#MemberMonday IAEEDC Member Feature: Susan Haning

Haning FIL-9134

Name:     Susan Haning, CEM, CMP

Title:  Director of Business Development

Company:  NAILBA

Twitter Handle: @susanhaning

What are your responsibilities with your company or event?

Sales for exhibits/sponsorships and advertising – new business development in all areas

Tell us about your company/organization/show:

NAILBA is the National Assn. of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies- a mouthful for sure.  Our members are Business General Agencies who sell life insurance products to agents and producers who in turn sell to the consumer.   Currently our members write over 18 Million Dollars in annualized premiums.


IAEE DC Involvement (Committees, etc):

I have been in the past on a local level involved on the board (Secretary) and on the membership committee and various other committees.  On the National level I was on the education committee, Expo Expo committee, Senior Level Round Table committee and Chair of the Education Committee.   I was also on the CEM Faculty for a number of years as an online instructor but took a sabbatical to make room for the younger up and coming members.

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What drives your involvement with IAEE DC?

Comradery and mentorship.     When I started out in this Industry I knew no one and one of my best moves was joining IAEM and volunteering on a committee- especially at the registration table and selling the 50/50 tickets.   I met so many nice people who helped guide me in my career path.   I will always attribute my success to my early beginnings with IAEE.   (or NAEM as it was when I first started).

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Best IAEE DC Experience:

I have to give you two:  I would say one of my MOST memorable experiences was singing Karaoke with Bill McGlade at one of the local Happy Hour events.   I think clothes were thrown at us or we threw them at the crowd and one of us went down on our knees – it was truly an amazing experience and I’m not sure it was the singing that did it!  😉    Professional best experience was being the Chair of the National Education Committee and leading a group of esteemed colleagues for a year in creating one heck of an education program for ExpoExpo!.   It was rewarding working with and leading so many amazing individuals from all different   companies and different skill levels.  Truly a rewarding experience and one I’ll always treasure and never forget.

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How long have you been in the DC area?

Since 1986 – 29 Years

What made you choose to live here?

I was born in DC- my father (ARMY Biochemist) and my mother (Medical Secretary) worked at Walter Reed and until he turned civilian in 1968 we lived in DC/MD area- I have to add a cute little note here- my parents met the first day my Mom started at Walter Reed and they married 3 weeks later- LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT and they were married for 44 years prior to his death!!    We then moved to Morgantown, WV where my Dad pursued a Dental degree at WVU (GO MOUNTAINEERS) and once he was established and set up a practice we stayed and grew up in my Mama’s hometown of Shinnston, WV.   I loved the small town life BUT I hankered for big city living so during my Senior Year of college I visited the DC area and interviewed at Bloomingdales as part of their Management Training Program.   3 days after high school graduation I packed up the car and moved to the DC area and started working for Bloomies.  I actually lived in Boliver, WV (Harpers Ferry suburb) for about 6 months because I couldn’t afford to live in or around the Tysons area.

What is your favorite place in the DC area and why?

Ummm – so many places.    I love National Harbor- the energy, the shops, the food and most especially the water.   I love sitting down with a glass of wine and just watching the people and/or the boats go by or getting on the Ferris Wheel and seeing the magnificent sights that one can view for miles.  And the dueling piano bar….well let’s just say I’ve had many a fun time there!!


How did you first get involved in the industry?

Funny story- I was at one of our local hangouts Rumors and met a guy who was in the Industry and who worked for Andrews-Bartlett.  He traveled all the time (sometimes canceling dates) but his job sounded so exciting.  I had joined Bloomingdales because I wanted to be a buyer and travel but that wasn’t happening so I thought why not do what this guy is doing it sounded fun, exciting and so different.  I had NEVER even heard of or knew anything about the hospitality Industry but I wanted to try it.  I interviewed as a customer service representative and got the job and that was in August of 1989 and I’ve been in the Industry ever since and loved every minute of it (okay maybe not EVERY minute but almost all of it J).

Current/Past IAEE HQ involvement:

See above in committee involvement.

What is the most interesting tradeshow other than your own that you have ever attended?

NACS- National Assn. of Convenience Stores.   I actually used to work on the NACS show for 10 years and it is the most fascinating show I have ever attended.  From Playboy Bunny’s to Twinkie Costumed Characters, to chocolate, to Condom Man and to just about EVERYTHING you can imagine you would find in a convenience store.

Tradeshow Bucket List- if you could attend any tradeshow that you haven’t yet, what would it be?

International Assn of Amusement Parks.   I love amusement parks (even though I get sick on roller coasters and rides that go round and round) but I love the energy and adrenaline rush you experience at parks.


What book are you currently reading?

James Patterson’s “Cross my Heart”.   I also read a lot of David Baldacci.

What is your favorite activity in your free time?

FREE TIME – WHAT’S THAT?   He He just kidding.   Cooking- I love to entertain and make appetizer type foods.   I currently cater a friend’s parties at her store and most recently helped cater a friend’s retirement party.

Where would you most like to travel that you have never been?

South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Brazil.



If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be?

I would love to own a Bed-and-Breakfast Inn on the Cape or some Beach/Fishing Community and only be responsible for the food/cooking part of the running the Inn.    Or if this didn’t pan out then selling pepperoni rolls on the Italian Riviera along the beach would be nice too!!!



Chef Geoff's B-day Dinner

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