Susan Merther BCES, CPP Director of WEFTEC Education, of Water Environment Federation
Hometown: Clarksville, MD
University of Education: University of Maryland
How long have you been an IAEE member? 6 Years
IAEE Chapter: DC Chapter
How did you start your career in this industry?
I was hired to do the technical program for WEF’s smaller workshops and conferences. I come from a
technical background and they wanted someone who could understand the content.
How has IAEE shaped your career?
I am newly engaged so it is helping me reach out and realize how much there is beyond my busy world! It is important to connect the education and the exhibits together. Many organizations keep them
separate but there is much more for the customers when they are melded together. The exhibitors have
lots of education to offer, and the speakers have much to say about the products and services! Being
involved in IAEE lets me meet others on both sides of the spectrum and see what works for other
organizations that I might be able to translate for our own conferences.
What advice would you give to a new member?
Get involved! I was very passive about my membership but now I am getting more out of it than I am
giving. I tell our volunteers that all the time! So it is nice for me to follow my own advice and to focus on my own career and get out of my small zone.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I love family history – love to hear where people come from, what they have learned, just everything
about people and their backgrounds. I feel like we can learn so much from each other just by paying
attention to who someone is and what experiences they have had.
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
I like community clean ups because I care about the environment. We should all live in a trash free
neighborhood and be proud of our surroundings.
What would you say is the #1 IAEE member benefit?
Meeting terrific people who have so many experiences and ideas. It is so beneficial to see what others
are thinking, how their customers experience their events, and what they are seeing. I love seeing ideas from other members and figuring out if it could work for our conference. It is all about constantly learning and growing for me and I have found my interactions with IAEE people help me do that.
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
I haven’t been yet! Really looking forward to it.
How do you use CEIR research, and what reports have you downloaded?
I love the reports – literally all of them. I think people are people so seeing what is going on in other
industries can translate to our conference very well. I don’t get to travel much so having the reports
gives me lots of information that I cannot get on my own.
Without using a specific company name, what new technology on the market can you just not live
Love the tracking devices on people’s badges. This isn’t really new but it is getting better. It is priceless to me to see what our customers are doing and be able to “slice and dice” the data to help plan future events to better meet our customer interests and behavior.