tED’s 30 Under 35: Meet Advanced Protection Technologies’ Tara Logar

By Joe

In April, the editors of tED magazine sent out a call for
the industry’s “rising stars”—electrical professionals 34 years old or younger
who have the initiative, drive, integrity, and creativity to move the industry
forward in the decades to come. The call drew nominations from all segments of
the industry—distributors, suppliers, rep firms, software/services providers,
and VARs. Here on, we will post a new, full interview with one of
these impressive young people weekly; coverage of all of the honorees can be
found in the July 2012 issue
of tED
. Watch for information about our next “30 Under 35” competition  in
early 2013.

Tara Logar
laughs when she looks back to 2008 and admits that she “fell into this”—referring
to the electrical industry in general and her position at Advanced Protection
Technologies (APT) in particular.

She saw a
small classified ad looking for a salesperson at APT who was fluent in French
and English. Logar studied French in high school and spent a semester living in
France as a Rotary International Exchange student.

She interviewed,
but did not get the job, she laughed.

“While they
hired someone else for the original opening, they were impressed with me and
offered me another position,” she explained.

She started working
in customer service. Today, she is the Siemens Canada SPD account manager, a
position in which she deals fulltime with the Canadian division of APT’s
largest account. Headquartered in Clearwater, Fla., APT is privately owned and
sells through electric distributors.

“I had no
experience whatsoever in the electrical industry,” she said. “I started
completely from scratch…. I never knew that I would find the electrical
industry as interesting as I do. But this was definitely the place I was meant
to be.”

Today, Logar
thinks that being inexperienced might have been a good thing at the time.

“I think it
was really good that I walked in to this [with no experience] because we have a
niche market, which is surge protection, [as opposed to] covering hundreds of
product categories,” she explained. “I do one thing here, and it allows me to
be very proficient at what I do and to know that even though I don’t have
scholastic training in electrical engineering, I do know my products.”

When she has
to deal with customers based in Québec, being able to speak French is still

“But for me
it’s still a challenge because, needless to say, I didn’t learn anything about
surge protection when I was living in France as a high school student,” she

Logar, a
single mother, is also pursuing online her Bachelor of Applied Science degree
in management and organizational leadership at St. Petersburg College.

“The online
schedule lets me do my class work, while my kids are doing their homework,” she
explained. “I finished my associate degree in 2005, when I was 28, and while it’s
taken me a long time, finishing my bachelor’s degree has been a goal of mine
for some time.”

Logar is
also a big fan of the Tampa Bay Rays and has recently set a goal to attend a
baseball game in every major league ballpark—a pursuit that began this year
when she saw a game while in Toronto.

She has
three children: Morganne, a 16-year-old daughter; and two sons, Taylor, 15, and
Declan, 12. Morganne is entering her junior year in high school and is taking
an advanced academic set of courses, “an early college type of program,” her
mother explained.

As a result,
mother and daughter are currently engaged in a bit of an academic competition.

“By the time
she graduates from high school, she will have an associate’s degree and be
transferring into college as a junior. And she has given me motivation. My goal
now is to finish my bachelor’s degree before she gets hers,” she laughed.

Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached

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