A Chat With Sue Landay, President, Trainer’s Warehouse
CS: When did the name change take place?
SL: I would guess three years after the first catalog went out, so around 1996 or 1997. The first catalogs were sent in the Office Images name.
CS: So the whole business started with that one product?
SL: It started with that one product, the frames. The first catalog in ‘94, it was 12 pages. My father looked around the market to find other products to mail to corporate trainers.
CS: How did you get involved in the business?
SL: I had been working as a consultant at a company that taught negotiation skills to corporate customers. I had a marketing background. I had been to Kellogg business school. And I was in a job as a trainer teaching negotiation skills. The company for which I worked was in the process of splintering into a few separate offshoot companies. At the same time I was pretty sick of travel and wanted to stabilize my life a little bit. And at the same time, Trainer’s Warehouse was starting to grow to the point where my dad couldn’t do it all by himself. So the decision for me to join the company was for both of us. He needed help and for me it was the perfect mix between training and marketing. So while I have two sisters, neither of them had the interest nor the background to make it work for them. But it seemed to make sense for both of us for me to give it a go.
CS: What year was that?
SL: That was 1997.
CS: Did you become president that year?
SL: No, I sort of broke things up a bit. I was in charge of marketing; he was in charge of product development. And the receivables and payables, we had little breakdowns for all of those things. It’s evolved over the years as we’ve needed to oversee certain tasks instead of doing them ourselves.