Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
The Eldorado team has done a stellar job preserving the legacy of Larry Garland, the legendary founder of the historic adult distribution company. Inspiring many with this dedication and contributions to the industry, Garland had a major impact on those he worked with the most closely — his team at Eldorado. Allison Travers, whom Garland personally hired in December 2015 to head up the company’s marketing department, is among those that are continuing to keep Garland’s vision alive. As the director of marketing communications, Travers is empowering her team to be the best they can be and delights in their success in providing the valuable support to Eldorado’s expansive clientele.
There isn’t a day that I walk into the office that I don’t think of [Eldorado founder] Larry [Garland] and feel gratitude for the opportunity to work for such a great company.
Travers originally hails from Boston but has made Denver her home for the last 10 years. She joined Eldorado’s marketing team with more than 20 years of marketing management and communications experience from a wide array of industries, from ski and fashion to the telecommunications and software industries. In our exclusive Q&A with this month’s WIA Woman of the Month, Travers details how she balances her role at Eldorado and more.
XBIZ: What is your role and responsibility as Eldorado’s director of marketing communications?
Allison Travers: I lead the marketing communications department for Eldorado and we are eight people strong. My team drives all aspects of marketing, including public relations, advertising, vendor communications, branding initiatives, Eldorado’s e-learning program, and content development for newsletters, social media and the website. Having a large team gives me the opportunity to develop a variety of initiatives and strategies to promote Eldorado as a leader in the industry. I am a driven and creative person that enjoys collaborating with talented individuals to develop new and interesting ideas. I get excited by how many things we can accomplish and sometimes I need to keep my expectations in check.
XBIZ: How did you get into the business?
Travers: I joined Eldorado in December of 2015. I have an extensive background in marketing and communications for a variety of different industries, including telecom, ski and the fashion watch industries. In the fall of 2015, I was seeking a new career opportunity after being laid off from a start-up software company. Eldorado was a bit of a leap for me, but I thought product is product and marketing is marketing, so why not check it out! I interviewed with Eldorado founder Larry Garland and instantly had a connection with him. Larry described himself as both CEO and chief marketing officer; he truly understood the value of marketing. Ultimately, I chose Eldorado because of Larry and his thoughtful outlook on running a successful business. I am grateful to him for offering me this role. He believed in me and my expertise and trusted me to do my job. I have embraced my work and I love the industry. Plus, I have fun telling people that I transitioned from software to hardware. There isn’t a day that I walk into the office that I don’t think of Larry and feel gratitude for the opportunity to work for such a great company.
XBIZ: What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
Travers: A lot of the industries I have worked in have been male-dominated, which seems to work for my personality. I am a people person; I like to get to know every single person in a company from the ground up and create solid working relationships. I think this gives me an advantage. When you know the structure and process of an organization and value strong professional relationships, it’s hard for people to argue with you when you have done your homework and are willing to take necessary risks. Conversely, my biggest personal challenge is slowing down and finding better work-life balance. I make sure to do yoga, which helps, but it’s always a challenge.
XBIZ: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Travers: The most rewarding part of my job is forging new paths and taking the business where nobody has gone before. I love being a trailblazer and figuring out what is possible, especially when someone tells me it hasn’t been done before. Eldorado revolutionized the industry with the launch of Elevate U — an educational learning series that focuses on sexual health and wellness. Our goal was to empower retailers to help their customers rather than focus only on product education and sales. It was a bigger undertaking than we anticipated, but we found a working platform, coordinated with the Center for Sexual Health and developed an extensive list of topics and the public response has been extraordinary.
XBIZ: What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
Travers: As my dad used to tell me, “Life is a roller coaster — enjoy the ride.” You can’t always control what happens to you, but I am a firm believer in accountability and having a sense of humor. If you show up and do your best, there is no reason you can’t enjoy the ride along the way.
XBIZ: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Travers: I am most proud of my team. We are young, but what we lack in experience we make up with a great attitude and an ambitious drive. Seeing my team grow and mature, watching them take ownership of their roles and the work they create, it’s exciting! The more I can empower them, the more we achieve. This year the team has earned three trade award nominations for Elevate U, which is phenomenal. It motivates me to see what we might accomplish next.
XBIZ: What are your professional goals for 2018?
Travers: It’s amazing to see how far this industry has evolved. When I look to the founders and think of all that they have overcome, I am humbled by what has come before. Meanwhile, I want to continue to advance our business by seeking innovative ideas and fresh perspectives. There continues to be great opportunity to implement proven business practices and to progress the adult novelty industry to greater mainstream acceptance.