Meet “Team Leon”: A Q&A with Camila Ballario, Our Sr. Sales Development Manager
Meet the people behind our products. Next up is Camila Ballario, our Sr. Sales Development Manager. Camila has worked on our Sales Team for over 5 years and crisscrosses the country meeting with Leon dealers nationwide. When she's not on the road, you can find her performing—either singing or her latest endeavor, stand-up comedy.
Q: You've been with Leon for 5 years now. What is it about working at Leon that keeps you here?
A: As a musician, I came to tour Leon 5 years ago to see our performance venue, the Leon Loft, and play some music on the stage right after it was built. I had no idea that I would be working here just a few short weeks after that. What I love about working at Leon is that I am encouraged to be who I am and provide value to the company through being just that. I am passionate about engaging with our dealer base and I love going around the country talking about music, art, and culture. With Leon, it has always been about balancing your passions with what you do for the company so that you feel purpose and meaning in what you do.
"With Leon, it has always been about balancing your passions with what you do for the company so that you feel purpose and meaning in what you do."
Q: Over the past few years you've become quite the road warrior, traveling upwards of 100 days a year. Why do you think it's so valuable to have someone out in the field?
A: My job is centered around spreading the Leon word through product and cultural training—helping more people form a solid understanding of all the solutions that we can provide. There is so much gained when you are able to visit dealers in their own space and gain an understanding of their business firsthand. As a result, a lot of my job is based around training/supporting our regional manufacturers representatives with dealer visits in the field. Beyond that, I travel to and support all of our buying program shows. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an extrovert and gain a lot of energy from interacting with our dealers—it's a lot of fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Q: From conversations you've had with our dealers on the road, what is one thing that you wish more people knew about Leon?
A: I wish more people knew just how much energy everyone at Leon has for what we do. We are such a creative company—almost everyone here is a musician or an artist and it translates into everything we do. I mean, we have a live music venue right at our headquarters that brings in high-profile performing artists every month! My intent is always to show people that Leon is a company that is working to keep music and design alive. We can help you provide value to interior designers and offer unique solutions that are made right here in the USA by a passionate team of craftsmen.
Q: You're involved with the Women in Consumer Technology Group. How has this group helped to support your career in the industry?
A: Where to begin? I am all about connection. I believe in community and its power to bring strength to an underrepresented population. When I first came to the industry, one of the first events I attended was the WiCT Luncheon at CEDIA. I was delighted to network and hear about so many positive experiences of women in the industry and I felt empowered to continue to show up. I believe that women are building something really powerful in the industry and I'm excited to be a part of the movement. Having a means to connect to share my experiences has given me an outlet and a support group that has in turn provided so much insight as I have continued to grow in my role at Leon.
"I believe that women are building something really powerful in the industry and I'm excited to be a part of the movement."
Q: While you have a music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan and a full-length album under your belt, we've also heard that you're part of an underground Leon band that has been writing and recording songs together. Who's in this band and when can we hear what you guys have been working on?
A: Ah, yes...CAMDEN is a music project that began in 2017. Noah Kaplan, president of Leon, and his two brothers, Ethan and Dan, who also run Leon alongside Noah, are all musicians. We started writing music together a few years ago and never made it a weekly habit until last year. Since then we have written quite a few songs and have embarked on recording our first album together. CAMDEN is our name: CAMila, Dan, Ethan, Noah. Writing music together has been a huge outlet for us and we look forward to sharing our music with the industry when it's ready!
Q: And lately, you've been trying out a new creative endeavor too: stand-up comedy. Tell us about the Detroit to LA Comedy Challenge.
A: I've been writing joke concepts for many years and this past January I decided it was time to start doing something about it. So, along with music, I have been doing comedy open-mics since the beginning of the year and I have really enjoyed it. I think it all stems from a love of writing and then obviously performance. It brings together a lot of my interests! The Detroit to LA Comedy Challenge is the largest comedy competition in Michigan. There are 3 rounds, and the winner gets to go to LA and perform at iconic comedy clubs such as the Comedy Store. Long story short, I passed through the first round and I will have another chance to move forward in November. I will let you know how it goes! It's all about the fun.