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Bonus Content: Event Garde E-News May Edition

By: | Apr, 28 2016
Gina Sutherland

Q & A with Gina Sutherland, director of education and events, California Society of Association Executives

Q: If you could be a summer cocktail, what would your name be and what would you taste like?
A: My summer cocktail name would likely be “Blinded by the Light” because my husband always teases me about my pale, Irish-influenced skin tone. I’ll skip over the taste in lieu of styling – a sleek, tall cocktail glass with a Krazy Straw and a festive drink umbrella. (Cool drinks need protection from the sun too!)

Q: It’s a beautiful day in California. What would we most likely find you doing?
A: Ideally I’d escape the valley heat for a relaxing day in the mountains. If we’re at home, we’re indoors during the day and looking forward to the delta breeze blowing in the evening so we can lounge on the deck, barbecue and play ball with our fetch-obsessed Boston Terrier, Just Jack.

Learn: Q: How do you learn best? In a coffee shop with lots of noise or in a quiet, library-like setting?
A: It varies. Sometimes the energy of a coffee shop helps me initially dive into content, but then I need to retreat to a quiet setting for focus. There’s a vacant, small restaurant space up the street from my house. Fingers crossed someone sees the potential for it to be a café. It’s next door to the library, which is surrounded by a tree-filled park. Coffee shop, quiet space and nature – a learning environment dream come true!

Network: Q: Tell us about one of your favorite personal or professional networks. What makes it special?
A: CalSAE, of course (as well as the greater SAE community). I love learning from and sharing ideas with our members and content leaders, particularly those who are exploring new formats for their education programs and events or collaborating with us to experiment with different formats. We can be an education playground and members can take lessons learned from our experimentation back to their own organizations.

Transfer: Q: Think about a topic in which you feel you’re quite knowledgeable. How would you use this knowledge to better your industry?
A: As an education and events director for fellow association professionals, my tendency toward being an extreme learner is perhaps the best way I can better my industry. The more I learn about trends impacting society, association management and events, the better I can design education and event experiences for our participants.

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