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Q&A: Operations Manager Laz

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Laz Smith

 

While it’s Women’s History Month, we wanted to take the time to introduce you to all of the members of the Apéro team, including Laz! Alongside our founder Rachel, is her husband and Apéro’s own operations and marketing manager, Laz. If you’ve ever had the chance to meet Laz, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he is the comedic relief of the office. There isn’t a day that goes past where we don’t hear Laz sing a tune or do a ridiculous dance -  he never ceases to bring life to the party! That aside, Laz is a really great co-boss! Always willing to lend a hand, and foster the talent of the Apéro staff, he’s been there along the way to help guide Apéro to where it is today. 

Tell us a bit about what you do at Apéro?

My main role at Apero would be Operations and Marketing. I come from a sales and marketing background so I kind of automatically ended up running this side of the business when we started!

When you’re not working, what can we find you doing? 

I'm a tragic golfer, I love weightlifting and I'm a closet (or not so closet) nerd so I'm probably watching tutorials on youtube learning something complex and unnecessary. 

What role have women played in your success?

Every success I've had in life has been supported or enabled by women. Growing up our family wasn't well off at all (we lived in a housing commission), but mum worked super hard and gave me every opportunity she could so I could feel like a normal kid. I would never truly know the amount of sacrifice she gave during my younger years, but I'm always grateful. 

Laz Smith

Why do you feel it is important for men to be part of the conversation surrounding gender equality and violence against women?

Men are the biggest perpetrators of domestic violence. We need to face up to that fact and also that we've historically had it very easy and it's up to us to help drive equality and give opportunities to women, especially in male-dominated industries.   

How do you feel people can support and be an ally for women?

Respect women. Realise their value both in families/relationships and society. Understand how much they balance out the world. Call out objectifying behaviours in other males. Stop enabling misogyny.  

What is it like working alongside an office full of strong women, including your wife Rachel?

I love it. There are no weird macho vibes in the office, it's a great environment and it's quite frankly really motivating seeing all the staff kicking goals and just generally being amazing at what they do. 

Laz Smith

What does Apéro mean to you?

Apéro means capturing that feeling of hanging with friends on the weekend, that free feeling with not a care in the world. It also fills me with an immense sense of pride, seeing this business grow from our lounge room to what it is today. Apéro means endless opportunities. 

What are your biggest passions in life?

I love music, even though I don't really get to play/sing much anymore. I really do enjoy sports too. Just getting out and getting the heart rate up and the sense of accomplishment that comes after a hard workout is hard to beat. Also our new puppy Ollie (a little tiboodle) is definitely up there. 

What is a charity organisation supporting women that you think people should know about?

I actually think any organisation that works with women and men to tackle issues like mental health is super important. Beyond Blue is a great example. A lot of the time, domestic violence happens because a man has unresolved issues or mental health problems and rather than deal with them, they end up getting projected on to the family. A real man accepts that he's not perfect and that it's ok to ask for help. It's not a bad thing to acknowledge you have mental health struggles.