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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Laura Schneider Core & Main

Laura Schneider

Chief Human Resources Officer

Core & Main

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 2017

Industry: Specialty Distribution

In the past year, since Laura Schneider was named a Titan 100, the most profound leadership lesson she learned was the transformative power of adaptability.

“Navigating unprecedented challenges, from the aftermath of the pandemic to dynamic shifts in market conditions, demanded a level of flexibility and resilience that transcended conventional leadership wisdom,” said Schneider. “The ability to pivot swiftly, embrace change and inspire our associates to do the same has been instrumental in growing our business.”

As the chief human resources officer of Core & Main, Inc. Schneider said that she has come to appreciate that effective leadership in times of uncertainty requires a delicate balance between strategic vision and agile execution.

Core & Main, Inc. is a leading specialized distributor of water, wastewater, storm drainage and fire protection products, and related services, to municipalities, private water companies and professional contractors across municipal, non-residential and residential end markets nationwide. The company’s specialty products and services are used in the maintenance, repair, replacement and construction of water and fire protection infrastructure.

Over the past year, Schneider and her team enhanced the company’s listening strategy, beefed up data-driven HR analytics and expanded leadership development, all of which contributed to the HR team’s ability to support the business. In addition to enhancing the associate experience and company culture, these efforts strengthened the HR team’s ability to serve the business during rapid growth. The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy has supplemented organic growth allowing Core & Main to expand the company’s footprint into new geographies, diversify product lines and add key talent. “Our focus on acquisitions, in addition to organic growth, has not only deepened our competitive advantage, but has also laid the foundation for long-term, profitable growth,” said Schneider.

As a leader, Schneider said empowering her team to be agile has been essential. “Our strength is our ability to strategically support organizational growth and transformation by enhancing culture, organizational effectiveness, talent attraction and development,” she said. “Successful leaders today recognize that in times of ambiguity, their teams must be resilient, able to prioritize and recalibrate strategy. The traditional playbook for success doesn’t exist anymore.”

Investing in the development and well-being of people, who are the key to the company’s future, has also been a top priority for Schneider. “We must empower our people and provide them with the tools for transformational change. In essence, adaptability isn’t just a survival skill. It’s the cornerstone of thriving in a rapidly evolving landscape,” she said.

An active member of the community, Schneider engages in service work and mentorship initiatives to guide emerging leaders, offer insights and share experiences to help their professional journeys. She has also championed programs that promote diversity and inclusion.

“Service work has been a cornerstone of my efforts, with a focus on initiatives that contribute to community development, education and skills enhancement,” said Schneider. “By actively mentoring and giving back to others in philanthropic endeavors, I aim to instill a sense of social responsibility in the next generation of leaders.”

As a result of her success as a leader and her commitment to the community, Schneider has been named a Titan 100 for the second time.

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My strength is my ability to strategically support organizational growth and transformation by enhancing culture, organizational effectiveness and talent development.

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