Blog FPO

Gardian of the Month: Kate Pojeta

Our Gardian of the Month is Kate Pojeta, Director of Meetings and Technology for Event Garde.

Learn: What's one subject you'd like to learn more about? 

If I think of this from a professional stance, my answer is “facilitation work”. It’s something I did for years without the knowledge that there is so much MORE to how I was trained to perform that work. While the experiences I delivered before being enlightened were adequate for their intended purposes, as I’ve learned more about this work - the process, thinking, methods and strategies - I am more and more intrigued!

Network: How do you help someone not comfortable networking at a professional event loosen up? 

As an introvert and expert at avoiding networking, and at the same time someone that is asked to facilitate networking events, I like to think I help others that are uncomfortable by sharing those honest feelings with people up front, by putting it out there about how awkward networking can be. When facilitating those events, I try to give them an environment and tools for the experience so that it is (hopefully) less awkward.

Transfer: Tell us about an experience in which you learned something new and then applied it to your personal or professional life.

In my work with one particular client, a few years back, I was introduced to the concept of pronouns being used and the importance of that, at a time before it was more widely used. Learning about why those were important helped me both in personal and professional endeavors to provide events and interactions that were inclusive and welcoming. That has catapulted my desire to learn more about gender-based challenges, which has further propelled me to educate myself more on racial, social and educational inequities.

Please share with us a resource and why you can’t live without it.

I love to read and if money was no object, I would buy ALL. THE. BOOKS. However, I don’t tend to re-read books, so it’s not an expense I want to incur nor one that is really necessary, and of course, money is a factor overall, so limitless books is not in my future. I am a frequent visitor to my local library and when their hours were impacted in 2020 by COVID-19, I went in search of inexpensive books. I stumbled upon betterworldbooks.com and it’s like a personal party whenever a box of books arrives! I can save my list of books I want to read, buy most of them at less than $5 per book, and when I buy from them, they donate books on their end of things. When I’m done reading a book, I deposit it in one of the many local “book nooks” or “little library” locations around my city - or I donate back to my library, thus doubling the donation efforts and hopefully introducing someone to a book they might not have found elsewhere!

Just for Fun: Which actor or actress would you most like to meet and why?

Tom Hanks. His breadth of work is so impressive and I’m captivated by so much of what he has produced and acted in. I appreciate his personal sense of humor, his down to earth style, family values, etc.

Renovating Your Strategic Plan Virtually - Part 1: Understanding the Basics

Most associations view strategic planning as a necessary evil and cringe when the three years are up and it’s time to do another plan. Over time Boards can become jaded and skeptical of the strategic planning process, “We waste time and money on developing a plan and it never goes anywhere”. If this sounds familiar, your association is starting with an ineffective plan and/or flawed process to implement. This 3-part series will help you renovate your strategic plan so volunteers can once again get excited about the process and see actual results.

Read More >

Event Garde Racial Equity Statement Update

As an exclusively white organization, Event Garde recognizes that we have only begun on a much longer journey toward structural and not merely symbolic change. Here are the commitments we made in our racial equity statement last year, some examples of actions we’ve taken since it was published and examples of ways we continue to hold ourselves accountable going forward. 

Read More >

Think Like a Kid… and Find the Fun in Getting Healthy

All the excuses of 2020 aside, most of us kick off any new year with a million goals about our health. The huge influx of people to the gym that seems to dwindle off by the end of February. So, how do we find a routine we can commit to? My advice – think like a kid.

Read More >

Racial Equity Statements: Eloquent Words, but Do You Mean It?

2020 brought a significant increase in organizations providing statements and reflections on diversity, equity, and inclusion. While they were appreciated, it also prompts a series of actions.

Read More >

Gardian of the Month: James Bell III

James Bell III, Founding Principal of Just Solutions LLC is our Gardian of the Month.

Read More >

The Importance of Honoring Black History Month

Every year Black History Month sparks the annual debate about using one month to celebrate the history and accomplishments of African Americans. In 1926, when Carter G. Woodson pioneered the idea of Negro History Week, we’re sure he would have never imagined a whole month to coordinate the teaching of history of Black Americans in our nation’s public schools. And now 95 years later, James Bell III wants more.

Read More >