Lydia Visingardi takes on a new role as Business Development Manager, Air Force Programs.
A year after graduating from George Mason University, Lydia Visingardi was living and working in Northern Virginia, but looking for a new career opportunity. Something that would energize her.
The brutal 2009 job market had other ideas. “I just remember getting turned down,” she remembers. “A lot.”
Then, on a whim, she searched for work around the Hampton
Roads area - she’d grown up in Yorktown and her parents still lived
there. A Virginia Beach company called ADS was hiring.
“They had an opening in ‘Special Projects,’ she remembers, “and I said, ‘That’s for me!”
She was right. And this time she didn’t get turned down. Instead, she’d spend the next dozen years building an impressive long-term career at ADS. Today, she’s a happily married working mom with a fresh new promotion at a company she loves. Mission accomplished.
At ADS, Lydia has discovered a place that gives her room to grow and succeed as a professional while proudly serving the nation’s military, law enforcement and first responders.
"The mission here at ADS is insane. If you can’t come here and get excited about helping our customers, then it isn’t the right place for you.”"
The experience at ADS has also given her a chance to
explore a number of different roles, from her first “special projects'
job to inside sales to Air Force team leader to her latest promotion –
Business Development Manager, Air Force Programs.
She’s excited about the new challenge, and even excited about all the travel that comes with it.
"It feels great already. I love getting that ‘A-ha!’ moment with a customer where they’re like, ‘Oh, this is how we can work together. That’s how you can help me.’ When I can take the job beyond taking orders and solve a problem for a customer, it’s just so fulfilling. I love brainstorming new ideas, leveraging innovation, and briefing the company’s full capabilities for our customers."
There’s an important distinction at ADS that makes that possible, she said. The company gives you the autonomy to make decisions and do what’s best for the customer.
“People are empowered to make decisions based on what’s right for the customer. It’s not about the size of the deal; if it’s going to help the customer, we’re going to do it. The prioritization of our customers is top-notch,” she said. “It was ingrained in me from the very beginning, customers come before the company.”
That customer-first mentality is something that is always in the back of her mind, and something she works to instill into every member of her team.
“Customer, company, team, self,” she said. “That’s the ADS hierarchy. The customer is always number one.”
Of course, it was all much easier to say, do and work long hours when she was 23. She wasn’t married then, and had no kids. But ADS is built to help employees strike a comfortable work-life balance.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the perfect example. As a Norfolk Police lieutenant, Lydia’s husband didn’t have the luxury of working from home to take care of their kids during the shutdown. Thanks to ADS, Lydia did.
“ADS is really awesome when it comes to understanding family priorities,” she said. “The support I felt during that time was great. They said, ‘Just do the best you can,’ and that made me want to pour even more effort into my work.”
Congratulations on the well-deserved promotion, Lydia. We’re so glad you found us so long ago. Thanks for all the great work.