Class of 2009
St. Cloud State University graduate Jody Sayre began her career in 1998 as an intern at GeoComm, and by 2009 she was involved in local chamber of commerce and community foundation efforts.
What are you doing now?
Three years ago I switched roles at GeoComm from vice president of client services, overseeing our product and services division, to the vice president of sales and marketing. This has been an exciting opportunity to focus on the growth of the company as we work on state and regional GIS implementations supporting new technology available to the 911 industry.
How did the 5 Under 40 award affect your life?
Well, it certainly was my 15 minutes of fame, that's for sure! The main effect the award had on my life is opening doors to meet other community business professionals.
Other big changes since you received the award?
Big changes since the award include becoming the vice president of sales and marketing for GeoComm; working with our team to launch an updated strategic direction for GeoComm; and I now reside in Sarasota, Florida. I work remotely with GeoComm's St. Cloud staff and find myself in the area regularly.
What will make the St. Cloud area greater in coming years?
The continued efforts of both the Greater St. Cloud Development Corp. and the St. Cloud Downtown Council to further highlight and leverage downtown St. Cloud and making it a go-to location for people to do business and to gather as a community.
Originally ran: January 1, 2010
Jody Sayre says she is an almost ‘annoying' rule-follower.
She is always on time. She likes procedures. She often works weekends and late nights. And she's constantly learning something new in the ever-evolving world of mapping geographical data for public safety systems.
She knows no other way of working.
Sayre began her career in 1998 as an intern at GeoComm, a St. Cloud-based company that maps data and creates and installs software for 911 systems. Today she is a high-ranking manager as vice president of client services. Her appetite for challenge and strong work ethic haven't slowed since then.
Her role is to help keep GeoComm's place as a national leader in the 911 technology industry and continue to grow its business. The company is developing software and services that over the next five years will improve response time for emergency calls to police, firefighters and other public safety officials. She oversees new products as they are tested, developed and launched.
That's all part of a national initiative that aims to create new 911 systems that can transmit multimedia information such as photos, video and text messages.
GeoComm has built quite a name for itself, and Sayre has been a part of it. This year the company became the exclusive United States distributor for a crime-analysis tool developed by a company from the United Kingdom. Sales for the first three years are expected to come in at about $2 million. She's responsible for the business plan and the ongoing relationship with this company, called ESRI UK.
Sayre sets and achieves new goals each quarter, comes up with new ideas for projects, and asks the same from her staff.
As a young team member she was building new programs and writing manuals. She has since hired a coordinator to train employees on a program she helped build when she was new to GeoComm.
She's passionate about her work, which she sees as improving public safety. "They are life-and-death things we do here. It's amazing, really, what we do," she said. "I'm just really proud of who we are and what we provide."
One of the biggest challenges of the industry is to keep up with changing technology. "Every week you learn something new," she said.
The load of projects is not small, either — they are working on about 300 projects at any given time.
"You certainly never get bored," she said.
She runs in her personal life, too — literally. She just ran her first race this fall. And she travels, usually with short weekend trips. She's been to more than 30 countries and is particularly fond of Belize and Europe.
Sayre managed to build a successful career while she for six years supported troops and participated in military activities. The man who was her husband at the time had been deployed to Bosnia for a nine-month tour and to Iraq for a 22-month tour.
But she really likes to work. She often asks employees how GeoComm can do its work better. If employees feel stressed or frustrated, that means something isn't working. That's when they talk and correct the problem.
An important aspect of employees' work at GeoComm is staying current while riding a cutting edge.
"If you struggle with change, you will struggle," Sayre said.
The whole point is to continue to be a leader. To succeed.
"It's not an option to not have a project succeed," she said.
She doesn't know another way.
Job: Vice president of client services of GeoComm Inc.
Education: Bachelor's degree in geography from St. Cloud State University.
Involvement: Member of Selective Service Local Board; attendance at regular fundraising events for Downtown Council, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and Women's Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
How she leads: If you ask her opinion, she's going to give it to you. "I'm pretty up-front," she said. And Sayre's door is always open for a chat.
She thinks it takes a team to build success; there's not one person who is solely responsible for the company's movement.