Wes Laird

Guest Blog:
Wes Laird
Chief Marketing Officer

In my life, I have been particularly inspired by three female role models, and collectively, they are why the work we do at USAA with SeeHer is so intensely personal for me.

The first role model is my mother. She taught me integrity, character, work ethic, how to be an Airborne Ranger, and how to be a man. The SeeHer mission represents women, like my mom, authentically.

The second woman who inspires me is retired United States Air Force Colonel and NASA astronaut Eileen Collins, one of the earliest female Air Force pilots and first female commander of a space shuttle. When I was very young and deployed in Grenada, this amazing individual flew in and resupplied us, even though at that time, women weren’t allowed to fly in combat. SeeHer and USAA are dedicated to ensuring that ads and media content authentically represent great heroes like Eileen Collins.

The third person who has inspired me is a co-worker at USAA. Even while joining her family in multiple moves that come with being a military spouse, she has built a great career of her own, earned a graduate degree and continues to work as a top marketing analyst on our USAA marketing data and analytics department. These three women are the type of people we are committed to highlighting authentically through our association with the movement.

SeeHer also offers a number of ways to grow our business. We recently held a SeeHer bootcamp at USAA, and it released a level of energy and excitement about participating I didn’t realize was there and ready to be harnessed, among both women and men.

Using GEM®TM, we’ve been able to track how our ads represent our female members and were very happy to find that the majority of our work scored well above average. Using the methodology, we continue to learn how to represent our female members authentically. This year, our priority going into the upfront is to participate in GEM®TM – certified programming wherever possible.

All of the things we do with SeeHer underscores how proud I am of the military community we serve at USAA. Working on our members’ behalf with SeeHer, we can help to realize a world in which women and girls see themselves as they really are, which is personally and professionally one of the highest honors for me.