Blog FPO

Gardian of the Month: Shannon Lockwood

Our Gardian of the Month is Shannon Lockwood, Founder & CEO for Lockwood Collaborative and Event Manager for Event Garde.

Learn: What's your favorite part about learning something new?

I love puzzles, so for me, the best part of learning something new is the challenge of figuring it out and determining the best way for me to implement it. Whether it’s developing and utilizing my personal leadership skills, expanding my knowledge of an industry or a new technical tool, or testing a new recipe, I’m always interested in developing and refining the process. Once I’ve learned something new, continuing to improve upon past attempts is what keeps me most engaged in my work.

Network: Some people are wallflowers while others are natural networkers. Which are you (or are you in the middle)?

While the last two years have put me a little out of practice, I’d say I’m a natural networker. I’m genuinely interested in finding out more about others, their work, and their passions. There are incredible individuals on this planet and I’m honored to meet and learn from many of them throughout the course of my work and travel within the events industry.

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

I am currently in the midst of learning several new things! I’m just 3 months in to starting my own business, so there’s a ton of new things there! And recently, a client asked me to support their work within eLearning. While it’s not my primary skill set, the process to design an eLearning course – assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation – is very complimentary of the one we use to design events. Embracing both of these new endeavors simultaneously reminds me about the power of being curious and the excitement that can come from connecting the dots for that eventual ah-ha! moment. This curiosity mindset continues to open doors for new and exciting opportunities, and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s next!

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

I just finished “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters” by Priya Parker. Parker presents a compelling case for going beyond an event designer’s common refrain of “design with the end in mind” and insists that we go deeper, in the pursuit of truly personal connections and meaningful interactions that have the power to change the world. It is a must-read for anyone hoping to deliver events with impact.

Just for Fun: Which three adjectives best describe you?

Energetic. Passionate. Dedicated.

Gardian of the Month: Andrea Starmer

Our Gardian of the Month is Andrea Starmer! She shares how she might help a wallflower loosen up at a networking event, the way she prepared for the CMP, the resource she can't live without (you probably can't either) and just who's life she'd like to live for one day. 

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Applying Our Understanding of Personal & Social Identities Within Associations

During the pandemic, I was introduced by my colleague to the University of Michigan Inclusive Campus Collaborative which seeks to foster a campus climate in which all community members feel respected, valued, and empowered to engage in the life of the university. Among the resources developed and shared by the Collaborative are two identity wheels, which I’ve found useful in helping association staff, volunteer leaders, and/or members better understand themselves, one another, and how they can improve their interpersonal relationships.

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Are Too Many Meetings Wreaking Havoc on Your Employees’ Mental Health?

Are you have too many meetings and it's causing you (and your team) mental health issues? Find out here.

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A Practical Guide to Stakeholder Mapping & Why It’s Important

There are two primary groups of people involved in your organization’s strategy work: participants and stakeholders. Depending upon their lived experiences, tenure in your industry, engagement with your organization, and a host of other factors, the opinions, insights, and recommendations of your members are going to vary greatly. Want to test it out? Ask a group of 10 members how to solve just about anything and you’re likely to get several dozen suggestions. And that’s because how people see the world, including the blocks and barriers impeding our organizations from achieving their preferred visions, varies.

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Gardian of the Month: Rachel Kuntzsch

Our Gardian of the Month is Rachel Kuntzsch! Check out her tip for balancing work and studying with family time, why the New York Times is her go-to resources and why she feels Spring truly represents her!

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Navigating Difficult Conversations Using Nonviolent Communication

During a recent strategic planning session, participants were working in small groups when Aaron overheard a participant make a comment that didn't sit well with their colleague.  Aaron and his co-facilitator brainstormed a course of action and turned to nonviolent communication.  This is how it went.

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