This is the Way: Laird Rixford

November 10, 2015 Becky Schroeder

This is the Way I Work: Laird Rixford

Laird Rixford started his career nearly 20 years ago as network administrator at ITC. Now he's the president of the same company where he started, but his career has taken him in many directions. Over the years he has been the IT guy, a website designer, programmer, salesperson, business owner, and consultant. He travels the country representing ITC at industry conferences and events where he speaks on technology, marketing and the future of the industry.

With a project list that is long and varied, Laird approaches his tasks with almost single-minded focus until the project is complete and goals accomplished. I spoke with Laird about the technology he uses and how he manages his to-do list. This is the way Laird works.


One word that describes how you like to work: Intense
Current mobile device: Google Nexus 6P
Current computer: Dell Precision M3800, Microsoft Surface Pro
Project(s) you're currently working on: My favorite role at ITC is my job as the company's Skunk Works. I find problems known or unknown and design a solution. As for projects I'm currently working on, see what comes out in six months.

Accomplishments you're proud of:

I have two on this one. I was told from a very early time that I would never be a pilot. I even listened to it for a long time. I decided to do something that I was told I could not do...and I did it. The second was starting a business from scratch. Selling that business. Then growing the combined company farther than ever imagined.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

With ITC I want to provide technology solutions to insurance agents that help them achieve their full potential. Personally, my goal is to take more time off.

Aside from your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without and why?

My Jaybird BlueBud X wireless headphones, I use them everywhere, planes, gym and even at the office.

What technology, apps or tools can't you live without?

Mobile internet. Wikipedia. Feedly for reading blogs. Most importantly, spell check.

Describe your workspace.

My desk is pretty clean and I only use a single monitor unlike other people at ITC. I just have expeditious use of Alt+Tab.

How do you manage your to-do list?

Microsoft OneNote

What do you do when you finish a project?


What's your best time-saving tip or hack?

If you need to get up and do something make sure you string together other stops from your to-do list and handle them along the way. A job like grabbing a soft drink from the breakroom turns into a thirty-minute journey as I ask for updates on various projects while en route.

What is your best everyday habit?

Everyday I spend a dedicated amount of time reading various blogs and news stories. These vary greatly and often lead me down the great rabbit hole that is Wikipedia.

What do you listen to while working?

Tool. Deftones. Fair to Midland. Any post-rock band.

What are you currently reading?

The Martian by Andy Weir

How do you decompress?

Going flying. When you become a pilot you are told to not fly when stressed, yet flying completely relaxes me. If I'm not able to fly, then listening to music is the next best thing.

What's your sleep routine like?

Not enough. I sleep between four and five hours a day.

Who are your business idols and why?

Marcus Lemonis would be one of them. He can look at a business and find ways to improve it through improvements that usually require looking at a problem in a different way. Michael Dell and Mark Cuban are also on my list. I guess I have a thing for tech entrepreneurs.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

'Hire people smarter than yourself.'

What would you be doing if you weren't president of ITC?

Owning and flying a charter floatplane throughout the Caribbean.

Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?

Ryan Hanley

The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.

About the Author

Becky Schroeder

As Chief Marketing Officer, Becky Schroeder is responsible for driving ITC’s overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include creating and documenting processes; establishing metrics for managing those processes; developing content strategy and generating leads; and developing marketing strategy. Becky was named an Elite Woman in Insurance by Insurance Business America in 2016. She has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.

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