Business Center Manager Spotlight: Laura Gansemer

Are you a dreamer, risk-taker, or doer?

I am a dreamer and a risk-taker! My head is usually up in the clouds somewhere dreaming, but I usually take the jump to make the risk happen.

I left my comfortable job to dive back into world of entrepreneurship and small business. I loved working at a local bike store in college and wanted to get back to an environment that fostered community and creativity.

This risk-taking and dreaming also reflects my personal life. Traveling outside of the States has always been a dream of mine, but there were always reasons not to make that happen. So, when an acquaintance asked me to travel to South Africa, I bought a plane ticket.

What do you enjoy most about supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the heart of every community. They are the movers, shakers, and innovators that drive change and innovation— it’s amazing to be a part of that, and it’s one of my favorite things about being a Business Center Manager. Plus, working with multiple entrepreneurs and small business owners fulfills my craving to learn new things every day.

How many members (businesses) do your support in your location?

Here at Office Evolution in Cedar Rapids, we support 46 businesses. Some of the businesses have multiple employees. We have a wide variety of members that include attorneys, accountants, architects, therapists, IT/tech pros, engineers and more!

What is just one thing you do that adds value to the members’ experience?

I believe it is important that I know my members by name and help them with administration tasks or assisting their clients, even when these members are not in the building. This allows our entrepreneurs and small businesses to maintain a presence at their office while still keeping a flexible schedule, which has been particularly important during the pandemic since some of our members are working from home but their clients still need to drop off paperwork, checks, computers, tax documents, and other things like that. Also, always having someone available during business hours makes their business feel bigger.

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