle was the patriarch; everyone hung on his word. He had a strength about him, charisma …he had chutzpah! We all worked for Uncle Henry and it was this tapestry of family and business that shaped me. The lines were blurred, we were always working — and I loved it!
Although I am a first generation west coaster, my roots will always be in New York. My father's accent is so thick that I didn't realize 'next door' were two words until I was in my teens. Raised in The San Fernando Valley "The Valley", I guess one would call me a "Valley Girl" ... A "Valley Girl' who is still connected, through her lineage, to New York; the accent, the city, the constant movement ... the constant work.
It was the weekend, a time when other families were playing and doing chores. For us, dawn hadn't even broken and we were already on our way to the swap meet. We had a van full of goods to be sold and we were going to sell them. As a kid, I was at the office reading Women’s Wear Daily Magazine (WWD) or the never-ending telexes from China. My mother was certain that I would grow up to be a retail buyer; I … wanted to run the family business so I continued on my journey learning about business. By the times I was 15, I was the assistant manager at a clothing store. After working a few Christmases in the retail world, I decided it wasn’t for me. During my first year in college, I landed a job at Drexel Burnham Lambert. It was terribly exciting and extremely opulent. The perfect job for a college girl; valet parking, catered meals (kept me from going hungry), and the opportunity to work at a high profile firm — with the brilliant Michael Milken. But as it turned out, the industry was much too pretentious for me.
Unfortunately, working in the family business was not an option for me either. Uncle Henry wanted me to model, I liked food! I think he hung up on me when I told him, "Uncle Henry, I am not interested in modeling ... I want to learn how the business is run!" Perhaps I inherited a little of Uncle Henry's chutzpah!
I’ll never forget the day I was hired at Landmark Entertainment Group. This was the impetus for change. I started as a project coordinator. However, management soon caught on that I had the gift of networking. It was 1988 and one of my projects was to coordinate the IAAPA Conference. Once our team had everything set up, I couldn’t leave the convention floor. I wanted to know everyone, I wanted to share our story and I wanted to take it all in.
To know me is to know that I am always making friends and I am always sharing my passion. Whether it is the amazing sandwich at the shop down the street or putting people and places together, I am always sharing my excitement. … It was this passion that was the force behind my work at Iwerks Entertainment. A crazy, thrilling time at Iwerks I grabbed the bull by the horns and never let go. At the time, I was hitting over 20 trade shows & conferences a year while traveling 5 or 6 days a week — taking meetings in a different state every day. I enjoyed walking theme parks as I watched the faces of kids and listened to their excitement. As I visited attractions, I looked to experience them through the eyes of the guest.
It was during the time that I was at Iwerks that I met my husband, Ron Jobson. He gave me the courage to take my passion and my experience and put them together to create my own firm — Link Management; linking people, places, and projects. Then in 2000 Ron and I merged our lives and our businesses together — creating a foundation for our own family.
The day I held my first born I knew I needed to take all of my energy, passion, and determination and pour it into being a mother. As always, I rolled up my sleeves and jumped in with both feet. Before I knew it, I was making baby food from scratch, cloth diapering and volunteering with a mother’s support group. Once my children were in grade school, I stepped in as ‘room mom’, participating in every single field trip and had my own opinions about education!
During this time I was more of a sounding-board for our company, ForSight Creations. And for the first time, I saw things from the perspective of a family; the needs, wants and characteristics of children. The things that exhilarate and exhaust parents … the value of each moment. ForSight has thrived and progressed well. It is a company that I am proud to be a part of and continues to prosper.
My love and passion for business have never waned. It is because of that passion that I thrive in two worlds. First and foremost, I am a wife, a mom, and a business partner. I am also compelled toward industry, business and what makes succeed. Thankfully, I am tremendously blessed in that I have a husband that supports me, kids that drive me and an industry that embraces me.
As I returned to IAAPA, after being gone for too long, it was invigorating! That first night as I was sharing my excitement with friends I said, "it feels like a high school reunion!". To which one friend replied; “no, LM, it is a family reunion.” And so I am home.