Community//

A Discussion with Laura Pegler On Playing to Your Strengths and Improving on Your Weaknesses

Laura Pegler was born in New York City. She earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree from Seattle Pacific University. She has extensive experience in both television and entertainment, and has worked for NBC Sports during the 1988 Summer Olympics. Her knowledge of the Spanish language has enabled her to […]

Laura Pegler
Laura Pegler

Laura Pegler was born in New York City. She earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree from Seattle Pacific University. She has extensive experience in both television and entertainment, and has worked for NBC Sports during the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Her knowledge of the Spanish language has enabled her to work on several Spanish language projects. Upon graduation from college, Laura developed a 5-episode pilot of the Spanish-language version of ‘Star Search’ with Telerep (Buscando Estrellas con Budweiser), the same company that put on the English version with Ed McMahon.

Pegler also managed a department for NBC Sports during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Her work in entertainment also led her to work in publicity for Universal Studios, where she was heavily involved in the promotion of Universal through hispanic media.

Over the last 20 years, Laura Pegler has worked as a contractor and PMP in a Project Management capacity for several notable companies including the Walt Disney Company, Weyerhaeuser, VWR and Television Equipment Associates. Pegler was promoted to V.P. of Marketing for Television Equipment Associates in 2016 but has recently retired – at least for the time being.

She considers her most important accomplishment however, to have cared for her elderly father Bill Pegler for the last seven years of his life. Laura’s father was the Founder of Television Equipment Associates (TEA), a tactical communications company, and his entrepreneurial spirit led TEA to be the recognized as the industry leader that it is today. Pegler notes that there is no greater honor than to care for one’s parents.

Today, Laura Pegler is actively involved in dog and cat rescue operations in North Carolina and has dedicated her time to helping animals while educating the public on the importance of spay & neutering.

What does a typical day consist of for you?

I am in the process of building a house right now, so I work daily with contractors, designers and architects. I also am involved heavily in dog and cat rescue here in NC. The kill rate in N.C. is one of the highest in the nation so I try my best to save lives by pulling animals from shelters before they are euthanized. I vet them, try to get them fat and healthy, and then I pass them to local rescues. Sometimes I transport them to rescues in New England and eastern Canada. I am also actively involved with several Christian charities, most particularly the Christian Broadcasting Network and Samaritan’s Purse.

2. You do a lot of great work with a pet rescue group in North Carolina. Could you tell our readers a little bit about how they could get involved?

The best thing to do is to contact your local rescues and animal shelters and offer to foster. Fostering is the number one way to save a life, and all it takes is opening up your home to a caring animal who would otherwise be euthanized.

3. What keeps you motivated?

I am a Christian and am motivated by the Lord Jesus Christ. I feel it is my responsibility as a Christian to do my best to serve the needy whether they are human or animal. I am always excited and motivated when the projects I am involved in improve the lives of those who desperately need it.

4. Who has been a role model to you and why?

My pastor, Reverend Richard Herritt of Pennsylvania was and still is my role model. I met Reverend Herritt in 2004 and he taught me how to live an effective and purposeful Christian life. He was relentless in drilling tons of important scripture and teachings into my head. His life alone and his way of interacting with people has encouraged me to aspire to be the best version of myself. More importantly, he taught me how to have a relationship with God. I hold these teachings very close to my heart.

5. How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?

Quite simply, I don’t. I wish I did but I only seem to know 2 speeds in my head; Fast-forward and stop. I work feverishly to meet important deadlines but find that sometimes I can burn myself out by not cutting out proper boundaries in my work and life. Many times, I must integrate both sides simultaneously and I find that I am very deadline driven. It is meaningful to me to successfully implement important projects that sometimes my personal life gets thrown to the curb. I’m still working on this. But then again, I’ve never met many people who have been truly successful at balancing the two. All we can do is try at the end of the day. I’m still trying!

6. You’re the former owner of Television Equipment Associates, Inc., a company founded by your father, Bill, in 1969. What are your first memories of getting involved in the family business?

My earliest memories of being involved in the family business were when I was 7 years old in 1972. My father would recruit me to stuff, seal, stamp and label envelopes with marketing and promotional materials and he would pay me 1 cent per envelope. I was thrilled by the big money and yet I had no idea how important such a simple job could be. Marketing and promotion are the bread of all companies. Without it, companies cannot thrive. But in my eyes, that pocket change could buy a whole lot of candy so I was incredibly motivated.

7. What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten? Who did it come from?

Hilariously, I would say it came from Universal Studios. I briefly contracted with Universal Music group (who had recently acquired Polygram Records). A member of management was overheard saying during a difficult time, “You’re only as good as your last record.” I laughed because that could literally be applied in real life. You cannot sit on previous accomplishments from years ago when your current work and life projects are unimpressive. You must always strive to be and do your best. Taking ‘breathers’ are important but always remember you will be judged by the success of your work.

8. What is your biggest accomplishment?

It’s a tie between working on ‘Star Search’ and managing a department for NBC Sports during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. I do really well in environments where rules and standards have not yet been thoroughly established because the job has never really been done before. In the case of both these jobs, I was required to establish the standards, supervise the setup and execute my job with little to go on. While NBC had already televised an Olympics in Korea in 1988, they had not televised an Olympics in Spain (where the language, environment and culture are foreign). I thrive in unfamiliar environments and easily jump right into situations that would make others think twice.

9. What advice would you have for a 16-year old Laura Pegler?

I would tell her that she is much more talented that she gives herself credit for, and that the past does not dictate the future. I would tell her that the portrait has not yet been drawn so she should aim high and fill it with whatever her heart desires and not be afraid; that even her failings will lead to success. I would also tell her to learn a third language before she turned 18.

Most importantly, I would tell her to seek the truth about Jesus… that she will find it if she looks and it will spare her a lot of pain later.

10. Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

I believe I am defined and that we are all defined by our level of transparency, dependability, predictability, integrity, steadiness and our ability to make and keep commitments. In the unstable and unpredictable world that we currently live in, these attributes will define you and you will stand out before your peers and before God if you do them well.

11. You consider yourself to be a born-again Christian. What led you to invest more in your faith and how has your life changed since?

I have learned an important lesson; That you can’t turn a Cuisinart into a lawnmower. God has created an instruction manual for your body, mind, soul, spirit, will and emotions. It’s called the Bible and its contents demonstrate how we are to live and what will happen when we use our bodies and minds in ways which are outside of the intended instruction manual. Unfortunately, in today’s society, people do not understand this and they push their bodies, minds and spirits in directions which are so adverse and backwards, that they literally do harm to themselves and others. They’ve used their Cuisinart and tried to mow the grass with it. Long story short; it doesn’t work. You’ll only make yourself sick both mentally and physically and the lawn will look lousy.

In the past I have tried to use my Cuisinart as a lawnmower and it nearly killed me. This pain led me to grow closer to the Lord and to know the truth through his Bible. Now I am living an effective Christian life and I no longer go in directions which cause me and others pain. It was a hard lesson to learn but the most important lesson of my life.

12. Explain the proudest day of your professional life.

As I’ve mentioned, I do well in ‘crisis mode’. I am frequently put into situations in animal rescue where several animals will die within hours if action is not taken to bring them to safety. I have over the years made scary executive decisions to rescue large numbers of cats and dogs who were minutes from Euthanasia. With limited resources and no assurance of help in getting them placed, I have taken risks that would make most people cringe and think twice. Yet, God is good, and eventually I was able to get these cats and dogs placed. Even a few horses! I am proud of the work I do in rescue. I just wish the United States and particularly North Carolina would create and enforce laws which would reduce the animal population without Euthanasia. Animals are one of the greatest Gifts that God has given us and we are literally killing the love we are being given.

13. You mentioned earlier that you’re retired ‘for the time-being’. What are your plans for the future?

To be completely honest, I don’t know and I’m trying to think about it. As I said, my mind works in two speeds; fast-forward, and stop. I’ve decided to put the work part of my life in ‘stop’ right now while I figure out what I really want to do. When I’m finished building my home, I’ll take some time to decide what my next course of action is going to be!

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